Bagger-free checkout lanes at your commissaries are quite the hot topic.
In response to a recently published article about these checkout lanes, many readers wrote comments with their opinions on having baggers or not. Don’t panic if you didn’t read the article yet. DeCA, the Defense Commissary Agency that oversees commissaries, is not doing away with baggers at this time. They are simply adding bagger-free checkout lanes at commissaries because customers asked for this option.
We asked for your opinion on having your groceries bagged and there wasn’t a shortage of answers.
DeCA does a lot of listening. When customers make suggestions for changes at the commissaries, they really do take them into consideration. DeCA’s vision is to
Understand our Customers and Deliver a 21st Century Commissary Benefit.
They want to know what patrons would want to see changed or improved upon at their commissaries. When they had shoppers ask for bagger-free checkout lanes, they responded. Commissaries across the country started offering bagger-free checkout lanes alongside the traditional checkout lanes.
Commissary managers receive input from shoppers on a daily basis.
One of the popular requests is to increase the natural and organic section. Many Americans are becoming more health conscious. They read nutrition labels and want to know that what they are buying is healthy. There are grocery store chains that offer large natural and organic sections and some that have made the transition to offering only these products. If commissaries want to compete for customers, they’ll need to meet these needs.
Along the same lines, there are millions of Americans that have special diets. Food allergies are prevalent. Patrons have said that they would do more shopping at commissaries if there were more options available for these special dietary needs.
Dairy allergies for example are very common now. While commissaries offer dairy-free products, their selection is still very limited. Shoppers have asked for a larger selection to include dairy-free cheese, yogurt and sour cream. Customers have also said that there are very little wheat- and soy-free options in the frozen foods department.
Another suggestion that has been made to help commissaries keep up with today’s shoppers is to add online ordering for curbside pickup. Many grocery stores now offer this option. Online ordering, like Click2Go, is a huge convenience to be able to order your groceries and simply pick them up.
If the commissary wants to attract more shoppers, online grocery shopping is a sure way to get them.
What many patrons who have suggested this do not know, is that there are commissaries already testing this out. The pilot test done at these commissaries turned out to be so popular that the program is going to continue at those facilities. Hopefully, DeCA will roll that option out to more commissaries in the near future.
One last request is to offer home delivery of groceries from commissaries. Many people have turned to Amazon Fresh and Peapod for their needs. Having groceries sent right to your home would certainly be a 21st century shopping experience.
Home delivery would be a huge undertaking for commissaries of course, but it would bring a large customer basis to the wonderful commissary benefit that veterans have earned. Shopping at the commissary is a great benefit that many veterans and their families are not taking full advantage of. Adding home delivery would increase the number of people using the commissary benefit.
DeCA is always listening to your suggestions. They want to improve your shopping experience at the commissary. Many additions and changes have been made over the years thanks in part to patrons talking to the management team at commissaries.
If you have a suggestion, speak up. Your voice could be the one that makes the changes happen.