Before Old Navy, there was the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM). Active-duty military personnel, reservists, retirees, and their family members can shop and gas up at more than 100 NEXCOM retail stores (brand-name and private-label merchandise ranging from apparel to home electronics), more than 155 NEXCOM Ships Stores (basic necessities), and its 100-plus Uniform Support Centers (the sole source of authorized uniforms). NEXCOM also runs about 40 Navy Lodges (motels) in the US and about half a dozen foreign countries. NEXCOM receives tax dollars for its shipboard stores, but it is otherwise self-supporting. Most of the profits fund morale, welfare, and recreational programs (MWR) for sailors.
In 2008 the government lifted restrictions on the types of items sold at the stores, allowing more expensive furniture, jewelry, and televisions. The move has helped the stores retain customers who'd been going elsewhere for a better selection of items. Consequently in a year when many retailers saw sales slump, NEXCOM retail stores saw sales increase by about 2% in 2009. Uniform sales also got a boost from the roll out of new Task Force Uniforms during the year. (Overall sales declined slightly from 2008 because of lower gas prices.) Net income exceeded $72 million in 2009, an increase of nearly 13% over the prior year. As a result, NEXCOM returned a $5.1 million dividend to the Navy's MWR fund.
In 2009 it partnered with Macy's to sell its private label merchandise (Charter Club, Style and Co., and other brands) in NEXCOM stores. Other national brands sold in NEXCOM stores include Victoria's Secret and Tommy Hilfiger apparel, and Martha Stewart home goods. Also in 2008 NEXCOM expanded its online shopping site to offer services such as flower delivery, gifts, and moving services.
A proposal made during the Bush Administration to merge NEXCOM with Army and Air Force Exchange Service and the Marine Corps Personnel Support service has been shelved. – less