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Exchange micro markets bring self-serve convenience to military communities

Micro markets offer more varied products than traditional vending machines. Photo credit: Army & Air Force Exchange Service

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DALLAS - Service members can fuel up with better-for-you meals and snacks while staying close to their workplace at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's nearly 150 micro markets.

Fully automated and contactless, the self-serve markets are positioned near soldiers, airmen, guardians and Department of Defense civilians working unusual hours or in high-traffic or out-of-the-way areas. Exchange micro markets can be found throughout the continental United States as well as one location at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Germany.

"Contactless shopping options are in demand, and the Exchange is excited to offer more self-service convenience for the military communities we are honored to serve," said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. "Micro markets strengthen the Exchange's longstanding commitment to ‘go where you go' to support mission readiness and resiliency."

First introduced in 2014, micro markets are a fast-growing segment with 46 new locations opened in 2021. About 45 additional micro markets are planned to open throughout the continental United States in 2022.

Offerings vary by location, with most offering fresh salads, fruit and other sustenance options that support a BE FIT lifestyle. Select locations also offer over-the-counter medicines, personal hygiene items and other sundries.

Micro markets offer a more varied product assortment compared with traditional vending machines. With micro markets, items can be displayed similarly to a traditional convenience store, only with a self-checkout system for contactless convenience. Micro markets at Fort Campbell, Fort Hood and Scott Air Force Base now also accept the MILITARY STAR® card as the Exchange continues to expand this program.

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