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GIFT CARDS

Commissary gift cards offer unique value for patrons
By Mike Perron,
DeCA public affairs specialist










Note: To watch a video about commissary gift cards on DeCAs YouTube page, press the Ctrl key and click on the photo, or go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM2pdI9z06Y .


FORT LEE, Va.  Gift cards are a great idea. They solve the problem of trying to figure out what to give someone with a simple answer: give them a choice. But then youre faced with a different question  which card to give? Sure, you could give them one for an online retailer, but then much of the cards value would probably go toward paying shipping costs and handling fees.
What to do?
Heres an idea: get them a commissary gift card! Authorized shoppers can then pick out what they want, knowing theyre getting the biggest bang for every dollar spent by shopping at the commissary and taking advantage of the best prices in town. And from meat and potatoes to hanging plants, commissaries sell a surprising variety of everyday needs.
The cards can be used to purchase anything sold in the commissary, said Bob Bunch, the Defense Commissary Agencys gift card program manager. And we do about $5 million a year in gift card sales. The program, which enters its 6th year in June, has seen just shy of 660-thousand cards worth more than $22.5 million snapped up by givers. And unlike most gift cards, shoppers actually use the commissary gift cards they receive. Our redemption rate is really phenomenal, said Bunch, adding that almost 90 percent of all cards sold have been fully redeemed. The industry average redemption rate for a gift card is about 75 percent.
The cards are available to anyone online at commissaries.com and in-store for authorized commissary shoppers.
Here are some commissary gift card quick facts:
" Gift cards are available at all commissaries worldwide  on a rack at full service, front-end registers  as well as the website. Just use the Place your order button on the Gift Cards page.
" Cards are good for five years from the date of purchase.
" Only gift cards purchased online incur a shipping and handling fee. There are no fees when the card is purchased in a store.
" There is no limit to the number of gifts cards that a purchaser can buy. However, DeCA officials recommend organizations and activities consider purchasing their cards online if they plan to purchase more than 50 at a time.
" The cards can be sent anywhere in the United States. However, cards can only be shipped to APO, FPO or DPO addresses outside the United States.
" To check card balances, use the Check Your Balance button on the Gift Cards page.
Customers who still have unused gift vouchers, the precursor to the gift card, may still redeem them through Aug. 31, regardless of the expiration date printed on it. After that date, DeCA will no longer accept the vouchers as a form of payment.
For customer service questions, please call 877-988-4438, which is also found on the back of the gift card. Customers can also use this number to check the balance on their card.
-DeCA-

About DeCA: 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. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save an average of about 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices  savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. 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 Americas military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.


Stay Connected to Your Commissary Benefit
COMMISSARIES.COM: Visit www.commissaries.com to learn more about the Defense Commissary Agency: check out the latest news, find a store near you, see what's on sale, create a shopping list, learn of food and product recalls, scan employment opportunities, read frequently asked questions, submit a customer comment form online through DeCA's Your Action Line and more.

COMMISSARY CONNECTION: Stay connected with the latest news about your most valued benefit, Hot Links to additional savings, shopping sprees, contests, commissary promotions, events and more, go to www.commissaries.com/subscribe.cfm and subscribe to the Commissary Connection newsletter.

FACEBOOK: Visit www.facebook.com/YourCommissary, DeCAs Facebook page, where you can post comments and share news, photos and videos.

YOUTUBE: To see DeCAs latest videos, visit www.youtube.com/DefenseCommissary.

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FLICKR: To see DeCAs latest photographs, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/commissary/.

HEALTH LIFESTYLE FESTIVAL

YOUR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE FESTIVAL: Live Healthy, Save Big!
By DeCA Corporate Communications







Note: To see an info graphic and a photo related to the Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival, press the Ctrl key and click on the photo or go to
https://www.flickr.com/photos/commissary/sets/72157669088853911

FORT LEE, Va.  The Defense Commissary Agency will host the military resale partnership event, Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival, July 1-31 at commissaries worldwide.
This annual event will feature discounted prices on produce at commissary farmers markets, savings on workout equipment and apparel at exchanges, health screenings at local clinics, and fitness events hosted by the post morale, welfare and recreation activities.
With the theme Live Healthy and Save Big!, the festival combines savings while supporting the military communitys health and wellness goals, said DeCA Sales Director Tracie Russ.
We heartily support DODs many initiatives to improve the health and wellness of service members and their families. Supporting this fest is a great way to continue that tradition, Russ said. Together, the military resale community helps reinforce the installation as the No. 1 destination for partnership events.
The festival combines commissary farmers markets, exchange sidewalk sales, MWR fitness events, demos, music, free nutritious food samples, prize giveaways, discount coupon offers, health and wellness information and childrens programs.
Our patrons benefit most through the collaborative efforts of commissaries, exchanges, MWR services and our industry partners, Russ said.

For DeCA, the Lifestyle Festival also gives more visibility to the commissaries worldwide farmers market program, an event that has offered plenty of tasty fruits and vegetables for the past three years, Russ said.
Our patrons are in for a treat when it comes to the quality produce offered at our farmers markets, Russ said. Thanks to the creativity of our store personnel and industry partners who inject plenty of imagination and excitement into our farmers markets, combined with the exchange sales and the MWR fitness events, this festival will be a must-attend for our military customers.
Although the bulk of the sales are in July and early August, a few locations will be held in June to avoid calendar conflicts: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California (June 18-19); Chievres Air Base, Belgium (June 12-14); Dugway Proving Ground, Utah (June 26); Izmir Air Station, Turkey (June 27-29); Los Angeles Air Force Base (June 13-15); Naval Station Mayport, Florida (June 13-15); Naval Base Pearl Harbor Commissary, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii (June 26-29); Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, Maine (June 26-28); and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California (June 12).
An overall schedule listing installations and dates can be found on the DeCA website at http://www.commissaries.com/healthy-lifestyle-festival.cfm.
Commissary patrons should also check the individual store Web pages for more information on farmers market dates and other scheduled events. Customers who live near multiple commissaries are encouraged to use the DeCA website to frequent all sales in their area.
Customers are also advised to contact their local installation media for specific festival event schedules.
-DeCA-

About DeCA: 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. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save an average of about 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices  savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribu

WEEKLY SIDE WALK SALES

FIRE WALL SPECIALS OFFERED WEEKLY; LIMITED QUANTITIES WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. EVERY TUESDAY/THURSDAY AT A MINIMUM.

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Commissaries.com: The official online resource of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) | 1300 E Ave., Fort Lee, VA 23801–1800