Teamwork: Commissaries, AAFES partner to sell each other’s gift cards starting June 22
FORT LEE, Va. – The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) will be selling their respective gift cards in both commissaries and exchanges beginning June 22.
Commissaries will now have reciprocal agreements with AAFES and the Navy Exchange Command (NEXCOM) for gift card sales. DeCA began their partnership with the Navy in May 2018. These actions showcase the strength of military resale, said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka N. O’Neal, DeCA’s senior enlisted advisor to the agency director.
“This initiative is another example of the military resale community partnering to offer our customers the best that the installation has to offer for commissary and exchange shopping,” O’Neal said. “Collaborative efforts such as this help reinforce the value of the installation as the No. 1 destination to best serve our service members and their families.”
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor, echoed O’Neal’s sentiments about the enhanced value these initiatives bring to the military community.
“The Exchange and commissary are working together for the good of the military community, bringing convenience and value to all who serve,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Both retailers are all-in to support our warfighters and their families.”
Both organizations’ gift cards will be open value: AAFES cards sold in commissaries will be available in denominations from $5 to $1,500, and commissary cards sold in exchanges available in amounts from $5 to $300. Authorized customers must still redeem the gift cards at their respective agency or online.
“Collaboration for commissaries and exchanges is important when it comes to supporting our most deserving customers,” said Bob Bunch, DeCA’s agency gift card program manager. “This collaborative effort illustrates that we are working together in their best interests. In this regard, it isn’t a commissary thing. It isn’t an exchange thing. It’s a military resale thing.”
Over the past three years, commissaries and the individual service exchange organizations have met at an annual joint marketing conference to develop new ways to enhance military resale. A number of initiatives have emerged from this collaboration including the following actions to boost patron shopping:
- In 2017, commissaries started accepting the MILITARY STAR card for payment
- The resale channel is working together to better communicate its role as a force multiplier for healthy living and how that benefits military readiness
- Commissaries and exchanges created a joint promotional calendar for major annual events such as Month of Military Child in April, Military Appreciation Month in May, the Healthy Lifestyle Festival in June, Back to School events in August and September, and holiday shopping from October through December
- Military retailers routinely share best practices data on sales performance, marketing promotions and shopping trends
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.