Fort Lee Commissary to open Mondays starting June 6
Defense Commissary Agency contract employee Lori Roeleveld stocks shelves Jan. 26 at the Fort Lee commissary. The grocery store accommodates more than 8,000 authorized patrons weekly and is one of 11 operated by DeCA in Virginia. DeCA seeks to deliver a vital benefit of the military pay system that provides grocery items at significant savings while enhancing quality of life and readiness. (U.S. Army photo by T. Anthony Bell) (Photo Credit: Terrance Bell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. – Effective June 6, the Fort Lee Commissary will be open to authorized patrons on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Shoppers will use self-check-out only with payment by cash or debit card; there will be no employee-operated registers or grocery bagger assistance. Full deli/bakery services will be available, but special order meat cutting will not during this pilot opening period.

“We are exploring the Monday opening option because our [Defense Commissary Agency] CEO, Mr. Moore, wants us open as much as possible for the patrons,” elaborated Sean Farrell, store manager at Fort Lee. “The pilot is to assess how well seven-day shopping will be received by the community.”

William F. (Bill) Moore, the former Headquarters Department of the Army Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics (Tier 3), is DeCA’s Director and Chief Executive Officer. Farrell emphasized his determination to have commissaries open “as much as possible, to give patrons more support.”

DeCA has a goal of matching or exceeding grocery store operations in the civilian sector “so that its patrons have access to a wide variety of products and services whenever they need them,” Farrell said.

“We’re constantly updating each section and category in the store to better serve our patrons,” he added. Another recent example is the newly launched deli kiosk that allows users to place custom orders for fresh-made sandwiches and other items.

In a recent vision statement, the agency stated it is “prioritizing expanded patronage” by implementing customer feedback into its decision-making process. In other words, patron input during the annual Commissary Customer Service Survey or thru the ForeSee customer feedback app are the fuel that helps DeCA determine what should be done to attract and maintain customers.

“One of the most-popular requests is to have 7-days-a-week shopping, so we researched the feasibility of making that happen and came up with a game plan to implement it as a pilot program to see how it would be received by the military community,” explained Dennis Pimento, DeCA East Zone 28 manager. “This has been a joint effort across the agency to come up with a way to offer our valued customers more convenience. … DeCA is committed to being ‘the grocery provider of choice’ for its eligible patrons.”

Farrell expressed hope that Monday hours earn as much appreciation here as they have at other locations that have undergone similar operating hour expansions over the past year. He further reiterated how this change is a direct reflection of the value of customer feedback, which he welcomes both good and bad as it ultimately results in better service and facility improvements.

Those who would like to receive the local commissary’s monthly newsletter “ExpressLine” – providing news updates, announcements about ongoing or upcoming sales specials, recipes and more – can request placement on the email list by contacting richard.reints@deca.mil.