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Fort Lee commissary tests online ordering

Aug. 5, 2013 - 11:08AM   |  
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PETERSBURG, VA. — Shoppers at Fort Lee’s commissary in Virginia no longer have to enter the store to get groceries.

The commissary at the Petersburg base is testing an online ordering program called Click2Go. Shoppers order items online and choose a designated pickup time, which must be at least four hours after the order is placed.

Shoppers don’t even have to get out of their vehicles. Commissary employees load the groceries into vehicles curbside.

“The goal, and what we’re seeing as the outcome so far, is it’s appealing to people that don’t have the time to come into the store,” Tanya Cooksey, a business analyst with the Defense Commissary Agency, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The agency, headquartered at Fort Lee, operates a worldwide chain of commissaries that offer products at cost, plus a 5 percent surcharge.

Similar tests of the program will be held until July 2014 at Travis Air Force Base in California, beginning Aug. 20, and at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, starting Sept. 24. The agency then will decide how effective the program is, said Willie Watkins, operations analyst with the Defense Commissary Agency.

“This is a pilot test,” Rick Brink, a spokesman for the agency, told the newspaper. “We have to take all data and find out if we can do that on a broader scale.”

Eligible shoppers must be members of the military, military retirees or authorized family members.

Denise Holtschulte, the wife of a Navy corpsman, shops at the commissary every two weeks. She said the online shopping program makes her life easier.

“I have three kids, and it’s (frustrating) to bring them into the store,” Holtschulte, 28, told the newspaper. “It’s chaos.”

About 420 shoppers have used the online ordering program since it began July 10, spending on average about $65 per order.

There is no additional charge for the services, but a fee could be charged in the future.

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