You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Commissary express: Buy online, get it curbside

Oct. 13, 2012 - 09:45AM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 13, 2012 - 09:45AM  |  
(Gannett Government Media)
  • Filed Under

Imagine going commissary shopping without stepping foot inside a store you'd just order online and pick up your groceries curbside.

Commissary officials recognize that more people are shopping online, so they're moving toward allowing customers to do just that, says Joseph Jeu, director of the Defense Commissary Agency.

Some civilian stores have had this service available for years. DeCA will begin a test run next spring at the commissary at Fort Lee, Va., home to the agency's headquarters, and maybe one or two other stores, Jeu said.

The service will be available only Monday through Friday, he said, because that works best for the intended purpose pickup on the way home from work.

Commissary officials will have to run the test for at least six months, Jeu said, so if the call is made to roll it out to other stores, that wouldn't happen before late next year.

DeCA tried its hand at online shopping with its Virtual Commissary, where customers could order a limited selection of items to be shipped to them directly. It was mostly gift baskets with the idea that it someday would expand, but the program fizzled two years ago.

For the new plan, officials conducted a limited test of placing orders for deli sandwiches at the Fort Lee commissary, and it worked very well, Jeu said. Another limited test allowed customers to pre-order and pre-pay for an onsite Guard and reserve commissary sale in Rome, N.Y.

If this works, DeCA may consider other possibilities such as delivering online orders to dormitories and barracks.

But for now, the focus "really is on curbside pickup," Jeu said.

Price-checking mobile app

DeCA has more plans in the works: a mobile app that would allow authorized shoppers to check prices. That could be a convenient comparison tool if you're in a commercial grocery store. A time frame for this hasn't been set yet; it's in the research phases. Authorized shoppers would be verified using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.

Authorized customers already may check sale prices at"> (Click "Shopping" then "Savings Aisle.")

Coupon card now worldwide

Commissary customer "rewards" coupon cards have now reached every commissary worldwide, Jeu said. "So far, about 50 percent of customers who have received the card have gone online and registered, which is a pretty high rate," Jeu said. "It looks like there's great acceptance."

Customers download coupons electronically, then take the card to the commissary, where it's swiped at the register. You can print out the coupons you've downloaded to help you make sure you've chosen the right size and brand to get the savings.

The coupon savings are over and above the average 32 percent savings the commissary offers as a baseline compared with commercial grocery stores.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook