Military exchanges team up with Home Depot to sell, deliver appliances

By J.M. Simpson on October 28, 2022

Shopping for that new refrigerator, washer or dryer may come with a few more options, to include improved delivery and installation services, through a new partnership between Home Depot and military exchange officials according to a story by Military Times.

According to Karen Cardin, chief merchandising officer for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), the goal is to launch this added feature, which also includes the Navy Exchange (NEX), in 2023.

"We wanted to make sure we do best-in-class service for our military families," commented Cardin at the annual convention of the American Logistics Association. "One place we weren't able to do that as we wanted to was in our major appliances; that big difference was in the delivery - we couldn't get the delivery to acceptable levels."

Along with the plan to improve delivery service, Cardin said that AAFES, NEX and other members of the Joint Buying Alliance have been working to find ways to offer better pricing for military customers.

Created in 2019, the alliance is an outgrowth of a number of cooperative efforts among the commissaries and exchanges of all military branches. The initial Home Depot partnership is with AAFES and NEX.

The partnership kicks off with shoppers at Home Depot will be able to get a discount while making tax-free purchases. The orders for major appliances in store or online will be filled by Home Depot, and it will handle delivery and installation.

"Our retail agreement with the AAFES and NEX will provide exchange shoppers access to our expansive assortment of laundry and kitchen appliances, increasing value and convenience for these customers," said Mark Kaasa, Home Depot's merchandising vice president for appliances in a statement to Military Times. "We're looking forward to the launch of the partnership in early 2023."

Cardin agreed, adding that she thinks the agreement between Home Depot and AAFES will provide better service to military customers.

"We wouldn't do this unless the patron was getting better service and savings," Rich Honiball, NEX's chief merchandising and marketing officer told Military Times.

"Home Depot is a very strong company, and they are very veteran-driven, and it is a best-in-class retailer which has very strong relationships with the same brands that we do business with. They are better at executing; they have better resources to be able to execute."

Currently, Home Depot offers a general 10% discount to military and veterans, up to $400 per year, but this discount does not apply to appliances, according to the Home Depot website.

"This is a win-win," concluded Cardin, "and that is most important for our patrons."