Words From the Director/CEO: Strategic Priorities for 2022—A Midyear Update
In the spring, we set aggressive goals to further strengthen the support we are honored to provide military communities around the world. As of August, our year-to-date earnings are $181 million, 73% above financial plan. Congratulations!
Team Exchange is exceeding all expectations. To keep this incredible momentum going, sharing a brief update on the low-risk, high-value targets that are proving to be key to securing collective success in 2022.
Leveraging Technology to Improve the In-Store Experience
Since launching at the Fort Benning PX in April, self-checkout has been tremendously popular with service members and their families, with usage rates nearing 100% at some locations.
Self-checkout is reducing wait times, increasing productivity and freeing our teammates to assist shoppers on the floor. As of late August, nearly 170 self-checkout lanes had been added at almost 50 PXs and BXs. By the end of this year, we expect to have nearly 350 self-checkout lanes at more than 90 PXs and BXs.
At our restaurants, integration with each brands’ point-of-sale (POS) system continues to be a top priority to allow for compatibility with self-order kiosks and smartphone apps to provide a seamless customer experience, including mobile ordering, delivery, loyalty programs and more.
Implementation of Panera, Popeyes, Subway and Slim Chickens’ POS systems is complete. Starbucks, Charleys and Arby’s POS integration are targeted for completion by the end of 2023.
Serving Up Tastes of Home
The Exchange has already opened a dozen new quick-serve programs (QSPs), including California’s first Hunt Brothers Pizza at Edwards Air Force Base, this year. Hunt Brothers, J. Walken Chicken, Eddie Peppers and Chopz are driving increased foot traffic to Express operations. The Exchange now operates nearly 100 QSPs and plans to open 10 more before the end of the year.
DoorDash continues to deliver increased convenience and sales. Since launching in 2021, more than 750,000 orders have been placed, at more than 300 Exchange restaurants, through DoorDash. Deliveries from Exchange restaurants are made to on-installation addresses, and we are testing DoorDash at Expresses at Forts Hood, Bragg and Carson. The Exchange will aggressively add additional installations to this program throughout the coming months and in to next year.
Intensifying Healthcare Services
The Exchange is seeing significant success with supplemental healthcare services. Three dental offices have opened in 2022, including a new DOCS dental facility that opened in late August at the Travis AFB BX. Dental offices have also opened at Fort Gordon and Davis-Monthan AFB, and are coming soon to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Forts Carson and Bliss.
A Janz Medical Supply store opened in July at Fort Buchanan, bringing the community convenient access to braces, mobility devices, maternity supplies and other durable medical equipment. Other durable medical equipment stores have opened this year at Fort Sill, Davis-Monthan AFB and Wiesbaden.
Additional health and wellness opportunities, including behavioral health, family healthcare and additional ambulatory care services, will be coming soon.
Our online assortment is transforming through expansion of vendors and retail partnerships that allow ShopMyExchange.com to ship tax-free items directly from third-party suppliers’ warehouses.
As of early August, this accounted for more than $76 million in online sales, with more than 400,000 items added to the ShopMyExchange.com portfolio. It also now accounts for 39% of the Exchange’s e-commerce business.
More than 70 drop-ship vendors have been added. Recent additions include fan gear from Fanatics, private-label apparel from Fifth Sun and outdoor products and climbing gear from Liberty Mountain, with more to come in the near future.
These agreements are broadening our online appeal to gain a larger share of e-commerce sales. ShopMyExchange.com is also improving search results and reducing order-fulfillment costs.
Improvements to ShopMyExchange.com empower store associates to provide additional options and bolster customer satisfaction.
Expanding MILITARY STAR® Acceptance
The MILITARY STAR card continues to be a tremendous force multiplier for Quality-of-Life programs. Cardholders earn rewards points with every purchase, as well as discounts on food and fuel. When shoppers use their MILITARY STAR card, it reduces costs through avoidance of costly bank transaction fees, saving military communities nearly $31 million in 2021.
The Exchange Credit Program team is fully engaged in establishing agreements to make acceptance of the MILITARY STAR card easier for concession operations. As the Exchange rapidly increases name-brand restaurants, healthcare services, DoorDash delivery and more, updates to processing have taken on greater urgency. As this work continues, the Exchange Credit Program team is re-evaluating rewards features and other offerings to further strengthen the incredible value the MILITARY STAR card provides our Nation’s military communities.
Reducing Overhead Expenses and Increasing Productivity
Sound business practices capable of mitigating broader industry challenges are at the forefront of efforts to deliver strong earned benefits to those who serve and have served. The Exchange’s management is fully focused on putting the right people and resources are in place to appropriately support our growing network of Quality-of-Life support programs.
The priority of this effort remains higher levels of productivity to secure long-term success. We will “work smarter, not harder” and continue to serve the best customers in the world, wherever their mission takes them.
Family Serving Family!
Team Exchange is focused on its mission of serving those who serve. During more than two years of unprecedented change, we have emphasized solutions and innovation, always prepared to take advantage of opportunities now and in the future.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to keeping the Exchange benefit strong for service members, Veterans, retirees and their families, as well as the Coast Guard and DoD civilians we were honored to welcome home during the past year.
We are all in to serve our Nation’s heroes for another 127 years and beyond. It is truly an honor to serve with you.
Onward and Upward!