Drive up, pick up: CLICK2GO opens at Fort Belvoir
FORT LEE, Va. – On a rainy Monday morning, Rebecca Ingvalson shopped the Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Commissary, like she’d never shopped there before. She sat in the comfortably dry confines of her car with her three children while CLICK2GO workers loaded her vehicle with groceries under the shelter of the pickup awning.
Sept. 30 marked the first day the store’s internet shopping, curbside pickup service began, and Ingvalson turned out to be the second customer to use it. She pulled up just as M.J. Jackson, husband of 1st Sgt. Lanestra Jackson who took part in an earlier CLICK2GO startup ceremony, departed with his groceries.
“We just got home from a trip and we needed groceries for the week,” said Ingvalson, who serves in the Air Force Reserves while her husband is active duty Air Force. She said she had learned about CLICK2GO from fliers she’d seen in previous trips to the store. “So I made the online order at home yesterday while watching a football game and scheduled pickup for the next day. I wasn’t even aware that today was the first day for this service.”
Enhancing the value of the commissary benefit by offering a convenient shopping experience is the reason programs like CLICK2GO are so important for service members and their families, said Virginia Penrod, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M&RA), who also serves as the DeCA director and CEO.
“Our patrons lead such busy lifestyles, and if we can make it easier for them to access their commissary benefit, we all win,” Penrod said. “The excitement for CLICK2GO here at Belvoir justifies our work in launching this program.”
With more than 20 orders lined up, it turned out to be a very good first day for the service, according to Willie Watkins, the Defense Commissary Agency’s eBusiness chief, who was on hand for the startup. He credited the advance publicity for the good start and pointed out how easy it is for customers to get their orders.
“When you talk about convenience, it doesn’t get much better than the setup we have here,” Watkins said. “Customers just drive up under the awning of the pickup area along the side of the store, and push the button that alerts the team inside to bring out the groceries.”
The convenience was by design. The commissary building was built in 2017 with the CLICK2GO staging and pickup area included. Because it’s on the side of the building near a parking lot access road, customers can drive up to the pickup area without having to navigate through the vast parking lot.
Fort Belvoir joins commissaries at Fort Eustis and Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia as DeCA’s third CLICK2GO location. The service started at those locations earlier this year and will expand to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, in December, and to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, in March.
Customers can use a computer or mobile device to make their orders. Authorized shoppers access CLICK2GO through the agency’s customer portal, MyCommissary.com. An initial sign-up is required the first time users access the site.
Once in CLICK2GO, patrons select from commissary products offered online based on the store’s stock assortment. After products are selected, the shopper chooses a pickup time and completes the checkout process. The only thing left to do is arrive curbside at the appointed time, and pay. Commissary workers load the groceries in the shopper’s car.
As part of an introductory offer, Fort Belvoir CLICK2GO services will be free during the first 30 days of operation. After that a $4.95 service fee will be applied for each order as it is at other CLICK2GO locations.
Note: For photos related to the launch of CLICK2GO at Fort Belvoir, go to the agency’s Flickr page.
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, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. 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.