Commissaries Become ‘Go To’ Destination For Military Families

Enhanced Safety Features and Double-Digit Savings Draw More Military Families to Shop On Base

CORONADO, CA. (August 1, 2020) It might very well be one of the best places to shop, but for most, it’s strictly off limits.

The nation’s on-base commissaries, with ramped up safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and significant savings opportunities on consumer product goods, have become among the most desirable shopping locations for the nearly 7 million authorized military shoppers.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March, on-base shopping increased 30 percent year over year while transactions in March increased 8 percent year over year.  

As they implement COVID safety measures, commissaries continue to offer annual customers savings of 23.7 percent on average compared to those who shop at traditional retail outlets outside of military bases.

“We applaud the Defense Commissary Agency for the stringent steps they are taking to protect our military families and we’re proud to support these families in any way we can,” said Debra Kesler, Military Account Manager at Nestle Purina PetCare.

In recent months, to protect members of the military, commissaries instituted a wide range of steps to improve shopper safety, including:

  • Plexiglass shields at all checkout locations
  • All store employees are required to wear PPE
  • All customers required to wear face coverings while in stores
  • Social spacing floor graphics at checkout and in-aisle traffic flow arrows at select locations
  • All I.D. cards checked at the entrance and no visitors allowed to reduce congestion
  • Touchless transactions: Cashiers use handheld scanners to scan customers’ ID cards while the customers hold their cards
  • DeCA began employee health screenings of anyone who works in CONUS commissaries – including employees, baggers and affiliated contractors – before they start their shifts. 

Military families who travel on base note that it’s worth the trip for the safety and savings realized, said Christopher T. Burns, executive director of DeCA’s Marketing, Sales and Logistics Group.

“DeCA is always sensitive to the health and welfare of our customers and our employees and as a result adhere to the highest standards of DOD health protection in our stores,” Burns said. “we routinely work with our industry suppliers to support the needs of our installations and deliver the commissary benefit in a safe manner.” 

Organized by, leading consumer product brands have banded together to help promote the commissaries’ safety initiative aimed at keeping members of the military and their families safe. Those brands leading the way include Procter & Gamble, Nestle Purina PetCare and Tyson Foods.


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