AAFES enlisted adviser visits Fort Riley
CMS Anthony Pearson, senior enlisted adviser, AAFES, and Anthony Ventura, general manager, Fort Riley Exchange, meet with spouses from Our Community Spouses Club Aug. 22 at Fort Riley. Photo by: Jessica Healey, POST.
Story by: Jessica Healey
1ST INF. DIV. POST
The senior enlisted adviser for Army and Air Force Exchange Service visited Fort Riley Aug. 21 and 22 to promote AAFES programs and receive feedback from customers.
"I arrived, toured the facilities and got feedback," said Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Pearson, senior enlisted adviser, AAFES.
Pearson sought feedback on how AAFES was doing, overall, at Fort Riley.
"It's all about the customer," Pearson said. "Our goal is to give a pleasant shopping experience."
Programs like the shuttle program were prominent in the discussion Pearson had with Family members from Our Community Spouses' Club.
The shuttle program allows customers to have items brought to them from another AAFES location at no cost to the customer. Once the item has arrived, there is no obligation to purchase it. The program is a good solution, for example, when clothing items run out of a size, Pearson said.
Pearson also talked about AAFES' price-match program. AAFES stores will price match competitor's prices. If the price of the item is $10 or less then they will match the price automatically. If the price of the item is more than $10, then proof of competitor pricing is required.
AAFES ranks 43rd as a national retailer and is hoping to climb higher, he added.
"For every dollar earned, 67 cents comes back to the military community from the (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) and Services dividend. Last year, sales at Fort Riley activities generated more than $1,281,000 on behalf of MWR programs – so shopping at the Exchange is a win-win," Pearson said. "You get great products at a great price, and your spent money comes back to the installation through the dividend."
More money goes into that dividend when customers use their STAR cards, he said. When the STAR card is used, it reduces the amount of merchant fees AAFES incurs. Last year at Fort Riley alone, $485,000 was paid in merchant fees, Pearson said.
Online shopping also was a subject of focus.
The AAFES site was recently made more user-friendly, and there are more products online than in the store, Pearson explained, adding shoppers can also have anything shipped and gift wrapped that is bought online.
For more information about the Exchange and its programs, visit www.shopmyexchange.com.