Commissary 'reset' to improve customer shopping experience
June 27, 2012
FORT BENNING, Ga. - The Fort Benning commissary will close July 23-24, while it undergoes a "reset" as part of the Defense Commissary Agency's ongoing effort to enhance the shopping experience.
"We hate to inconvenience our customers with the closure, but this is something we'll all appreciate when it's done," said Store Director Arrie Carson.
The reset is part of an agency-wide program that systematically changes how products are displayed on shelves throughout a commissary in order to better serve customer shopping patterns. The goal is to give commissaries worldwide a more customer-friendly product flow and layout that is as consistent as possible from location to location, according to Steve Arland, chief of DeCA's store reset and planogram team.
"Although we have to take into consideration that no two commissaries are constructed exactly alike, a customer-friendly product flow means dog food will be next to pet supplies instead of the charcoal, peanut butter is best found next to the jam, and you shouldn't have to cruise three different aisles to find all your cleaning products. It's a simple matter of making the commissary layout more sensible by 'resetting' the store," he said.
DeCA is intent on making the commissary shopping experience faster and easier -- making the commissary the place to shop every day, not just on pay day. One of the priorities is to help busy, active-duty shoppers make a quick run through their commissary and get home more quickly.
"The whole idea, in a nutshell, is to get convenience into the shopping experience," Arland said. "Consistency is also part of the reset equation. Why shouldn't you be able to go to different commissaries and find basically the same layout?"
"We try not to inconvenience the customers while resetting stores," he said, "but we often have to close the store for a day, sometimes two, in order to tear down the shelving and move it and restock. Our customers usually like the new layout once they get used to it. Sales increases always follow a store reset, and that's an indication that the user-friendly product flow is a good change."
To make changes easier for customers to follow, stores have aisle layout maps available as well as generic item locators on their Web pages. Store Web pages are under the locations link at www.commissaries.com along with store hours, contact information, store news and special customer service features.