We pretty much take stores for granted. Just run to the mall or the outlets. But some stores, and some shoppers-- our military and military retirees--are different. This Friday, a new post exchange, or PX, opens at Fort Stewart. General manager Floyd Wynn wants everything to be just right when the new PX opens its doors to the public. He says it's better than the old one in every way.
"It's double the size of the current PX, it's got 40 percent more product selection of what customers saw at the old PX," he said.
The bigger store means 80 more civilian jobs to serve the customers. The new exchange will mean better service to the 18,000 soldiers at Fort Stewart and Hunter, their families, and an estimated 30,000 military retirees in the Coastal Empire.
Customers get tax-free shopping. But the exchange puts half its profits back into the post's morale comforts, like swimming pools. Last year, that totaled $1.3 million. Specialty shops will offer everything from uniforms to haircuts under one roof.
"It's a big convenience to know you can get off work and run in and get what you need," said Third ID soldier Capt. Jennifer Reed.
While you might not consider a food court a military necessity, Wynn says the new center helps improve the quality of life for soldiers. And a new store's opening is the perfect way to help welcome the division back home.
The post exchange grand opening is Friday morning at 8:50am. Wynn says they hope to use the old building to develop more specialty stores next year.