The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) with headquarters at Fort Lee Virginia operates a worldwide chain of commissaries (grocery stores) with annual sales of nearly $6 Billion. 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 about $3,000 annually for a family of four. These savings are an important nonpay element of military compensation. The savings are possible in part because the major operating expenses of the agency are born by the taxpayer. Thus DeCA is referred to as an appropriated fund activity and its operations are governed for the most part by Title X of the United States Code.
As an appropriated fund activity, DeCA has limitations on the types of products they can purchase and merchandise. The majority of items are brand name products with non-branded categories such as beef, pork, chicken, dairy products, produce, deli-bakery services, fish markets and plants usually determined by vendors submitting bids for specific time periods.
ALA provides members with a wealth of information directly related to selling, promoting and distributing your products to the commissary. Members have WEB access to the current assortment authorized for each marketing area, oversight of any changes to the assortment each week all the way to the store level, viewing items selected for feature promotions, monthly store sales, scheduled store reset dates, category reviews, status on inventory overseas, point of contact information, DeCA’s strategic plan, notices to the trade, news releases, and any policy or procedure changes. All this information is available to our members regardless of where they are in the world via the WEB. To help members understand the types of information available, we have provided a user guide that is also available on line.
Other benefits of membership include topic specific meetings focused on helping you expand your business with the military resale system. In addition to regional meetings, we have two national meetings each year to update members. One meeting is focused exclusively on the Defense Commissary System and discusses their marketing and promotion strategies, operational plans, and exploring with members current the use of best business practices. The second meeting is held the beginning of the governments new fiscal year and provides each of the retail commands (Commissary, Exchange, Veterans Canteen Services and Morale Welfare and Recreation) to discuss their strategic initiatives and marketing plans for the new fiscal year.
Applying for membership to our Association can be completed by submitting your application using our on line WEB form or by submitting you form to our Member Support Team. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com we will be more than happy to help you.