Archive for December, 2012

Exchange Opens Doors to Local Vendors

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-081
RELEASE DATE: Dec. 20, 2012

DALLAS – While the economy may have forced some retailers to scale back on merchandise or services, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is actively seeking the assistance of local businesses to increase the product selection troops and their families find at their Exchange.

“Some shoppers drive up to 40 miles or more to come to the Exchange,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson. “The addition of local, small, minority, women- and veteran-owned businesses can help provide the diversity, value and innovation to further enhance their shopping experience.”

Partner businesses, called concessions, operate in Exchange-provided space, primarily in the retail mall area. Benefits include contracts based on a percentage of revenue, a variety of space and merchandising setups and the convenience of being located with the anchor retail store and food outlets. The Exchange will also assist in marketing and promoting partner businesses to help maximize awareness on and around the installation.

“Despite the economic conditions we’ve experienced recently, Exchange shoppers have continued to demonstrate a strong demand for new and unique merchandise,” said Pearson. “Partnering with the Exchange provides local businesses exposure to a great deal of foot traffic as well as the opportunity to serve military families.”

 For more information on how to partner with the Exchange as a concessionaire, log on to http://www.shopmyexchange.com/DoingBusiness/index.htm.  

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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. 

MILITARY STAR® Card Strengthens Troops’ Return on Investment

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-080
RELEASE DATE: Dec. 19, 2012

DALLAS – The convenience and use of bank-issued debit and credit cards at Exchanges cost the military community dearly last year. In fact, Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers who swiped a bank-issued card this year have ended up generating more than $62 million in fees.

“A dual mission to provide quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generate earnings for morale, welfare and recreation programs means something as minor as a credit or debit fee can have a real effect on military quality of life,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson.  

One way shoppers can help reduce costs and strengthen their Exchange benefit is by using the MILITARY STAR® Card. Unlike bank cards, swiping a MILITARY STAR® Card produces no fees as the card is administered by the Exchange and revenue generated is shared with military communities through contributions to quality-of-life programs.

Not only does the MILITARY STAR® Card benefit the community, it also benefits the cardholder through gas savings during the year as well as ten percent savings on food purchases at Exchange restaurants.

“Traditionally, two-thirds of earnings generated at Exchange activities are paid to morale, welfare and recreation programs, while the other third is invested in improvements that enhance the shopping experience,” said Pearson. “This structure means that decreased fees can quickly provide additional arts and crafts supplies, reduced green fees or maybe even a new aquatics center.”

The MILITARY STAR® Card is accepted at all Army and Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Exchange activities, as well as the Exchange Online store at www.shopmyexchange.com.

Authorized exchange shoppers can learn more about the MILITARY STAR® Card by visiting www.shopmyexchange.com and clicking “Credit Services.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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 Recognized as Top 100 Military Friendly Employer

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-079
RELEASE DATE: Dec. 13, 2012

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service announced today that it has been designated a 2013 Military Friendly Employer® by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs.   

Criteria for the designation included a benchmark score across key programs and policies such as the strength of company military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs and company policies on National Guard and Reserve service.  

“Due to the fierce competition for our Top 100 list many great programs failed to make this year’s list simply because interest and participation in hiring military is at an all-time high,” said Sean Collins, vice president for Victory Media and director for G.I. Jobs.  “So we created the Military Friendly Employers® designation outside of the Top 100 to recognize another one percent of companies that have great programs and opportunities for veterans and spouses.”  

The Exchange, along with other designated Military Friendly Employers®, will be showcased in the January edition of G.I. Jobs magazine. The Exchange’s company profile, including open positions that are a fit for military personnel, can be found on MilitaryFriendly.com.  Using the priority data engine on MilitaryFriendly.com, job seekers are able to design their own custom lists of employers according to their preferences. Custom, user-directed lists can then be saved and shared socially, allowing each job seeker to find their unique #1 Military Friendly Employer®.

“It is an honor to once again be recognized as a top military friendly employer,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson.  “It validates our tireless efforts to develop a lifelong emotional connection with those we serve.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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 Associates Shine in Darkness of Storm

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-078
RELEASE DATE: Dec. 12, 2012

DALLAS – As the winds picked up and the torrential rains and flooding began, Exchange associates at the United States Military Academy (USMA) were not fleeing the New York City area or hunkering down with family to ride out the storm. Instead, they, along with a team of logisticians, were preparing to put the Exchange’s motto of “We go where you go” into action.

The USMA Exchange, which includes Ft. Hamilton and West Point, came together with a massive effort in the days and weeks following Superstorm Sandy. The associates worked long, hard hours to support the installation, the community and the mission of the Army.  Associates from both Exchanges, as well as a Mobile Field Exchange set up at Bennett Field, worked tirelessly and selflessly as flood waters, fire and a lack of electricity plagued the Northeast.   

