A trip to the commissary is about to get bigger as a pilot program gets rolled out to test club-style shopping at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach (NOLF IB).
According to Lt. Michael L. Smith, public affairs officer at Naval Base Coronado, the local commissary will expand its offerings as a Commissary Plus pilot store. Beginning Oct. 24, the commissary will dedicate nearly a third of its sales area for club pack items similar to the oversize and multiple-pack product assortments sold at commercial warehouse club outlets.
The commissary will be closed down from Oct. 21-23 to convert the space, and reopen Oct. 24. During a test period, officials will evaluate customer acceptance to decide the overall future of the hybrid concept and the inclusion of expanded club pack selections.
"The Commissary Plus model allows Imperial Beach to combine the best of club stores along with the assortment of a traditional commissary", said Bruce Dubisar, project manager for the Defense Commissary Agency hybrid store concept. “We’re looking forward to hearing from our patrons on this new store experience.”
Imperial Beach was chosen as a pilot site because of its location near a number of other commissaries. Freddie Espiritu, Imperial Beach store director, says he expects to see a certain amount of traffic from customers who specifically want a larger assortment of club pack products.
“We’ve heard from our customers that they want to see the same club packs that are available in local price club stores,” Espiritu said. “So we are enhancing our club pack selection with the products to meet that demand.”
By creating this hybrid model, the DeCA aims to combine the best of club stores along with the assortment of a traditional commissary, Dubisar said.