We have received a multitude of feedback on the use of baggers in the commissary; some for and some against. Before customers had only two options: go through the regular lines or go through self-checkout. Both had their perks and detriments. Self-checkout can be slow unless you have only a few items. This is not an option for our shoppers buying for the whole family. The other drawback is shoppers going through the regular line have to publicly announce when they don’t want a bagger. There must be something better!
First, the fine print.
If you want a service, you get to pay for it. Our Agency’s operational budget is set by Congress and paid by taxpayers; so we have a responsibility to operate within that budget and act as good stewards of those funds by allocating them, based on need and customer demand.
Baggers are not DeCA employees but self-employed individuals who work under a license agreement with the installation commander and sign an agreement with your Store Director. Baggers have operated as independent workers simply because our budget cannot accommodate them on our payroll. As the saying goes, “it takes an Act of Congress” to change this. Before, store clerks have often done the bagging for customers as a curtesy only. Volunteers who worked for tips started to bag as grocery operations expanded but post-war cuts to funding limited the number of hired personnel.
Not to fear; we put our customer needs at the forefront of any changes.
A new pilot is placing baggerless lanes in the commissary. This is a pilot only and may or may not lead to permanent implementation. As with any new program, we will rely on both customers and employees to provide us with recommendations to enhance this service. We want to afford those patrons wishing to ‘bag their own’ that choice, while keeping the other options many customers expect, and prefer.
How about that?
Don’t like change? Go through the normal lines. Grabbing something quick? Go through self-checkout. Are you supershopper who can bag your own groceries while juggling flaming chainsaws with an infant strapped to your chest? Show us what supershoppers can do!