Osan exchange gets fresh look
9/7/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- In response to customer feedback the Osan Army and Air Force Exchange Service is currently undergoing a branding and image upgrade.
The upgrade, which began in late August, is designed to give Osan's exchange a complete cosmetic overhaul as well as provide several new options for shoppers.
"With the upgrade we are a new exchange," said Candace Ford, Osan Exchange sales and merchandising manager. "AAFES made the changes to better serve the service members of Osan."
The main store of the exchange received a different floor plan, Ford said. The new layout not only makes the store look bigger but provides space room for more products.
"We really took customer comments seriously during the upgrade," said Ford. "Customers said they wanted a larger toy and clothing section, so we gave it to them."
Demographics and shopping trends also played a large part in the new layout, she said.
"We tried to take everyone into account when deciding on the changes," Ford said. "The exchange is open for all service members, retirees and dependents serving in Korea, and we want to make sure there is something for all of them."
The exchange will also offer a wider variety of cosmetics, sportswear and electronics. The food court will undergo renovations to make room for a Chinese style fast-food establishment and a smoothie bar.
"Our commitment to Osan is our number one priority," said Yi, Mi-Suk, Base Exchange store manager. "These changes are about improving quality of life and increasing quality to meet those needs."
The new look is designed to reflect what a customer would expect from any mall in America, said Gregory Porter, BX project manager.
Renaming the stores is also a part of the rebranding process. What is referred to as BX will now be "The Exchange" and the shoppette will be called "Express."
With any new remodeling process, certain sections of the main exchange will be closed off for renovations, but none of the stores will fully close. Completion is scheduled for mid-November, to be followed by a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony later in the month.
"We apologize for the construction and mess, but we feel in the long run our customers will benefit from it," Ford said. "People already seem to have positive comments about the changes."
Osan is the first base in Pacific Air Forces to receive the upgrade. Tinker Air Force Base was the first base in the Air Force to receive the upgrade in 2010.