Commissary officials are hoping they can increase the number of military spouses and family members coming to their stores with their new online shopping program being tested at three stores for the next year.
"Given the average age of our military member is 28 and military members are technically savvy ... for commissaries, the market is definitely there for potential sales and increased accessibility for our patrons," Rick Brinks, a commissary spokesman told me yesterday.
He's talking about you, SpouseBuzz reader. And he's talking about me.
I have two kids in car seats. Both of them require me to unbuckle them and load them into one of those "car" shopping carts that keep kids happy but don't have enough room for your groceries. It's not exactly a vacation.
On the one hand, I am so controlling over my grocery shopping that I refuse to let my husband do it for me, even though he works down the street from the store and I have to drive 15 minutes to get there. He never picks exactly the item I want and he always buys extra cookies we don't need.
On the other hand, getting those kids out of the car, into the cart, through the store without tearing anything off the shelves, through check out, back outside and back into the car is ... well ... not so fun.
If I could trust someone to do the shopping for me, grab the products I actually want and not throw in bonus Oreos in the process, I'd do it.
The commissary folks are hoping that you are just like me. They are hoping that, for whatever reason, you are willing to trust someone else to do the work.
And they are hoping that you will be willing to pay for the privilege.
While the commissary is not charging for the pilot program at any of the stores they are using for their year-long pilot program, they are not ruling out doing so later. Instead they said "DeCA may charge a service fee after test results have been evaluated. Any service fee will be based on market rates for similar services."
So what's the "market rate?" Around $5. And because the commissary's program is being conducted by store employees, not baggers, you would not be allowed to tip.
The real question, then, is whether or not I (or you) would be willing to pay around $5 to NOT go into the commissary but still get most of your groceries.
What do you think?