Spreading the word: YES! begins to catch on with commissary patrons

by Kevin L. Robinson
DeCA Public Affairs
Note: To see customers discussing the YES! program, go on DeCA’s YouTube site  for the following: 
 
For an overall program video, go to
 
For photos, go to 
 
FORT LEE, Va. – For commissary patrons such as Alexis Bishop, the new “Your Everyday Savings!” (YES!) program makes a good deal even better.
 
“The YES! program is absolutely amazing,” said Bishop the spouse of a soldier assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia. “The prices compared to [stores off base] are – you cannot even compare – they’re amazing here.
 
“I know [the commissary] is doing the best that it can to provide for our military and for families. So, I want to thank you for what you’re doing [with] the YES! campaign because it is amazing.”
 
A few weeks after the Defense Commissary Agency’s June 1 launch of the YES! program, a number of patrons from the Fort Lee Commissary voiced their opinions of it. The program is designed to help make stateside commissaries more competitive with commercial retailers by consistently lowering prices on the items patrons purchase the most. Commercial retailers often lower prices on certain popular goods to attract consumers into their store where higher prices on other items await.
 
YES! items include popular brands of flavored iced teas, pasta, macaroni and cheese, canned meats, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, baby food, nutritional shakes, potato chips and other selected snack foods, various produce items that will rotate throughout the year, apple juice, vegetable juice, coffee creamer, coffee, energy drinks, soup, paper towels, toilet tissue, bottled water, dish soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, pet food and various rotating produce items.
 
Matching or beating the prices outside the gate is the value Chuck Mullins expects when he shops his commissary. “The YES, Your Everyday Savings, helps me when it comes to meeting the price points that the other stores have in town,” the retired Army NCO said. “When I come to the commissary, I expect and look for those better prices. And that’s what I find.”
 
It’s all about shopping for the best price, echoed retired Navy Lt. Bill Hines, and YES! checks that box for him. “It’s a wonderful program, and we still have to compare prices, which is what I do no matter what store I go into. But if I were to get that same low price every time I come in here [commissary] it would certainly entice me to shop here more.”
 
It appears that Hines isn’t alone. Through June 30, commissaries have seen a 22 percent bump in the unit volume of products bearing the YES! label over the previous month. They’ve also seen a 7 percent increase in customer transactions linked to item purchases over the previous month. These numbers do not include produce sales. Since June 1, among the top-ranked items for sales in the YES! program have been water, canned meat, bath tissue, coffee, potato chips, pet food, pasta and laundry detergent.
 
For patrons such as Army 2nd Lt. Jordan Huff, programs like YES! demonstrate the true value of the commissary benefit and deliver on the military’s promise to support its communities. “A program like this would really show me that the commissary cares,” he said. “It’s basically reaffirming that pledge that they made to service members, and I think we’ll really buy into it. It will be a really good program for us.”
 
Donna Arms, a family member, checked for the bright orange YES! shelf labels as she shopped with her family and politicked for more dog-related items to be in the program. She admitted that commissary prices were still better than anyplace else she shopped and the new price savings program helps so much when you’re stretching your paycheck.
 
“There are some awesome deals here,” Arms said. “It [the YES! program] is a better deal because people like me, who live paycheck to paycheck, we have to save pennies everywhere we can go.”
 
For more information on the program, go to the YES! web page under the “Shopping” link on www.commissaries.com.

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