Service members and others who can use military commissaries will soon have a more convenient way to get their groceries.
The Defense Commissary Agency says it will expand online payments, ordering and curbside delivery service to call stores in the United States by the end of the year.
“We’ve learned a lot about what our customers want during our initial 11-store rollout the past two years, and thanks to recent innovations to our e-commerce platform we’ve made tremendous service and user-interface improvements that customers expect in today’s retail environment,” said Bill Moore, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency. “We’re going to deliver this great service to all commissaries as quickly as possible.”
The agency plans to rollout the same service to overseas stores in 2022.
The Food Marketing Institute recently reported that online grocery shopping has escalated to previously unpredictable rates since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. FMI had estimated that 20 percent of all U.S. grocery shopping would be done online by 2025. However, the rates of e-grocery sales expected to occur over a 10-year timeframe actually occurred in just six months.
The expansion is part of the Commissary CLICK2GO program, which gives users an online portal to shop.
The program is now improved to optimize navigation and search functions, offer enhanced product details and feature sales and promotions.
The improvements also include recipes, order histories and online payment.
“Perhaps the most significant enhancement is online payment,” Moore said. “You place your order and pay online, and then it’s simply a matter of driving up to the curbside delivery area of your commissary to have your groceries loaded into your vehicle – that’s a streamlined process our customers expect in this information age.”
CLICK2GO is already service Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina, Fts. Belvoir, Eustis and Lee in Virginia, Ft. Polk in Louisiana, Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida, McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, and Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.
A large swath of bases are projected to get the service by the end of July.
This year, the military commissaries opened up to 4.1 million new customers.
The changes were mandated by Congress as part of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. Veterans with service-connected disabilities, Purple Heart recipients and former prisoners of war will be allowed to shop in the on-base grocery and retail stores. Their caregivers will be eligible too. The military services are changing their access control procedures so eligible veterans can get on base using their Department of Veterans Affairs health ID cards