Defense officials have reportedly asked the Defense Commissary Agency to develop a plan to close all U.S. commissaries — about three-fourths of its stores, according to a resale community source familiar with details of a meeting with representatives of the Joint Staff and Pentagon comptroller’s office.
According to DeCA, there are 178 commissaries in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. Almost 70 stores operate overseas.
Operating costs for the overseas stores account for 35 percent of DeCA’s budget, but only about 16 percent of total worldwide sales.
Commissary officials negotiate lower prices for products based on volume. Closing all or most U.S. commissaries would lead to higher prices and a degraded benefit in remaining stores, said Tom Gordy, president of the Armed Forces Marketing Council, in written testimony presented to the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel Wednesday.
The council represents over 330 manufacturers of products sold in commissaries, exchanges and other military morale, welfare and recreation venues.
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