VICENZA, Italy ‒ Soldiers and families gathered around the red ribbon and waited for the long-anticipated reopening of the Vicenza Exchange. With a quick snip of the ribbon, the crowd applauded and eagerly entered their Army & Air Force Exchange Service shopping center.
Col. Daniel Vogel, U.S. Army Garrison Italy commander; Col. Don Nowlin, Exchange Europe/Southwest Asia commander; Cindy Brown, Vicenza Exchange store manager; and Shehab Hussein, Vicenza Exchange food court manager, cut the ribbon on the renovated shopping center July 15.
“To see the changes and the improvements that AAFES has put into the entire facility is phenomenal,” Vogel said. “This is about improving the quality of life of service members, families and DA civilians who utilize the PX— and you could see it in the turn out—people are excited about it.”
Renovations to the shopping center, which was built in 1958, began before the COVID-19 pandemic as a joint project with the Exchange, Army and Department of Public Works. It represents the largest investment the Exchange has made at Vicenza.
“This celebration is a long time coming, and this modern store allows the Exchange to serve our Vicenza community even better than before,” Nowlin said. “The $13.2 million renovated shopping center is a symbol of the Exchange’s dedication to meeting the needs of our Vicenza family.”
The renovated 85,250-square-foot shopping center features an updated beauty and barbershop, and mobile phone store in the mall. Shopping in the main store is more convenient with an improved merchandise flow. The main store also features a BE FIT concept shop with athletic apparel and footwear as well as sporting goods in a one-stop shop; a sports nutrition shop with pre- and post-workout supplements, high-protein snacks, sports drinks and vitamins; and a dedicated area for jewelry and sunglasses, cosmetics and fragrances, bath and body, handbags and accessories.
Changes were made in the food court too. With the increased seating in the food court, customers can enjoy Popeyes, Subway, Taco Bell and Charleys, along with a new Bun-D, Dunkin Donuts, and Miky’s Bar Lounge.
“The PX has always been a part of my Army career,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Barea, the equal opportunity advisor for U.S. Army Garrison Italy. “It’s a big deal to the community and families—especially during the pandemic. It’s a great foundation that’s been around since 1895 and it’s still going strong with great people, great products and great service.”
For Edwige Taonsa, a military spouse who has been in Italy for two years, seeing the improvements is a huge relief.
“My kids love eating in the food court and they really missed it,” Taonsa said. “You really miss being able to sit down to enjoy a meal and talk with friends. The Exchange did an awesome job with the store and the associates are always friendly and ready to help.”
The Vicenza Exchange store supports U.S. Army Garrison Italy’s military population of 15,875 and is a testament to the Exchange’s mission to take care of those who take care our Nation. The Exchange brings a taste of home to service members and their families who are away from home.
It matters where you shop. 100% of the Exchange earnings support military communities. In the past 10 years, the Exchange distributed more than $2.1 billion to support critical military Quality-of-Life programs such as Child, Youth and School Services; Armed Forces Recreation Centers and more. All remaining earnings are reinvested into improving the shopping experience through new and renovated stores or technology, including the renovation of the Vicenza Exchange.
“The Exchange is family serving family and it is our honor and privilege to serve those who serve.” Nowlin said. “As the region’s commander, with 1,000 facilities in more than 25 countries across three continents, the Exchange goes where you go and brings a taste of home to its military and families.”
Facebook-friendly version: The Army & Air Force Exchange Service unveiled a $13.2 million renovation to its shopping center at USAG Italy, part of its mission to make life better for Soldiers and families. The renovations, which include a BE FIT section in the main store and new restaurants in the food court, represent the largest investment the Exchange has made at Vicenza. Read more: https://wp.me/p9Q7PG-1Mk
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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 53rd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.1 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.
For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Sgt. 1st Class Taresha Hill or email@example.com.
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