Commander’s Action Line

I would like to complain about the recent bazaar hosted by the Army Air Force and Exchange Services inside the Community Center in Ramstein. I felt that all the items being sold were much too expensive and were not really geared toward meeting the needs of the military community.
In the past, Morale, Welfare and Recreation had hosted the bazaars and the items were less expensive and much more interesting. When I asked a vendor why their prices had gone up, they told me that they were forced to pay AAFES 20 percent of their sales whereas, when MWR was hosting the bazaars, they only had to pay 10 percent.
In order to keep the cost down for our military, I recommend all the bazaars be hosted by MWR instead of AAFES.

The recent bazaar at the Ramstein Community Center was a joint venture between AAFES and Services. All concession contracts were written so that 20 percent of total sales would be split equally between AAFES and Services. This percentage is the same as AAFES charges in its mall throughout the year and is consistent with the civilian sector and other AAFES operations worldwide.
In fact, AAFES contracts require concessionaires to offer price savings compared to the local civilian market, and if a customer finds items not competitively priced, AAFES does additional analysis and adjusts prices accordingly. Services normally writes concession contracts using 16 percent of sales.
This bazaar has been conducted for several years as a joint venture, and it gives the community another opportunity to purchase local and regional favorites directly from the vendors.
The prices were similar to those seen in previous years. However, those items normally priced in EUR were more expensive when converted to dollars using today’s exchange rate, which results in an additional average price increase of seven percent so far this year. 
It’s important to note that AAFES declares its proceeds into overall earnings, which then go toward MWR dividends. Services earnings, along with AAFES dividends are returned to the community in the form of maintaining and improving equipment, activities and programs for authorized family members living and working in the KMC.