DOD operates 238 commissaries worldwide to provide groceries and household goods at reduced prices as a benefit to military personnel, retirees, and their dependents. Since 2010, Congress appropriated an average $1.4 billion annually to help fund commissary operations.
The Department of Defense (DOD) lacks reasonable assurance that it is maintaining its desired savings rate for commissary patrons. In addition, According to DeCA officials, because commissaries are focused on providing a benefit rather than on maximizing profits like commercial grocery stores, commissaries do not always adjust products they carry based on customer demand. DeCA officials said that they would like to be more efficient, but have not developed a plan with achievable objectives, goals, and time frames regarding how to improve product management based on sales and customer demand. Without improving the management of products based on sales and customer demand as is done in commercial grocery stores, DeCA may be missing opportunities to increase sales, leverage efficiencies, and achieve savings in commissary operations.Read the full report