SAN DIEGO - Sailors from USS Boxer’s (LHD 4) ship sales division participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the re-opening of the ship store, Oct. 31.
The ship’s store had been closed for renovations and re-branding for several days while the process was completed.
Gene F. Hoffman, the associate director of the merchandising branch for the Navy Exchange, flew in from Virginia Beach, Virginia with a team to help Boxer accomplish this mission.
“We’re branding the ships store,” said Hoffman. “There are two elements to that: the first element is the visual. We’re putting blue trim around the perimeter of the store, and we’re putting ‘Your Ship, Your Store’ with the ship’s logo to keep the identity of the ship. We’re giving it a professional look.”
Along with re-branding, a heritage wall displaying the Boxer motto and a large photograph of Sailors and Marines was added.
“The second part is the merchandising,” said Hoffman. “Where the Navy Exchange Service Command along with civilians from the local Navy Exchange, come aboard your ship and prepare a layout of where certain merchandise is supposed to be placed. We also teach the ship’s store personnel proper retail merchandising techniques.”
According to Hoffman, Boxer is the second LHD to receive the re-branding. The Navy Exchange started this project in 2013 and is making this change fleet wide.
“I hope Boxer Sailors are impressed with the store and I hope that when they go inside the store they have that wow factor,” said Hoffman. “We hope that it brings in more sailors to do more shopping during the week. From the eleven other ships that have had this done we found that sales have increased 30-70%.”
Master Chief Ship’s Serviceman Alex Payumo, the leading chief petty officer of Boxer’s sales division, said he was happy with the results.
“I feel great about the whole process. They came in with a very friendly attitude,” said Payumo. “I welcome the change and my guys know that it is for the better, so we embrace the change. I know that these experts have put in a lot of time and effort in developing the design, lay-out and the manual for stocking. They left with a good feeling that they contributed and we feel the same way and we are here to maintain what they’ve taught us.”
Ships Serviceman 3rd Class Shamir Sellers Brown, who works with The Navy Exchange Command fleet assist team from Naval Supply Fleet Logistics Center San Diego, was part of the team re-merchandising the store.
“We are the assist for everything [sales division] related; sales, technical support, and anything else that the ship may need,” said Sellers Brown. “We come on board and help them. Merchandising is one of the things that we do.”
Payumo hopes that the results will be enjoyed by everyone.
“Quality of life is one of the commanding officer’s priorities and this definitely brings pride to Boxer Sailors,” said Payumo. “They can now brag that they have best looking ship’s store in the fleet.”