Army

January 17, 2014

Price study validates commissary’s 30-percent savings

Kevin Robinson
Defense Commissary Agency

FORT LEE, Va. – Commissary savings are now being measured against a wider range of retailers that sell groceries, and the comparison confirms the value of the benefit, according to the Defense Commissary Agency’s 2013 price comparison study.

For the first time, the expanded comparison survey allowed the Defense Commissary Agency, or DeCA, to look beyond traditional grocery stores to include price comparisons with club stores, drug stores, dollar stores and the discount department stores. This comparison validates the current 30.5 percent savings military members and their Families enjoy when they shop their commissary, said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph Jeu.

“It’s not enough for us to say that the commissary is worth the trip and a significant part of the military’s total compensation package,” Jeu said. “This study proves our overall savings hold up across a much wider retail landscape.”

Commissary savings percentages are calculated based on an annual market basket study. Procedures differ somewhat depending on geographic location.

In the continental United States, DeCA employs a comparison study, over a 26-week period that ended June 22, which uses Nielsen’s database of commissary and industry front end sales volume on 37,000 grocery items with a Universal Product Code. Pricing comparisons for meat and produce department items in the continental United States are accomplished through in-store audits at 30 randomly selected commissaries to compare them with commercial retail stores within commuting distance.

Outside the continental United States, in Alaska, Hawaii, the Far East, Europe, Guam and Puerto Rico, DeCA conducts additional in-store audits, using a broad sample of grocery, meat and produce items. Savings percentages compare commissary prices, which include DeCA’s 5-percent surcharge, to commercial prices with any applicable sales taxes included.

Last year, with a price survey that focused on traditional grocery retailers, commissary savings were at 31.2 percent. This year’s 30.5 percent savings figure comes from DeCA’s ability now to access Nielsen’s “all outlets combined” database, which allows the agency to compare its prices to more retailers — discount department stores, club stores, drug stores and dollar stores — that also sell grocery items.

“In a sense, now we are tougher on ourselves when it comes to measuring commissary patron savings,” Jeu said. “That’s a good thing, because it raises credibility.”

DeCA significantly increased confidence in its saving survey in the 1990s, when the commissary began to compare pricing on thousands of items, not just a literal market basket of a dozen or two-dozen items. The scope of retailers in the comparison was limited to traditional supermarkets. Later DeCA made an approximated pricing adjustment in the savings calculation, because more types of retailers expanded into the grocery business, but their full pricing data wasn’t always available. With “all outlets” retail data available today, DeCA increased the savings survey’s accuracy by using actual pricing of the grocery newcomers.

The value of the benefit moved front and center for DeCA’s patrons in 2013 as commissary shoppers were impacted by the six days commissaries closed due to sequestration, July 8 – Aug. 18, and again when all but remote stateside stores were closed Oct. 2 – 6 for the government shutdown.

“Our patrons have been quite passionate about being able to access their commissary benefit,” Jeu said. “When word got out on September 30 that we were closing because of the government shutdown, our customers flocked to their stores October 1, making it our largest sales day — $30.6 million, more than double our normal daily sales volume — of the 21st century. Those numbers underscore the fact that our patrons understand and value the savings they get from their commissary benefit.”

Fast facts about commissary savings include the following:

  • At 30.5 percent savings when compared to commercial stores, military commissaries saved their customers more than $2.6 billion.
  • For every dollar of taxpayer funds invested in the commissary benefit, authorized shoppers received $2.08 in savings.
  • Commissaries redeemed nearly 100 million coupons in fiscal year 2013 for a customer savings of about $91 million. DeCA ranked sixth among U.S. retailers in coupon redemptions in fiscal year 2012.



All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Video captures by Thom Williams

2-13th Avn. Regiment dedicates building to memory of UAS warrant officer

Video captures by Thom Williams Members of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli’s family and other guests watch as Army officials unveil the plaque on Balli Hall during Tuesday’s memorialization ceremony. The building was n...
 
 
Robert Shields

Fort Hood shooting victim seeks to inspire others

Robert Shields Army 1st Lt. John Arroyo works on strengthening his right hand while his occupational therapist, Katie Korp, looks on at the Center for the Intrepid in Brooke Army Medical Center’s rehabilitation center at Join...
 
 
Maci Hidalgo

New home opens for predator drones at Libby Airfield

Maci Hidalgo Brig. Gen. Edward Maxwell speaks to the attendees during the 214th Reconnaissance Group, 162d Wing, Air National Guard ribbon cutting ceremony at Libby Air Field on Fort Huachuca. Maxwell said the new facility will...
 

 

TRICARE patients must attest to health care coverage

WASHINGTON — As tax season begins, Defense Department officials want to remind TRICARE beneficiaries of changes in the tax laws, which require all Americans to have health care insurance or potentially pay a tax penalty. For the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, all U.S. citizens, including Service members, military retirees...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Steven Hall Agency: CECOM Logistics and Readiness Center, Communications Security Logistics Activity Position and duties: Facilities manager, and team lead for mailroom, property and supplies How long at current assignment: Since July 2007 How long in government service: 35 years, including 10 years in the military Residence: Sierra Vista Family: “Wife Debbie who resides with...
 
 

Pay off holiday debt in sensible manner

Some people spent too much on holiday gift giving, travel and entertaining, and now the credit card bills are coming due. Many are shocked to realize just how much they’ve spent. Paying for holiday expenses well into the new year doesn’t create the kind of holiday memories anyone wants. When a family’s income is stretched...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin