FORT LEE, Va., 2014-11-14— /EPR Retail News/ — Called another “jewel” for Fort Polk, the new commissary did not disappoint its patrons who got their first look during the grand opening Nov. 12.
“This is very nice,” said Army Staff Sgt. Artemus Renteria, who waited more than two hours along with his wife, Lyn, for the store to open. “The large produce department looks immaculate, and the deli-bakery has items and services that my family is going to enjoy.”
During the 9 a.m. opening ceremony, Army Brig. Gen. William. B. Hickman, commanding general, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, referred to the commissary as “another jewel,” a welcome addition to the many services and features the installation offers to enhance military quality of life.
Replacing a commissary about a block away that had served the installation since 1976, the shopping area of the new store is 25 percent larger, with a greatly expanded produce department and features designed to make shopping more enjoyable, noted DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu during his remarks.
The new Fort Polk store has nine regular checkouts, four self-checkouts, an international delicatessen and bakery, sushi-to-go services and a stock assortment of 17,000 items to serve a patron base of nearly 32,000 authorized shoppers.
With its energy efficient and environmentally friendly features, the expansive new facility is designed to make shopping pleasant, according to Ed Koerner, the store director.
Shopper Amanda Al Janahi echoed Koerner’s sentiments, saying “The wide aisles especially made it easy to navigate, and it is well organized.”
Lauren Manary, an Army spouse for two years, used “modern” to describe the commissary as she quickly toured the store. “I really appreciate the commissary savings. As someone new to Army life I’m still getting used to having access to low-priced groceries. I can’t wait to shop!”
All of that was good news to Koerner.
“The customer is king and our customers are going to love their new store,” said Koerner, who has more than 23 years of commissary experience. “It makes me and the store staff proud to boost the morale and the quality of life at Fort Polk by providing the commissary benefit in such a modern facility.”
Throughout the day, commissary industry partners and vendors were on hand to give away commissary gift cards and other prizes to customers as a way to celebrate the new store’s opening.
Commissary shoppers had a major role in making the store possible because the store was built using surcharge funds. 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.
For store hours and other information visit the Fort Polk store page.
NOTE: To see photos of the new Fort Polk Commissary grand opening, please visit our Flickr page. For a video of how DeCA employees and industry partners prepared the store for the grand opening, visit YouTube.
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