By AAFESAugust 20, 2019
CHESAPEAKE, Virginia -- For the first time, the four military exchanges are synching up to learn about the latest in electronics, ensuring Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard members have the brands and products they deserve ahead of the holiday selling season.
More than 450 managers and associates from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Navy Exchange Service Command, Marine Corps Exchange and the Coast Guard Exchange are gathering through Aug. 23 in Chesapeake for the Military Exchange Electronics Expo, also known as the ME3. The theme "One Family, One Mission" highlights the collaborative spirit that has long existed among the exchanges to benefit service members and military families.
"This expo represents a milestone for military resale," said Army & Air Force Exchange Service President and Chief Merchandising Officer Ana Middleton. "The exchanges have a history of working together to make life better for warfighters and their families, but this conference marks the first time our electronics teams are joining forces to learn from each other and our vendor partners."
Combined, the four military exchanges are the 12th largest electronics retailer. In 2018, electronics accounted for more than $1.23 billion in revenue across the military exchanges.
Throughout the week, associates will learn about the newest products and selling techniques from more than 50 vendors, including Apple, Samsung, MSI, Sony and more, just in time for the critical holiday selling season. Smart home devices and TVs, particularly 8K, are expected to be hot sellers this year.
Gaming, a key part of the Army's e-sports efforts to recruit and retain Soldiers, is taking center stage at the expo, where buyers can preview product launches and compete in a Battle of the Branches tournament.
Buyers also discussed joint opportunities as the fourth quarter approaches.
"A joint learning environment like this event is key to the development of all our associates and will greatly benefit our customers as we leverage learnings to drive true innovation across the military resale community," said Rich Honiball, executive vice president, global chief merchandising & marketing officer, Navy Exchange Service Command. "For our associates to hear directly from the vendor about the latest technologies will provide our nation's bravest with a wealth of knowledge to make smart purchasing decisions for their own lifestyle tech needs."