Commissary shoppers

FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 26, 2013) -- The Fort Lee Commissary will launch a Department of Defense identification card scanning program Oct. 8 that will improve the store's ability to assess customer demographics among other important benefits.

It's the first step of a Defense Commissary Agency-wide rollout that is expected to be completed by the end of November.

"Commissary shoppers are used to showing their ID cards to establish their eligibility to use the facility," read a DeCA press release that provided details of the rollout. "By scanning the ID at checkout, DeCA will no longer need to maintain personal information on customers in its computer systems, such as the data used for those who write checks."

Scanning also will help improve the commissary benefit for all patrons, according to Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO. "In addition to verifying customers as authorized commissary users, we'll gain information that will give us a better understanding of our patrons, allowing the agency to provide the commissary benefit more effectively and efficiently," he said.

Cross-referenced with other DOD information, the scan data will give DeCA useful statistics about patron usage. This will eventually help the agency identify shopping needs and preferences -- information that is essential in today's retail business environment. It also will allow more accurate reporting to the military services on commissary usage.

DeCA officials emphasized that the customer demographics collected for shopping trend analysis will not include addresses, phone numbers, names or any specific personal data about an individual. The demographic information is strictly limited to ID card number, rank, military status, branch of service, age, household size and zip codes of residence and duty station.

"The methods, processes and information we'll use will not compromise our customers' privacy -- they can be sure of that," Jeu said. "We're putting technology to work to better understand our customers and ensure the commissary benefit continues to remain relevant to them now and in the future."

Page last updated Thu September 26th, 2013 at 16:42