AAFES announces new initiatives

DALLAS Army and Air Force Exchange Service on Monday announced a host of new initiatives, including improved stock assortments, a revamped customer comment program and a focus on social media.

For example, AAFES recently introduced Vera Bradley, Coach and Victoria's Secret Pink store-in-store concepts as part of its focus on new, trendy and updated styles, as well as recognizable name brands.

In an effort to meet a continuing demand for more of the best brands at the best prices, upcoming rollouts also will include Ladies Izod and Lauren-Ralph Lauren store-in-store concepts, the military retailer announced.

In addition to the increase in selection, AAFES is developing an internal system to better assist associates in determining demographic factors when procuring fashion merchandise. A Web-based learning course also has been created to aid in the merchandising of fashion goods and customer service.

“We’re continually adjusting the stock assortment to ensure we have what military shoppers want and need,” stated Jeffry Helm, AAFES senior enlisted advisor chief. “At the same time, we are reaching out to the military community to find out what they’d like to see more of and what they want less of.”

Customer feedback continues to be instrumental in allowing AAFES to better serve military consumers and improve their overall shopping experience, Helm noted. The Customer Comment program, for example, recently was redesigned for 2010 to include postage-paid comment cards, as well as new signing and fixtures, to make it easier for military shoppers to provide input to Exchange managers. “By placing a greater emphasis on these customer feedback initiatives, we have nearly doubled the amount of customer comments from this time one year ago,” Helm said. “As a result, this invaluable feedback is helping direct efforts toward delivering a stronger benefit.”

Beyond one-on-one communication, AAFES also has ventured into social media through such channels as Facebook and Twitter. An expressed interest in extended savings opportunities in these venues prompted the creation of a recently launched program that makes coupons exclusively available through AAFES’ Facebook page.

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