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The delivery truck pulled into the Bamberg, Germany, commissary around noon Monday with 1,455 cases of goods, far more than the regular supply run.

“Whenever the case lot sale hits, there are usually lines at the door,” said David Mitzner, the store director.

For customers in Europe, this coming weekend marks the beginning of the Defense Commissary Agency’s annual autumn case lot sale. A similar sale is held every spring, too. All but a handful of commissaries will hold their sale on or near the last weekend of the month.

Bamberg pushed its date up two weeks due to an exercise later this month, Mitzner said. Aviano Air Base, Italy, also holds its commissary case lot sale this weekend.

“The case lot sales are good for the customers,” Mitzner said.

Savings this time around will range from 21 percent to 64 percent, according to Steve Armbruster, chief of marketing for DeCA-Europe. That discount applies to 67 line items, ranging from diapers and paper towels to boxed fruit juices and cleaning solutions. The number of items is down from the spring sale, when 93 different products were offered.

“We’ve taken a hard look at the list and trimmed it down,” Armbruster said.

Still, there will be a lot of products to peddle.

Across the theater stores are divvying up 94,000 cases of items that have a sales value of about $800,000, Armbruster said.

Typically, commissaries move about 60 percent of the discounted goods shipped in for the semiannual sale. Armbruster said the goal this time around is 80 percent, based on the pared-down product list.

“We want to bring it in and sell it” on the sale weekend, Armbruster said. “If we can do that we all win.”

Each commissary handles its case lot sales differently. At the Vogelweh commissary in Kaiserslautern, for example, shoppers can actually drive into a big white tent, place their order, pay and load. Others offer food and music.

“The stores,” Armbruster said, “kind of drive that business, in terms of outdoor activities.”

Local commissaries will have more information about their own case lot sale.

When and where to save big

Places and dates for 2007 fall case lot sales:

Sept. 14-15: Bamberg

Sept. 15-16: Aviano Air Base

Sept. 21-22: Hohenfels

Sept. 27-28: Kelley Barracks, Panzer Casern

Sept. 28-30: Cairo

Sept. 28-29: Croughton, Dexheim, Fairford, Garmisch, Grafenwöhr, Idar Oberstein, Illesheim, Lajes, Livorno, Menwith Hill, Mildenhall, Neubruecke, Spangdahlem Air Base

Sept. 29-30: Alconbury, Ankara, Ansbach, Baumholder, Bitburg, Chievres Air Base, Darmstadt, Hanau, Heidelberg, Incirlik Air Base, Izmir, Lakenheath, Mannheim, Naples NSA, Patch Barracks, Ramstein Air Base, Riyadh, Rota, Schinnen, Schweinfurt, Sembach, Sigonella, Vicenza, Vilseck, Vogelweh, Wiesbaden

No case lot sale scheduled: Würzburg

Source: DeCA

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