NORFOLK, VA, UNITED STATES
On Nov. 30, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Ships Store Program opened the first Micro Market@Sea onboard the USS San Antonio (LPD 19). Ship personnel will now have access to over 100 snack items with the potential to stay open 24 hours a day/seven days a week when operationally feasible.
“We are excited to open the first Micro Market@Sea onboard a U. S. Navy ship,” said Scott Gray, Vice President, NEXCOM’s Ships Store Program. “As a retired Master Chief, I know first-hand that a ship never sleeps and Sailors want to be able to purchase something to eat whenever they are awake and working, regardless of what time that may be. It’s great that afloat Sailors now have the chance to be able to do that in their Micro Market@Sea.”
The 75 square feet Micro Market@Sea is an operation that works on an ‘honor system’ as a self-service, self-checkout store. To checkout, Sailors insert their CAC cards, scan the items for purchase and pay with their Navy Cash Card. The Ships Store Program worked with the Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to develop a module within the USS San Antonio’s ships store software, ROM3, for the self-service check-out capability. In order to help deter theft and assist in monitoring, the store has a camera system set in place at checkout.
NEXCOM has plans to open other Micro Market@Sea locations in the future. “The USS San Antonio is the prototype for proof of concept to see if we could open and run a Micro Market on a ship,” said Gray. “With this location official open and running smoothly, we will begin looking at other ships that can support a Micro Market@Sea.”
Beyond Micro Market@Sea, NEXCOM has nearly 50 ashore Micro Markets. The first Micro Market opened at the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center in Mayport, Florida, in 2015. Since then, nearly 50 Micro Markets have opened on Navy bases in the continental United States, Bahrain and Guam.