FT. HAMILTON/WEST POINT

Sitting in the heart of Brooklyn, Fort Hamilton quickly became a de facto headquarters for the emergency relief mission in New York City. Fort Hamilton Soldiers supported the immediate areas devastated by this storm: Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Battery Park in Manhattan.  Main Store Manager Sharon Wilson and her team (Barbara Rodriguez, Judy Headley, Felicia Mieres, Ellen Dinallo, Akeem Scott, Darryl Dennis, Mandella Edwards and John Jennings) mobilized quickly to support the Garrison and community.

At West Point, Main Store Manager Alex Mamaril and fellow associates Debbie Deleno-Dillelo, Maurice Dixon, Jonathan Hightower and Jeanne Horne supported Ft. Hamilton from the North – transferring merchandise in daily and commuting into Brooklyn to assist with store operations.  With mass transit down in the immediate days after the storm, it was the West Point team that came in and opened Ft. Hamilton for the community. 

Finally, and maybe most impressively, Fort Hamilton Express Manager Kirill Blajievski stayed on the installation the night of the storm – on standby ready to fuel military and first responders throughout the night and the days after the storm, directly supporting the relief mission. When it was all said and done, the Express, as well as two 4,000 gallon Bobcat trucks they contracted, issued 100,984 gallons of gas for the month of November, 40,000 more than the same time last year.

“The teams showed a true New York City resilience in the days and weeks following Sandy, and worked long hours to support the installations, community and the Army’s mission,” said Michele Weisshaar, General Manager for both Exchanges. “Everyone worked tirelessly and selflessly.”

MOBILE FIELD EXCHANGE: BENNETT FIELD

As troop strength grew, the National Guard contacted the Exchange to bring a Mobile Field Exchange to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn – 11 miles from Ft. Hamilton.  Original troop strength was 1553, with troops coming in from as far away as California.  West Point associates Lori Downer, Elizabeth Moore, Christian Segura and Natasha Alston immediately stepped up and volunteered to head out.  They worked side-by-side with troops, even sleeping in tents.  The first night of operation, 11 November, the team insisted on being open 24 hours to ensure as many troops could come in as possible.

LOGISTICS

In addition to the associates at all three facilities, Logistics also played a major role in supporting customers during the time leading up to Superstorm Sandy and immediately afterwards.  Distribution Customer Service offices coordinated emergency supply efforts and Transportation created special deliveries to ensure basic supplies were made available several days before the storm hit the east coast.  As soon as the weather cleared and travel was safe again, Distribution Centers and Transportation Terminals across the country made stock available and expedited orders to those affected by the disaster.  Logistics sStaff also coordinated closely with sales personnel to ensure key items such as generators, water and batteries were in stock at all locations. 

In the face of adversity, danger and hardship, the entire Exchange family came together as a team to live out the “We Go Where You Go” motto. And, as a result, they played a key role in the level of emergency response the area received in its time of need. 

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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.

’Tis the Season to Save with Exchange ‘Holiday Extended Price Guarantee’

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-077
RELEASE DATE: Dec. 11, 2012

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is putting its money where its mouth is this holiday season with the “Holiday Extended Price Guarantee.” Now through Dec. 25, all purchases made at the Exchange are guaranteed to be the lowest price in town as shoppers who find an identical item elsewhere for less will receive an Exchange gift card for the difference.

“We want to make the Exchange military customers’ first choice this holiday season,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson. “This price guarantee, combined with our everyday low prices, price matching and tax-free shopping, should help lighten the load on the wallet.”

To receive the gift card, shoppers simply bring an original Exchange receipt along with a current local competitor’s ad. The “Holiday Extended Price Guarantee” includes shopmyexchange.com but does not include other website prices.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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 Gift Cards Personalize Care Packages for Every Member of the Family

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-075
RELEASE DATE: Dec. 3, 2012

DALLAS – According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, six in 10 shoppers polled said they’d like to receive gift cards this holiday season, the most in the survey’s history. Whether in Afghanistan or Alaska, servicemembers also appreciate the value of a gift card during the holidays. Fortunately, Americans wishing to send support always hit the mark when sending an Army & Air Force Exchange Service gift card.

“By sending an Exchange gift card, troops are empowered to choose items that make their life easier wherever they are called to serve,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson. “Whether it’s tacos, televisions or even just a tank of gas, Exchange gift cards personalize troop support.”

While only authorized military shoppers can redeem Exchange gift cards, any American can send one by simply calling 800-527-2345 or logging on to www.shopmyexchange.com and clicking “Support Your Troops” and then the “Gift and Calling Cards” icon.

From there, Exchange gift cards, ranging in values from $10 to $500, can be addressed to a specific Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine or sent to “any service member” through the Fisher House Foundation, Air Force Aid Society, Warrior and Family Support Center or Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense 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 quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices 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.