Price surveys help military shoppers 'Rediscover the Value'

  • Published
  • By Chris Ward
  • Army & Air Force Exchange Service
After what was deemed the worst U.S. holiday shopping season in four decades last year, shoppers might now be "checking their lists" and receipts more than twice.

Military shoppers looking for the best value for their dollar, of course, have an edge when it comes to keeping costs down thanks to the tax free advantage they find at their exchange. But shopping the Base Exchange can save troops and their families even more money thanks to an aggressive effort to ensure military shoppers pay competitively low prices on key items.

An essential element in providing savings, and helping troops and their families "rediscover the value" of Army & Air Force Exchange Service, is through market price coordinators. The main duty of market price coordinators is to compare the prices of key items with local competition.

"With a mission to provide quality goods and service at competitively low prices, price coordinators play an extremely important role in our day-to-day operations," said AAFES' senior enlisted advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. "Whether shopping for an HDTV, clothes, jewelry or even gas, these associates are on the front lines ensuring that AAFES' prices are comparable, if not lower, than the competition."

Market price coordinators conduct periodic checks at local convenience, liquor and big box stores, comparing AAFES' prices on key items. The results are sent to the sales directorate at AAFES' headquarters in Dallas, Texas. From there, pre-tax shelf prices are set to be comparable, if not lower than, the competition. Shelf prices are of primary concern because all products available at AAFES, except for gasoline, are not subject to sales tax.

In addition to regular, local price surveys, AAFES' "We'll Match It!" program is a last line of defense in delivering the lowest price to troops and their families. If a shopper sees a price differential of less than $10, they can simply tell the cashier, who will match it on the spot. Anyone who reports a price difference of $10 dollars or more need only bring a current local competitor's ad to receive the reduced price.