Just say ‘YES!’: ‘Your Everyday Savings!’ lowers prices on popular items
Commissary prices on hundreds of popular items will be even lower and easier to spot starting in June when the Defense Commissary Agency unveils “YES!”
Short for “Your Everyday Savings!,” the YES! program is expected to help make stateside commissaries more competitive with grocers outside the gate who often lower prices on certain goods to entice consumers inside their store where more expensive items await, said DeCA’s interim director and CEO, retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi.
“With YES! we are using variable pricing to allow us to compete with other retailers who often drop prices on attractive ‘image’ items that consumers tend to buy the most,” Bianchi said. “Lowering prices on these items reinforces the fact that our patrons’ best option for overall savings remains their commissary.”
YES! items include popular brands of flavored iced teas, pasta, macaroni and cheese, Spam, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, baby food, nutritional shakes, potato chips and other selected snack foods, apple juice, vegetable juice, coffee creamer, coffee, energy drinks, soup, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, avocadoes, paper towels, toilet tissue, bottled water, dish soap, fabric softener and pet food.
The program is designed to help commissaries level the playing field when it comes to the perceived value of the benefit, Bianchi added. Too many consumers get a false impression about the overall savings value of a commercial store based on a few “loss leaders.” These are items that stores are willing to accept revenue losses on so they can attract consumers.
“In the past you might have walked into a commissary and observed that our bananas were, let’s say, 52 cents a pound,” Bianchi said. “Well, a store in town may be using bananas as a loss leader and selling them for 39 cents a pound. So immediately, when you compare that with the commissary price, your first impression, even though your overall savings are nearly 24 percent, may be that the value isn’t there – and that’s a false perception.”
So to overcome commercial industry’s pervasive use of “loss leader” marketing, commissaries will use YES! to roll back prices daily on hundreds of key items to underline the value of the benefit, said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s sales director. “Some commercial stores may offer periodic heavy promotions, but at the end of the day, the price on these same items in the commissary will be consistently lower over the course of a year.”
In their commissary, patrons will see bright orange YES! shelf labels and signs that highlight reduced prices on hundreds of items, Russ said. These same items will also still go on promotion so patrons can expect even lower prices. “In addition to this, we are working to make prices on our shelves more logical to the patron and overall savings more consistent.”
When it comes to delivering true savings, reduced commissary prices are not smoke and mirrors, Bianchi said.
“For us, YES! isn’t just a slogan,” he said. “We are committed to giving our patrons the best consistent, everyday savings possible when compared to retailers outside the gate.”
To see some of the promotional materials for the YES! program, visit our Flickr page.