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LAAFB Commissary to be Upgraded to Higher Store Category

Los Angeles Air Force Base's Commissary is located on the main base in El Segundo. (Photo by Lou Hernandez)

Los Angeles Air Force Base's Commissary is located on the main base in El Segundo. (Photo by Lou Hernandez)

FORT LEE, Va. -- The Los Angeles Air Force Base commissary will be upgraded to a higher category store where more line items will be added to the product selection. The store will be closed Tuesday, March 18 while it undergoes a "reset" to accommodate the upgrade and as part of the Defense Commissary Agency's ongoing effort to enhance the shopping experience. The store will resume regular hours on Wednesday, March 19.

"We don't like to inconvenience our customers with the closure, but this is something we'll all appreciate when it's done," said Alfredo Alferez, Los Angeles AFB Commissary director.

The reset is part of an agency-wide program that systematically changes how products are displayed on shelving 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 a layout that is as consistent as possible from location to location, according to Tracie Russ, DeCA's deputy director of sales.

"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," she 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," said Russ. 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," said Russ, "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. 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, the commissary will have an aisle layout map available as well as generic item locators on its Web pages. The Los Angeles Commissary Web pages can be found under "Locations" at http://www.commissaries.com. Store hours, contact information, store news and customer service features can also be found on the store's Web pages.