Veterans Canteen Service

VA Hospitals - Department Stores and Food Operations
The Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) operates 172 stores under the authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs. New merchandise selections and vendor sources are reviewed at regularly scheduled Merchandise Committee meetings. Approved items are placed in the VCS's Automated Merchandise Catalog (AMC).

This system offers a personalized selection process, allowing local and regional merchandise needs of customers to be met. VCS has no national warehousing facilities; all shipments ordered by canteens are shipped directly from the manufacturer to the ordering canteen.

The Veterans Canteen Service purchase a wide variety of products including:

  • Health & Beauty Care
    Features dental, hair care, facial care, vitamins and more. We offer great value through our exclusive "Exchange Select" products which provide our long-term patients the opportunity to purchase their personal care essentials at a savings below comparable brand name products.
  • Beverages/Snacks
    Features a wide selection of soft drinks, chips, candy, nuts, cookies, and microwaveable meals and snacks.
  • Entertainment/Electronics
    Features a focused selection of National brand electronics, such as LCD Flat Screen TVs, MP3 Players, Home Theater Systems, DVD Players, Radios, DVD movies and more. Also available are MP3 accessories, batteries, HDMI cables, CDs, VHS tapes and more.
  • Gifts/Stationary
    Features a wide selection of Greeting Cards from American Greetings, along with Gift items for Men and Women in apparel and home. We are able to bring some comfort and enjoyment to our Veteran patients who are in Community Living Centers or long-term care.
  • Men's Department
    Features Casual Sportswear, Athletic Wear, Dress Shirts, Neckwear, Shoes and Accessories from National brands such as Nautica, Skechers, Stacy Adams, Russell Athletic, Hanes, New Balance, Savane and more. We offer many of today’s high quality brands at compelling prices, available only at the VCS.
  • Ladies' Department
    Features Casual Sportswear for our Missy and Women’s customer, Shoes, Handbags, Intimates, Sleepwear from major brands such as Skechers, Russell Athletic, Hanes, New Balance, New Balance and more. Many of today’s high quality brands are available at great value, only at the VCS.
  • Concessions
    VCS has a broad selection of concession food operations that serve select outlets.

Helping Our Members Sell, Promote, and Distribute
ALA provides members with a wealth of information related directly to selling, promoting and distributing your products to the Veterans Canteen Service. Members have access to:

  • Monthly store sales
  • Scheduled store reset dates
  • Category reviews
  • The Veterans Canteen Services strategic plan
  • Notices to trade
  • News releases, and
  • All policy or procedure changes.

To help our members understand the type of marketing and sales information available, we provide a user guide that is available online for our Members.

Regional Events
Other benefits of membership include topic specific meetings focused on helping you expand your business with the military resale activities. 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 industry best business practices. The second meeting is held the beginning of the government's new fiscal year and provides each of the retail commands (Commissary, Exchange, Veterans Canteen Services and Morale Welfare and Recreation) with an opportunity to connect with ALA Members to discuss their strategic initiatives and marketing plans for the new fiscal year.

These events are in addition to ALA's Annual Convention, ALA's Annual Congressional Caucus, as well as government and industry Round Tables to get you up-close and personal with the buyers and decision makers for each of the resale activities.

Are You Ready For Military Resale?
Applying for membership to our Association can be completed by submitting your application using our online form or by contacting our Member Support Team at

Join ALA Today