DALLAS - The Army & Air Force Exchange Service cut the ribbon on four updated stores at Army posts across the United States, bringing a modern shopping experience to military communities just in time for the holidays.Exchanges at Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Bliss, Texas, celebrated their grand reopenings Nov. 13, while the Exchange at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., unveiled its new look Nov. 24. The upgrades are part of the Exchange's ongoing effort to improve the shopping experience for military customers.All four renovated stores feature a more customer-friendly layout, flooring, paint, signing, fixtures and more. Name brands are prominently featured throughout each store as well. These projects were accomplished under the Exchange strategic initiative to optimize store layouts to prominently feature major brands and enhance merchandise adjacencies.The Exchanges all feature BE FIT concept shops, stocked with men's and women's athletic wear and footwear from name brands like Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and more. The look and feel of the BE FIT section resembles big-box sporting good stores shoppers find outside the gate."The Exchange is committed to providing a modern shopping experience with products and brands our customers tell us they desire," said Mike Smietana, Exchange Real Estate Directorate vice president. "Service members, military families and retirees deserve inviting places to shop-and these updated stores certainly measure up."All told, the renovations included:• $3.8 million update to a 22-year-old building at Fort Campbell.
• $3 million update to a 18-year-old building at Fort Carson.
• $3.6 million update to a 19-year-old building at Fort Bliss. (The Fort Bliss Exchange was expanded in 2010.)
• $1.9 million update to a 9-year-old building at Fort Leonard Wood.One-third of Exchange earnings support capital improvement projects, such as store renovations. (The remaining two-thirds are paid to military quality-of-life programs.)