GROTON, Conn. – Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London welcomed a Navy Exchange (NEX) Micro Market, and its offer of easy access and self-checkout, inside one of the barracks on base, May 14.
The Micro Market is a self-service, self-checkout store that offers an array of fresh food, healthy snacks and beverages at a convenient location. They are strategically placed in areas with a large number of possible customers and where those customers may have limited product options. Fulton Hall barracks with its large Naval Submarine Scholl resident population and its limited vending machine offerings was the perfect inaugural Micro Market location on SUABSE New London.
“SUBASE (New London) fits the demographics we look for when placing a Micro Market,” said Donald Wild, southeast district manager at Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM). “They have at least 300 people in the building where there’s a high demand. Access to food is limited, and it’s a bit of an inconvenience for them to go to the store or to get food delivered on base.”
Self-checkout and self-service stores are nothing new, and the NEX is following the trend. The SUBASE New London Fulton Hall location is the 50th Micro Market across the Navy. NEXCOM started the initiative years ago and plans to continue its growth.
“Our first Micro Market started at Naval Station Mayport,” said Wild. “That location opened six years ago. We’ve since renovated those locations and branched out. I’ve toured all over the world to find potential Micro Market spots that had a command demand.”
The Fulton Hall Micro Market is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week and takes both cash and credit card payments. While unmanned, the market has a team who is in charge of restocking the store as needed for optimal Sailor convenience.
“Sailors have the opportunity to come in and pick up a snack at any time they want no matter what they’ve got going on,” said David Lewis, general manager at Navy Exchange Service Command. “This allows them to be taken care of anytime they need.”
The Micro Market also allows the young Submarine School patrons in Fulton Hall to apply the Navy’s core value of honor according to SUBASE New London Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Moore.
“The Micro Market is such a great opportunity for these young Sailors,” said Moore. “Easy access to food and snacks to fuel the mind and body, and a great chance to practice and exercise trust and integrity when no one is watching.”
As the Fulton Hall Micro Market catches on, Moore hopes use and interest will spur further demand on the base. He looks forward to NEX demographics leading to the addition of another Micro Market on the base waterfront and its ease of access for Sailors assigned to submarines.