Concerns regarding the commissary hours of operation was a topic of discussion during the annual Army Family Action Plan conference earlier this month.
The main concern is that the commissary opens too late each day and closes too early on Sundays. The White Sands Missile Range Army Community Service is conducting a survey to get more input from the community regarding the store hours.
“We have to do a survey to get public input. The survey is asking for ideas from family members about what they think are more convenient store hours,” said ACS Director Patsy Gomez.
She said they are also trying to inform the community that the commissary can only be open a set number of hours.
AFAP Issue #15-4 addressed the community concerns that the commissary hours are challenging since there are no other shopping options nearby. The nearest grocery store is about 35 miles away. The Post Exchange is the only other location on post to shop, but it has a limited selection and often items cost more.
Possible solutions include early shopping hours allowing 10 items or less and self checkout. In addition, employees would not be at the deli, meat, or produce departments until regular hours. The early shopping hours would begin at 8 a.m. on weekdays and one hour earlier on weekends. Sunday hours would be extended until 5 p.m.
According to Earl Bailey, commissary manager, the store hours can be changed with certain restrictions.
“The Garrison will make the decision. They will draft a new schedule not to exceed what is authorized, which is 46 hours a week,” Bailey said.
If the Sunday work day is extended, for example, hours during the week will be cut to remain at the 46 hour weekly maximum.
“Those hours can be rearranged to an extent as long as there are no additional costs to the agency,” Bailey said.
If the Garrison decides to change the commissary hours, the new schedule would have to be approved by the Defense Commissary Agency before any changes can occur.
To participate in the survey, visit the ACS Facebook page. The deadline to turn in the survey is Dec. 19.