DeCA reports Q2 fiscal 2020 patron savings of 24.2%
FORT LEE, Va. – Savings percentages for commissary patrons worldwide was 24.2 percent during the second quarter of fiscal 2020, a timespan from January through March, reported the Defense Commissary Agency.
Congress requires that DeCA maintain savings at levels that are reasonably consistent with the fiscal 2016 savings baseline. The latest savings report marked a 0.7-point increase in global customer savings percentage compared to the same-store 2016 baseline savings of 23.5 percent. The global savings level is a weighted average of both U.S. and overseas regions.
Overseas, the savings rate dropped 2.8 points (41.4 percent vs. the 2016 baseline of 44.3 percent) because of a lower average of the cost of living allowance (COLA) indices for the second quarter of fiscal 2020. For the U.S., the rate increased 0.8 points (20.7 percent vs. the 2016 baseline of 19.9 percent) propelled by savings increases in meat and produce. Percentages are rounded to the nearest tenth.
“For our customers, it’s all about the savings,” said Rear Adm. (retired) Robert J. Bianchi, DOD special assistant for commissary operations. “And the value of the commissary benefit revolves around our ability to provide consistent savings. That’s why our Your Everyday Savings! (YES!) program is so important in helping us keep prices competitive on items our customers purchase the most.”
Patron savings figures specific to each geographic area indicate how much, on average, a patron could expect to save on grocery purchases in comparison with local grocers in that area. DeCA measures savings for a region so it can better monitor how much commissary patrons actually save in the geographic area in which they shop.
DeCA employs a third-party contractor to collect pricing for a representative market basket of goods surveyed at about 25 percent of U.S. commissaries each quarter. The agency compares prices with up to three commercial grocers, including one supercenter, in the local area of each commissary in the United States. The price comparisons ensure that service members and their families are saving money when they shop their commissary.
Because the cost of living varies by geographic region, Congress requires DeCA to report on savings regionally. The savings comparison measures about 38,000 items at a regional level through the use of syndicated data and local prices on about 1,000 products through manual shops described above. This is representative of a shopper’s typical market basket.
FY 2020 Q2 SAVINGS VS. SAME-STORE BASELINE (Table 1)
AREA Baseline % Savings (Q2 Stores) FY 2020 Q2% Savings
U.S. (including Alaska & Hawaii) 19.9% 20.7%
Overseas 44.3% 41.4%
Global 23.5% 24.2%
Note: For information on savings by region, see the tables below. Baseline percent savings for same-stores shopped in FY2020 Q2 (45 of 177 U.S. commissaries); approximately 25 percent of all U.S. commissaries are shopped each quarter.
FY 2020 Q2 SAVINGS VS. SAME-STORE BASELINE BY U.S. REGION (Table 2)
U.S. REGION Baseline % Savings (Q2 Stores) FY 2020 Q2% Savings
New England (9 of 36 stores) 21.1% 22.3%
South Atlantic (7 of 30 stores) 20.3% 18.0%
North Central (5 of 18 stores) 21.6% 20.7%
South Central (9 of 33 stores) 16.9% 17.7%
Mountain (5 of 20 stores) 17.6% 19.2%
Pacific (8 of 31 stores) 20.7% 22.1%
Alaska & Hawaii (2 of 9 stores) 34.0% 34.3%
Total U.S. (45 of 177 stores) 19.9% 20.7%
PHOTO CAPTION: Airmen shop for their groceries at the Fort Lee Commissary. DeCA photo: Kevin Robinson
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.