AAFES Improves Collaboration With Vendor Community

DALLAS — In an effort to improve collaboration, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) detailed its go-to-market strategy at a recent meeting with its vendor community.

Led by Chief Merchandising Officer Ana Middleton, more than 50 associates of the Exchange presented their categories and collaborated with vendors at the recent American Logistics Association (ALA) 2015 Exchange Impact Workshop in Dallas.

From store repositioning to individual category workshops, the discussions focused on hard lines, soft lines, consumables and online retailing. 

"This was a must-attend event if you are doing business in the military resale business channel," said Patrick Nixon, ALA president and former director of the Defense Commissary Agency. "The workshop strengthened a working industry and exchange partnership that represents the best in industry coming together with the best of government to take care of the best customers in the world — our military and their families."

Additional features included one-on-one networking opportunities between senior AAFES buyers and the many ALA member companies in attendance, and a "Breaking News" Washington Update on legislative and policy issues affecting military resale.     

"Over the last several years, we have seen the environment in the military resale channel change drastically," said Marty Johnson of E.&J. Gallo Winery, the 2015 Exchange Impact Workshop Steering Committee chairman. "As the climate continues to evolve, we need to be more holistic in our ALA meeting strategies. Our goal is to oil the machine and 'Elevate the Experience' for the Exchange, ALA members, and ultimately our customers."  

AAFES is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. The Exchange serves 12.8 million customers in 50 states and more than 30 countries.

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