Starting last week, Department of Defense and Coast Guard civilian employees can now shop in-store at the Exchange.
The DOD announced the policy change last month and it took effect May 1. Later this year, those same individuals will be able to shop online at shopmyexchange.com.
According to an Army & Air Force Exchange Service spokesperson, expanding access for these services will improve dividends to quality of life programs and increase the military exchanges’ buying power.
“Shopping the Exchange brings convenience to civilians working on installations,” Exchange Director and CEO Tom Shull said in a press release. “They can stop by the Exchange for essentials on breaks or to and from work instead of shopping outside of the gate – and 100% of Exchange earnings go right back to the military community.”
The move will grant access to about 575,000 stateside civilian employees and Shull said the stores have the capacity and merchandise available to handle the expanded customer base. This is the third time since 2017 that the Exchange’s shopping base has increased. On Nov. 11, 2017, all honorably discharged veterans were granted access to shop tax-free at shopmyexchange.com and in January 2020 veterans with service-connected disabilities gained in-person shopping privileges.
The Exchange is the 61st largest retailer in the United States and has operated since 1895. It offers tax-free and military-exclusive pricing. The earnings from the Exchange go to support Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians and their families. For example, about 60% of the earnings support quality of life programs on military installation and over the last decade the Exchange has contributed $2.2 billion to Child and Youth Services, Armed Forces Recreation Centers and other programs.
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“The Exchange is honored to welcome civilians while strengthening the hard-earned benefit for Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians,” Shull said.
By the numbers: Exchange portfolio
61 – The Exchange is the 61st largest retailer in the U.S.
100 – 100% of the earnings go back to the military community
575K – The new policy expands services to about 575,000 people
2.2B – Over the last 10 years the Exchange has contributed $2.2 billion to Child and Youth Services, Armed Forces Recreation Centers and other programs.