Latest at Hill Air Force Base Commissary

  • Published
  • By Karen Ochsner
  • Commissary store director
Change is something all of us face on a daily basis. Leaders need to flex and change with the changes. As you noticed one of the biggest changes at the Commissary was a store reset that was done in July of last year. We made two major changes, we moved the sodas and water to what used to be the Bargain Basement (presently known as the Watering Hole) and moved the case lot specials, club packs and wall of value to the middle of the store. The set was necessary to provide additional shelf space to ensure we stay in stock throughout the entire day.

Contrary to belief it was done using our sales movements and data, the set was store specific. We were able to keep the flow the same but moving the Wall of Values and Club Packs to the middle was confusing to many of our customers. We do provide store maps and shopping list per aisle to help with the change. You can request it to be provided electronically by sending an email to me

We can also provide you with newsletters, special event dates, and Defense Commissary Agency, or DeCA, information via e-mail. Our e-mail list is not shared with anyone and comes from our secure website. Another major change was switching our produce supplier to a West Coast company; the quality is far superior with many new items.

As most of you know we provide two major case lot sales during the year. They are typically done in May and September. This year's May Case Lot will be held May 5 and 7. The September Case Lot will be Sept. 15, 16 and 17. Our last case lot was successful so we will continue with opening on Thursday, later in the evening. It is important to know that the first day of the events are always the busiest with the longer lines. We only have four portable cash registers and the lines tend to get long. The second and third day rarely have long lines.

One of the biggest complaints that I hear is: "Why can I get this cheaper downtown?" The commissary is a nonprofit organization and we cannot give loss leaders. In the downtown arena these are products that they provide below retail pricing to bring you into the stores. As these stores must make a profit they raise the prices on like items to make up the difference. I always say the thriftiest shopper will buy ad items only and come to the commissary for everything else; your savings will be well over the 30 percent mark. For those that believe they can shop more efficiently downtown I challenge you to bring in your receipts where you have exclusively shopped one store and let us show you how much you could have saved at your commissary!

The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices -- savings worth more than $4,400 annually for a family of four. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

See you at your commissary!