The customer-centric “Come Home to Savings!” joint industry promotion, sponsored by the American Logistics Association (ALA) and fully supported by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), has rolled out its first campaign, and the goal was reached: to bring new and lapsed patrons into stores — and to reward loyal customers.
During this first campaign, customers in DeCA’s worldwide network of commissaries were encouraged to shop their local stores amid social media buzz, in-store giveaways, bag stuffers and signs and posters alerting them of the promotion.
Numerous prizes were given to lucky commissary shoppers, including Commissary Gift Cards being awarded to randomly chosen winners.
“The recent ‘Come Home to Savings’-themed contest and ‘Excitement Day’ on Aug. 14 were tremendous demonstrations of ALA’s role and success in fostering partnerships with the military resale system, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and media/marketing companies to support this channel and inspire growth,” noted Christine Roussey, principal, Retail Client Solutions for IRI (Empower IT) and ALA board member.
Roussey, a member of the Commissary Council in its subcommittee on Patron Engagement, stated that through the council, “Industry showed the ability to collaborate, pool resources, and quickly create an awareness program for DeCA’s patrons that drew appreciation by commissary leadership.”
On a personal level, Roussey said that as one of the leaders of the event, “I was particularly impressed by the support that our broker and media partners provided as well as contributions to the Aug. 14 ‘Excitement Day’ from manufacturer partners. ALA National really stepped up, and funded $5,000 in Commissary Gift Cards and management of the contest.”
SHOPPERS HAVE THEIR SAY
And what better way to experience the success of the promotion than to hear what winning shoppers had to say about it?
These shoppers “opted in” to allow their views and photos to be published.
The pictures and notes below are from a few of the 10 winners from the contest, each receiving $500 in Commissary Gift Cards.
“The stories are very touching and an important reminder that the ALA, along with industry, helps to improve the quality of life for our most deserving patrons, military members and their families,” Roussey said.
Here is a sample of those responses.
“GENEROSITY AND KINDNESS”
“Thank you for sending out the Commissary Gift Cards so quickly. I want to thank all the sponsors of the ‘Come Home to Savings!’ Sweepstakes for their generosity and kindness that made this sweepstakes possible.
“I have already put the Gift Cards to use on my most recent shopping trip to the Langley Air Force Base Commissary. It was a pleasure shopping today, not having to watch every penny as I completed my shopping. I added a few extra treats like maraschino cherries and, yes, that ground burger I said I would be getting (LOL).
It may sound cliché, but it means a lot to my husband and me to receive these Gift Cards. We are so lucky that we have the commissaries to help us save money when we buy our groceries and household items at reduced prices when compared to the commercial prices at our local super markets.
“After your email contacting me about winning this terrific prize, I was thinking that it has been over 51 years that I have been shopping at commissaries. They have changed a lot since those early days, and for the better.
“From state to state, and even while overseas, my family was able to get quality products tasting of ‘home’” from our local commissary. Many of the sponsors of this contest were providers of those goods years ago.
“Again, thank you for running the sweepstakes and sending out the cards so quickly, and please extend our thanks to all the sponsors of the ‘Come Home to Savings Sweepstakes.’”
Langley AFB, JB Langley-Eustis, Va.
(Emily Jensky.jpg) and (Emily Jensky 2.jpg)
“A SPECIAL THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS NEW YEAR’S MEAL”
“A $500 DeCA Gift Card means that I can have a special Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s meal with my family. I will use it at the Fort Benning, Ga., Commissary for meats, vegetables, a splurge at the deli and, of course, some treats for my dog, Quinnie.
“I really appreciate this and want to thank all involved in the giveaway.”
Fort Benning, Ga.
“GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN”
“What does this win mean and what will I spend it on?
“My husband is deployed and my three kids and three dogs and I are currently outside Fort Hood, Texas. It has been a rough year with lots of changes — my first job since before having children and our last deployment as a military family, with my husband returning at his 19-year mark.
“Winning this Gift Card will afford us the opportunity to splurge a little and remind my kids that good things do happen. Our go-to splurge is definitely anything, but I know a good chunk will be used to go to healthy, filling meals … two teenagers, need I say more!
Fort Hood, Texas
“PRIVILEGED TO SHOP AT THE COMMISSARY”
“My wife and I have been commissary shoppers for over 52 years. We were married in 1969 and our first shopping trip was at Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Ill.
“We’ve shopped at a number of commissaries since then, but Scott AFB, Ill., has been our ‘home store’ for many years. We like the superior quality of the offerings in the meat department as well as the freshness and variety of products in produce.
“As a retired member of the USAF, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to shop at the commissary. Thank you for the gift cards. It was a welcome surprise to learn my name was drawn.”
Scott AFB, Ill.
(Bob Atkins 1.jpg) and (Bob Atkins 2.jpg)
PICTURE WORTH 1,000 WORDS
And sometimes, words cannot convey the emotions one feels when they have the winning spirit.
This photo of Larry Rogers of White Sands Missile Range, N.M., says it all, with nary a word being uttered.