Exchanges Find Way to Continue Serving Retirees Despite Access Restrictions

From left, Nellis Air Force Base Exchange Customer Service Supervisor Gisela Jameson meets shopper Daniel Borkowski in the parking lot of the base’s visitor’s center to deliver his buy online, pickup in store order.

From left, Nellis Air Force Base Exchange Customer Service Supervisor Gisela Jameson meets shopper Daniel Borkowski in the parking lot of the base’s visitor’s center to deliver his buy online, pickup in store order.

When access to Nellis Air Force Base was restricted to all but mission-essential personnel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Las Vegas-area retirees found that even a routine trip to the Exchange was suddenly out of the question.

Thanks to some quick thinking on the part of the Exchange team, area retirees can still use their hard-earned Exchange benefit—all without setting foot on base.

Since mid-April, Nellis AFB Exchange associates have been meeting retirees in the visitor’s center parking lot to hand off buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) orders placed at ShopMyExchange.com—quite literally going the extra mile to continue serving Nellis’ retiree community.

“We had BOPIS orders that were already in, but the customers hadn’t picked them up yet,” said Nellis AFB Exchange Store Manager Steve Weaver. “Rather than cancel their orders or hold on to them until the base reopened, we decided we could just bring the order to them.”

The process works largely the same as any other curbside pickup order, the only difference being that customers call the Exchange to advise they are at the visitor’s center parking lot rather than giving the store their parking space number.

“We’re prepared to do this for as long as it’s needed to ensure our retirees can still pick up their orders,” said Nellis AFB Exchange General Manager Matt Beatty.

Other Exchanges at locations with limited or restricted access have taken similar steps to continue fulfilling retirees’ BOPIS orders, including Fort Jackson, Edwards and Shaw Air Force Bases, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

“This is another way of letting our customers know that we are still here for them,” said JBMDL General Manager Andrea Frazier. “We’re dedicated to serving our military family and will take whatever steps necessary to keep taking care of them during this challenging time.”

For Weaver, taking those extra steps to the gate is all in a day’s work.

“We knew we had to still take care of our customers,” he said, “so we found a way to make it work.”

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