Archive for March, 2012

The Exchange Makes Good Health its Business

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-015
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2012

DALLAS – Understanding that a large part of the military’s focus is on a fit mind and body to ensure top performance, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service values the importance of wellness.

To that end, the Exchange is feeding shoppers’ minds with information. Healthy nutrition options, fitness programs, family activities and overall wellness information are all just a click away through the Exchange’s “Operation Be Fit” website. Opbefit.com offers tips for all members of the family, from novice to expert.

“Providing fitness and nutritional information is just one of the many ways the Exchange strives to meet the needs of shoppers,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “In addition to the myriad of online resources, ‘Be Fit’ shops in the Exchanges offer competitively priced athletic footwear, fitness gear, sporting goods and nutritional items all in one convenient location.”

Beyond lightening the strain on the wallet, the Exchange is also looking out for military families’ literal “bottom lines” with healthy eating options. Food Court restaurants have a wide array of nutritional facts available for diners to review to ensure they’re making healthy choices and many allow the substitution of a side salad or bottled water in lieu of fries or a soft drink.

Subway’s popular “Fresh Fit” menu provides eight sandwiches with less than six grams of fat, baked chips and a diet beverage. Additionally, the Exchange’s Anthony’s Pizza and Robin Hood Sandwich Shoppe locations now include fresh apples or apple slices in all kid’s meals.

Hungry shoppers looking to “fill up” at the Express also have wholesome snack choices as Exchange Snack Avenues offer six different fresh salad options, fruit cups and grab-pack sliced apples. The “Fresh Fruit” program delivers fresh bananas, apples, oranges, limes and lemons to Expresses as well.

“A strong mind and body are important to military members and their families,” said Helm. “The Exchange’s healthy options are the perfect supplement for both conditioning efforts.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Committed to Offering Best Possible Price On or Offline

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-014
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2012

DALLAS – According to a recent article by PC World, more than half of U.S. adult mobile phone owners used a handset for shopping assistance while in stores during the 2011 holiday season. Additionally, a quarter of these shoppers went online to see if they could find a better price for a product they were considering buying.

With smart phones becoming more prevalent as shopping tools, price matching is becoming increasingly popular. With this in mind, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s “We’ll Match It!” program is ensuring military shoppers pay the lowest price possible.

Depending on the item, price matches can be done with or without a competitor’s ad:

  • A price difference of less than $10 is matched on the spot.
  • Pricing discrepancies greater than $10 are matched with a current local competitor’s ad.

 Of course, in either scenario, products must be identical.

“We even offer a 14-day price guarantee on any item originally purchased from the Exchange,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “So, if an item is sold at a lower price by the Exchange, or any local competitor, the price can be matched up to two weeks after the purchase.”

The Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com also match lower prices (including shipping and handling) from other online retailers on identical items available for sale and delivery in the customer’s area.

Complete details regarding the Exchange’s price matching policy as well as exceptions can be found at http://www.shopmyexchange.com/CustomerService/priceMatch.htm.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange forges Partnership with Cornell University on Disability Employment

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-013
RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2012

DALLAS – In an effort to gain a better understanding of policies and practices within both federal and private sectors and to introduce best practices that will increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has partnered with Cornell University in a disability research study.

The research, which according to Cornell representatives is the first major study of its kind in more than ten years, will focus on the power of social networks and how they affect individuals with disabilities. 

“We are excited about the joint study,” said Exchange Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion Vice President Diana Culberson. “Not only is it an opportunity to learn from our different policies and practices, but also to communicate the value of individuals with disabilities in the workplace.”

The research kicked off in March as the Cornell Employment and Disability Institute began conducting focus groups, interviews and online surveys with associates who will voluntarily participate at various locations worldwide.  

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

5.5 Million Reasons to Save at the Exchange

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-011
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2012

DALLAS – Military shoppers clipped out and cashed in last year as they redeemed more than $5.5 million in coupons and promotions at Army and Air Force Exchanges worldwide.

