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NEWS | Jan. 15, 2008

Empty spots on commissary shelves beginning to refill

By Nancy O'Nell Defense Commissary Agency

Commissaries in Texas and New Mexico are experiencing a temporary shortage on select products during January, stemming from the closing of Sterling Downey Sales Company.

Sterling Downey was a distributor of national brand products for military commissaries. The company closed Jan. 1.

GSC Enterprises Inc., a distributor that has served commissaries for 10 years, purchased the remaining Sterling Downey inventory and is working with national brand manufacturers to get the required product levels back into the commissary supply channel.

"While this has regrettably inconvenienced our customers, things are getting better every day," said Mike Mena, manager of the Lackland Commissary. "The commissary staff is restocking our shelves as quickly as the products arrive to ensure our shoppers have what they need, when they need it."

According to frequent Lackland Commissary shopper Doris Walker, the shortage has had little impact on her grocery shopping.

By the time she made it to Aisle 5, the only item she hadn't been able to put in her cart was a three-pack of facial tissues. However, her favored brand was still available in single boxes.

Mr. Mena said the shelves should be fully stocked and the "out of stock" signs removed within a few weeks.