Defense commissaries plan for Monday furlough closures

| May 31, 2013 | 0 Comments
This week, Schofield Barracks Commissary announced it will be closing Mondays as employees are furloughed.  (Photo by Lacey Justinger, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

This week, Schofield Barracks Commissary announced it will be closing Mondays as employees are furloughed. (Photo by Lacey Justinger, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

Kevin Robinson
Defense Commissary Agency Public Affairs

When furloughs are implemented, most military commissaries will close one day a week on Mondays, said Joseph Jeu director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency.

The closures will be for up to 11 days between July 8 and Sept. 30.

Closing commissaries on Mondays would be additional to any day stores are routinely closed.

The 148 stores that routinely close on Mondays would also close the next normal day of operation. Other than the furlough day, there are no other changes planned for store operation hours.

Like most DOD activities, DeCA is mandated by the Department to furlough its civil service employees. Furlough notices are scheduled to be delivered to DeCA employees between May 28 and June 5.

“We know that any disruption in commissary operations will impact our patrons,” said Jeu. “Also, we understand the tremendous burden this places on our employees, who, when furloughed, will lose 20 percent of their pay. “We determined that Monday closures would present the least pain for our patrons, employees and industry partners.”

Schofield’s commissary manager agrees.

“We deeply regret the inconvenience to our customers; however, these things are not under our control,” said Gregory McGruder, manager, Schofield Commissary. “We will do everything possible to ensure that full service is possible when we reopen on Tuesdays.”

As sequestration continues, commissary customers can quickly find out about any changes to their local store’s operating schedule by going to www.commissaries.com, clicking on the “Locations” tab, then “Alphabetical Listing,” finding their store and clicking on “local store information.”

Patrons are reminded that, because sequestration is so fluid, DeCA’s plan for this budget-cutting measure is subject to change.

DeCA decided on Monday closures after weighing the potential disruption to patrons and suppliers of having rolling furloughs, where closure dates would differ from store to store. Universal Monday closures are less disruptive to shoppers and the agency’s industry partners — vendors, suppliers and distributors — who deliver products daily to DeCA’s commissaries.

In January, DOD released guidance to allow defense components to plan for potential budget cuts by reducing operating costs.

“We are in this together,” Jeu said, “and though limited in our ability by circumstances we cannot control, I assure you we will do all we can to mitigate the impact of sequestration on our patrons, employees and industry partners, and on our mission.”

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