FORT LEE, Va., 2014-9-12— /EPR Retail News/ — The Sept. 10 grand opening of the Naval Support Activity Annapolis, Md., Commissary and Navy Exchange complex got rave reviews from shoppers who got their first look inside the new facility.
“It’s worth the trip and more!” said long time shopper Gretchen McKethan as she pushed her cart in the commissary meat department. “I just like the whole atmosphere, and there are a lot of things they didn’t have in the old store.”
McKethan’s remarks mirrored what NSA Annapolis commander, Capt. Logan Jones, told the large audience gathered outside the store for the 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. “When you step inside these stores today it’s going to blow your socks off,” said Jones, who joined Defense Commissary Agency Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu and Navy Exchange Service Command CEO Robert J. Bianchi as speakers for the ceremony.
The shopping center was built using funds generated from commissary and Navy Exchange sales. For the $16 million commissary, funding came from the surcharge account. The 5 percent surcharge is added to every commissary shopper’s grocery bill, and the money is used to pay for construction and renovation of commissary facilities.
The new energy efficient and more environmentally friendly commissary is twice as large as the one it replaces, a facility that had been in operation side-by-side with the Navy Exchange since 1979. Shoppers quickly noticed how the new store’s higher ceilings and wider aisles gave it a more expansive feel. Also new to them were an international delicatessen and bakery, sushi-to-go and rotisserie chicken.
“This is a dramatic improvement,” said Natasha Sealey, who was just getting started shopping in the fresh produce department. “The produce looks so nice and fresh, and we have a bakery and sushi, which is great.”
Store Director Jim Marino noted after the ceremony that he and his staff are just as excited about working in the new store as customers are of shopping there. “It took a lot of effort, planning and work from a lot of folks and now it’s our job to provide great customer service in this fine facility,” said Marino. “This day is special for me because I entered the Navy on Sept. 10, 1973, and I worked in commissaries some while in the military, and here we are, on this day, opening a new store to provide a commissary benefit that’s worth the trip.”
NOTE: For photos and video of the NSA Annapolis Commissary and Navy Exchange complex grand opening, go to our Flickr page.
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. 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 amounting to thousands of dollars annually. 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.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773