A large portion of the savings came during the holidays, highlighted by a $25 off a purchase of $100 or more deal that was available the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

“More than 25,000 shoppers took advantage of the $25 off deal on Nov. 27,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Jeffry Helm. “As a result, Exchange shoppers saved more than $627,000 from that promotion alone.”

Customers continue to increase their savings by combining Exchange offers with vendor coupons, helping them save an average of $2.25 per transaction last year.

The Exchange also provides a variety of exclusive savings through the mail and online. Exchange shoppers in the continental United States can text Exchange to 95613 for additional savings delivered to their mobile devices.

Exchange Facebook fans redeemed nearly 22,000 coupons last year for a savings of $39,000. Shoppers who “like” the Exchange on www.facebook.com/aafes.bx.px enjoy coupon offers, participate in exciting contests and join the online community of Exchange customers.

Patrons can also log on to www.shopmyexchange.com and check the Savings Center to see what “Super Daily Specials,” “Weekly Promotions,” and “Advertised Specials” are available. 

Complete details concerning coupon redemption, shopping and saving at the Exchange are available online at http://www.shopmyexchange.com/CustomerService/couponAcceptance.htm.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Shoppers Can Breeze into Spring with 2012 Outdoor Living Exchange Catalog

Friday, March 16th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-010
RELEASE DATE: March 16, 2012

DALLAS – With much of the country coming out of what was considered a relatively mild winter, the Exchange is taking steps to address any potential outbreaks of Spring fever with a prescription that includes great selection and deals in the 2012 Outdoor Living Exchange catalog.

With everything needed for backyard entertaining, activities, projects and decorating, the 48-page catalog has the products needed to kick the season off right.

“When it comes to outdoor living, no one outshines the Exchange’s values,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “Whether troops are looking for patio furniture, swimming pools, grills or lawn enhancements, the Outdoor Living Exchange catalog makes it easy to get the most out of a home’s outdoor living space.”

The 2012 Outdoor Living Exchange Catalog is available at all main stores and online at shopmyexchange.com.

Prices in this all-services catalog are valid through July 3, 2012, for any authorized exchange customer. Active duty military members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as military retirees, reservists, National Guardsmen, Department of Defense civilians stationed overseas, exchange employees and their Family members are all authorized exchange privileges.

Orders can be placed by mail, fax or phone. Toll-free orders can be placed from the United States, Puerto Rico or Guam at 800-527-2345. The Exchange Catalog center is open around the clock, seven days a week. Complimentary international access calling is also available from several countries. Those numbers are:

Germany                 0800-82-16500

Japan/Okinawa        00531-11-4132

Korea                      00308-13-0664

Italy                         8008-71227

Belgium                   0800-7-2432

The Netherlands      0800-022-1889

United Kingdom     0800-96-8101

Spain                       900-971-391

Turkey*                   00800-18-488-6312

* Calls cannot be placed from phones on base. Use off-base commercial lines.

Authorized customers can also shop the 2012 Outdoor Living Exchange Catalog online at shopmyexchange.com.

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Military exchanges have the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and of generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs. To find out more about the military exchanges’ history and missions or to view recent press releases please visit shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Shoppers Get Satisfaction

Monday, March 12th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-008
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2012

DALLAS – At 116 years of age, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service may not have “moves like Jagger” but its shoppers are getting plenty of satisfaction according to a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey. The ACSI was developed to provide information on satisfaction with the quality of products and services available to consumers. In the latest survey, the Exchange scored higher than ever before as its operations equalled the industry of excellence. 

In addition to the ACSI, the Exchange also relies on a Customer Service Index (CSI) to provide localized, real-time snapshots of the job Exchange facilities do to improve the value of support provided to Soldiers, Airmen and their families. The CSI score for 2011 was a 77, another all time high score for the Exchange.

“We’re excited about the satisfaction level shown by Exchange shoppers,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “We continue to maintain an intense focus on customer service in an effort to meet, or beat, shoppers’ expectations.  

The CSI survey, which addresses customer service, pricing, sales associate availability, merchandise assortment and many more key issues, is administered at 130 Exchange main stores around the world.

“Feedback from military shoppers is an invaluable tool in our on-going effort to provide the best service possible,” said Helm. “Both the ACSI and CSI enable us to ensure that when Soldiers or Airmen shop, the Exchange is top of mind and their first choice.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Employment a Quality-of-Life Issue for Military Spouses

Friday, March 9th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: LTC Thomas Shrader
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-007
RELEASE DATE: March 9, 2012

DALLAS – The job outlook for military spouses continues to trend in the right direction at Army & Air Force Exchange Service facilities. Fresh off Military Spouse Magazine’s selection of the Exchange as one of the “best places for military spouses to work” for hiring in 2010, the Exchange is reporting even stronger numbers for 2011.  

In the past 24 months, the Exchange hired 11,165 military spouses (5,032 in 2010 and 6,133 in 2011), with 2,308 receiving promotions and 131 deploying in support of troops in contingency locations.

“The Exchange offers programs such as Military Spouse Preference and Spouse Continuity that assist transitioning military spouses, often allowing them to retain their category and benefits,” said the Exchange’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Susan Simone. “These programs result in a win-win situation that allows the Exchange to retain a valuable associate while allowing the military spouse to build a career within the Exchange.”

One such employee is Tayna L. England, whose husband James is a Sgt. 1st Class in the U.S. Army. Throughout most of her husband’s career, England has worked for the Exchange.

“I started my career with the Exchange in Mannheim, Germany in September 1999 as an Accounting Assistant. I found out how truly awesome my Exchange family was when my mother was involved in a car accident in May 2000, and my daughters and I had to leave Germany and move back home to Navarre, Florida, to care for her and my father. 

“The one assurance I had moving back home was that I knew I would have a job and be able to provide for my family without virtually any break in service! Once I arrived at Eglin AFB, I was fortunate enough to interview for three positions and easily went back to work within a few weeks,” England said.

England has enjoyed working in a variety of specialties with her latest assignment being in Human Resources.

“Having the opportunity to work in HR has shown me how supportive the Exchange is and the opportunities we have to assist our military community! At Patrick AFB, for example, we attend the New Comers Briefing and provide information regarding military spouse preference, the Spouse Employment Continuity Program and Non-Local/Non-PCS transfers to our newly arriving military community. As HR Partners, we contact our sister offices when we receive word our employees are either retiring or PCS-ing so that we can hopefully assist our military families and keep our employees ‘in the family,’” said England.

England feels like her fellow associates at the Exchange are more like family than coworkers.

England said, “My Exchange family once again stepped up and showed how truly awesome they were by helping support me in various ways when my husband deployed (since 2002 Jim has deployed five times – one year each time).  My co-workers have always been there to support my daughters and myself by inviting us to dinners, going shopping, attending school functions and games, going to the movies, going to church and by just being there for morale support and guidance.  The Exchange not only ‘serves the best customers in the world,’ we also ‘serve the best associates in the world.’  I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else!”

Stories like this, combined with a commitment to recruit, hire, train and retain military spouses, make the Exchange the employer of choice for the husbands and wives of Soldiers and Airmen, wherever they are called to serve.  

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:  For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Shoppers Get Hopping on Latest Contest

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-006
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2012

DALLAS – As Spring blooms, Easter is just around the corner and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is ushering in the new season with its latest Patriot Family contest.

The “Patriot Family Peeps Diorama” contest gives military shoppers the opportunity to show their creative side and craft a patriotic scene using Peeps candy. Entrants must use a shoebox or comparable item of reasonable size to create a patriotic play, scene or event that inspires emotion. The winner will receive a $1,000 Exchange gift card.  

“We can’t wait to see how creative military families can get with their marshmallow masterpieces,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. “If the entries are anywhere as imaginative as those from last year, we’ll definitely have a tough time judging this contest.”

Entries will be accepted through April 8. Judging will be based on originality, innovation, and the entrant’s ability to portray each scene in a respectable manner. Complete entry rules and regulations can be found at http://www.shopmyexchange.com/Community/patriotfamily/contests.htm.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.