AAFES bracing for post-Christmas rush
December 24, 2003
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are preparing for the rush of U.S. military base residents expected to flock to Pacific stores Friday for after-Christmas deals or holiday gift returns.
Base exchanges in Japan and South Korea are expected to offer individualized sales and expedited refund and exchange areas.
“We’re going to be setting up some rapid-refund desks so folks won’t have to stand in line so long,” AAFES regional spokeswoman Sgt. 1st Class Amanda Glenn said Monday from Okinawa.
Customers anticipating returns should have tags and receipts whenever possible, she said.
“We can do refunds without a receipt, but don’t cut the tags off,” she said.
Customers with receipts and tags still on returns will be able to exchange items or get refunds faster, she said.
Those with receipts will either receive a cash refund or credit-card credit.
Customers without receipts will generally receive “merchandise cards” equal in value to the sale price of returned items, acting general manager Ken Limtiaco of the Yokota Air Base, Japan, exchange said Monday.
The Yokota store will have “extra stations” for refunds and exchanges, but he expects most patrons will be looking for after-Christmas deals, he said.
Friday’s sales will “depend on what’s left over,” he said, adding holiday items likely will be on sale from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the store’s regular Friday business hours.
Other stores also will have “a large after-Christmas sale,” Glenn said.
Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, exchange acting store manager Gloria Cho said she expects her store will be very busy Friday.
“It’s always busy on the 26th,” she said. “All managers will be on stand-by to help move people as smoothly as possible.”
Like other stores, Yongsan will have additional refund and exchange areas set up as the store returns to its normal Friday hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., she said.
While sales are planned for Friday, AAFES officials were quick Monday to point out there’s still time to buy Christmas gifts.
Limtiaco said he hopes to entice patrons Christmas eve with unannounced specials throughout the day. His store will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At Yongsan’s exchange, managers are planning their “Last Minute Santa Sale” from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and a Christmas Eve sale Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Christmas Eve, we’ll have free gifts for the first 100 customers,” Cho said.