Nice and neat: Survey gives commissaries high marks for cleanliness
FORT LEE, Va. – Commissary patrons who participated in a recent magazine survey rated their stores among the best grocery retailers in America when it came to cleanliness.
In a June 19 Consumer Reports article titled “Here are the cleanest grocery stores in America,” commissaries were listed among the top 23 grocers for cleanliness in a readers’ poll initially reported April 16.
The recent ratings validate the commissaries’ efforts to ensure that patrons enjoy their shopping experience and receive great savings delivered in clean and safe facilities, said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, DOD special assistant for commissary operations.
“We know the importance of stores with clean floors, restrooms, and ordered shelves and displays,” Bianchi said. “Our patrons deserve the best shopping experience possible, and we recognize cleanliness as part of the value of their benefit.”
Consumer Reports’ top echelon of clean stores were Central Market, Wegmans, Heinen’s, Gelson’s Markets, Market Basket and Trader Joe’s. Commissaries fell in with the next 17 stores – listed in ratings order – that received high marks for cleanliness:
New Seasons Market, Publix, military commissaries, The Fresh Market, Festival Foods (Wisconsin), Dierbergs, Lunds & Bylerlys, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Natural Grocers, Reasor’s, Raley’s, Lowes Foods (North and South Carolina and Virginia), Hy-Vee, Haggen Northwest Fresh, Lidl, Roche Bros. and Brookshire’s.
In their article, Consumer Reports noted that consumers look for certain indicators of a store’s cleanliness, according to the Cleaning Services Group CSG, a Massachusetts-based janitorial and building services contractor for hospitals, supermarkets and other retailers. They include:
- Clean entries and sidewalks outside the store free of trash, cigarette butts and gum
- Hand sanitizers available in germ-prone areas
- Polished floors
- Clean, accessible restrooms located near the entrance with bright lighting, multiple stalls, air fresheners and plenty of toilet paper
- No spills – a vigilant staff that quickly spots and cleans up any floor messes
“This survey once again confirms the hard work and dedication of our team members worldwide in their efforts to maintain high standards in the appearance of our commissaries,” said Rogers Campbell, executive director for DeCA’s Store Operations Group. “We place a high priority on ensuring our stores are as clean and as safe as possible for our patrons who have earned a top-notch commissary benefit.”
In Consumer Reports’ initial overall reader’s survey, DeCA received a score of 86, the same score received by Publix, Costco, Crest, Fareway Stores, and New Seasons Market. The top scores went to Central Market (Texas) with a 91 and Wegmans at 90. Heinen’s (Ohio and Chicago) scored 89, and Gelson’s (Southern California), Trader Joes and Market Basket (Northeast) were rated at 87.
More than 75,000 readers responded to the Consumer Reports survey of their grocery shopping trips at one or two stores between July 2017 and September 2018. The resulting survey of 96 stores contained more than 140,000 ratings of grocery retailers and included their average scoring on stores’ cleanliness, competitiveness of pricing, fresh-store prepared foods, staff courtesy, checkout speed, produce quality and variety, meats/poultry quality, store brand quality, selection of healthy options, prices of organic options, selection of locally produced products, and available variety of international and multicultural products.
Commissaries were recognized in the overall survey for competitiveness of prices, store cleanliness and variety of international products. They were also noted for checkout speed, meat and poultry quality and store brand quality.
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.