By Connor Wolanski, Army Flier Contributing WriterJuly 26, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 26, 2012) -- The Defense Commissary Agency has started a new Army-wide initiative that is already impacting Fort Rucker residents -- the publication of a monthly commissary newsletter.
Known as the "Commissary Express Line," the monthly newsletter was first published at the beginning of the year and provides supplemental information to the "Commissary Connection," an e-newsletter already in existence, according to Terry Ford, store director of the Fort Rucker commissary.
"It's a way to draw awareness to each store, and at each location [the newsletter is] configured to the needs of each store," said Ford. "It'll show what kind of events we have going on, what types of sales are on, store times for opening and closing, questions about specific products, availability of products, and so on."
The format of the newsletter shows how easily adaptable it is to the numerous commissary locations throughout the U.S.: while the headline story is a DECA-approved, Army-wide story, there is an additional story pertaining to that particular commissary, as well as the "Store Director's Scoop" column, written by the store director, and filled with news and tips geared towards the specific store.
"[For example] we're putting together a disaster preparedness day, and under a banner at the front door we'll have a lot of items presented so that people can take from that as they need," said Ford, adding that the newsletter will let people know about this and other promotional events ahead of time.
The newsletter will certainly have plenty of news on deals and promotions to fill its pages -- according to Ford, the commissary implements new sales and special deals every two weeks.
"Every two weeks we have a promotional period, and during that DECA's marketing and business unit will send down a list of items that should be put on special deal," said Ford, adding that items could be marked down anywhere from 10-to-50-percent off regular price.
While the newsletter is DECA's newest method of reaching out to the military public, it is certainly not the only way that they advertise. There's the "Commissary Connection," an e-newsletter that customers can subscribe to at http://www.commissaries.com/subscribe.cfm, a Facebook page, and even a Twitter account.
"Customers can go [to our Facebook page] to compliment us, order items, ask questions, or even complain about us," said Ford. "There's also commissaries.com, which has links to all different commissary store locations, with store hours, staff information -- everything a person could need to know about us.
"[The most rewarding thing about this job is] making sure that everybody's able to get what they need, and making sure we're taking care of them the right way," he said. "People from outside may not realize that the commissary could run by itself -- we're just here to inform them, handle questions, and just help whenever there is a little bump in the road."