Budget cuts could mean closure of stores

Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 03:41 PM.

“What I can say is that the Secretary of Defense has made it clear that all options for cost cutting are on the table in order to meet the budget caps associated with the Budget Control Act of 2011,” Urban said. “We need to find ways to save money in order to meet the cost savings reductions that are required by law, so we have to look at wide variety of programs in order to save money.”

Rick Brink, a spokesman for the Defense Commissary Agency, said nothing official has come out about any closure of stateside commissaries.

Brink said Cherry Point’s commissary is one of 245 that the agency manages worldwide. There are 169 in the country, not including Alaska and Hawaii.

Brink said the Cherry Point commissary has about 65 employees, most of whom are part time, as well as baggers and contract workers for a total employment of about 100. The store does about $21 million in annual sales.

Operation of the commissaries is an appropriated fund activity, Brink said, with an annual appropriation from the government of about $1.4 billion.

That means savings for military personnel and their families of about 30 percent, Brink said.

“It’s a benefit,” he said. “By offering that to the military, it’s part of their pay and compensation package. By buying lower-cost groceries, that’s money that they can spend for other things. It’s a quality-of-life benefit.”

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