After a successful pilot test of home delivery of groceries, commissary officials are working to expand the program and offer delivery at more locations, officials said.
The expansion “is an ongoing effort as we work through the legal and contractual processes,” said Kevin Robinson, a spokesman for the Defense Commissary Agency.
The deliveries from commissaries at the eight locations will continue.
Since the agency began home deliveries at eight stores in June, it’s had an average increase of 60% in online sales at those stores, Robinson said. The average dollar amount for the typical delivery order is $134.
Commissary shopping overall becomes more appealing this month, too, as Defense Department officials plan to increase commissary savings as part of an effort to help troops and families deal with rising costs. DoD officials have asked commissaries to cut prices with the goal of providing at least a 25% savings on grocery bills, compared to the local marketplace. That translates to a 3% to 5% increase in savings.
The home delivery program is an expansion of the Commissary Click2Go program, where customers at stores worldwide can order online and pick up their groceries curbside at their commissary.
But this test has taken the groceries a step farther — to the customer’s front door.
“The pilot locations experienced an influx of 5,500 new Commissary Click2Go customers since the beginning of the pilot,” Robinson said.
For now, the doorstep delivery is available at these locations: Scott Air Force Base, Illinois; Fort Bragg South, North Carolina; MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; Fort Belvoir and Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Naval Station San Diego in California.
Customers who live within a 20-mile radius of one of those commissaries can order groceries to be delivered. With gas prices rising, customers choosing delivery can also save money by not having to drive. Customers must give a minimum lead time of four hours from the time the order is submitted. Delivery windows vary from store to store.
The delivery fee in most cases is less than $4. That’s in addition to the cost of groceries, the commissary 5% surcharge, and any tips customers provide for the delivery driver.
Home delivery is a viable option for those who live in barracks or family housing, on base or off base; and may be convenient for busy troops and families, and a welcome option for disabled veterans who may have trouble getting to the store.
Those eligible for doorstep delivery, within a 20-mile radius of the eight commissaries include: active duty, Guard and reserve members; military retirees; Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipients; former prisoners of war; 100 percent disabled veterans and those with a VA-documented service-connected disability rating; authorized family members; and VA-approved and designated primary family caregivers of eligible veterans.
Authorized customers can visit www.commissaries.com, click on “My Store,” then “Store Locator.” Under the store services listing on the left, check the “Delivery” box, and you’ll see the eight locations where the delivery service is being offered.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.