March 3, 2005, 12:00 AM

The Online PX builds on its stores and catalog to promote web sales

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is promoting the site through bag stuffers, an in-store radio network broadcast to 660 PXes, an in-store TV network, 15 product catalogs and supplements, and advertising in weekly PX sales tabloids.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which operates PXes in military bases as well as AAFES.com, is leveraging its multi-channel presence to promote the web site, Mike Westphal, senior vice president of marketing, tells Internet Retailer.

AAFES is promoting the site through bag stuffers at checkout, over an in-store radio network broadcast to 660 PXes around the globe, through an in-store television network, in the 15 product catalogs and supplements that are mailed annually to members and via advertising in weekly PX sales tabloids.

In addition, it recently sent a free copy of its 600-page catalog, which normally sells for $5, to customers who have not placed an online or catalog order for at least 18 months. “We’re refreshing their memory about the business,” Westphal says.

“The Exchange Online Store is a quiet success and is continuing to grow by finding new ways to promote the site to members and educating them on how to buy online,” says Jim Okamura, Chicago-based senior partner with retail consultants J.C. Williams Group.

The Exchange Online Store in 2004 generated $126 million in sales, up 10% from 2003 and 67% greater than 2002. The web accounted for only 1.6% of the AAFES’s annual revenue of $7.9 billion last year.

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