The convenience top 101

Highlight:

The Largest Retailer You've Never Heard Of

With 3,100 locations, this retailer has more stores than any Top 101 operator not named 7-Eleven or Couche-Tard. It operates in all 50 states, five U.S. territories and 30 countries—and has been around for more than 100 years.

So why isn’t this retailer a household name? Simple: the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is a joint military enterprise, catering exclusively to the men and women who serve this country. Active duty, guard and reserve members, military retirees and their families can shop the exchange—which operates online stores in addition to brick-and-mortar locations—for an average of 20% less than goods cost on the open market. Profits from this venture are invested in maintaining existing locations and developing new locations, and supplementing the military’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation/Services programs.

Here are some fun facts from CSPedia about this retailer with a cause:

▶ The motto of AAFES is “We Go Where You Go”—which holds true, because the exchange frequently operates stores in war zones.

▶ In 2009, the exchange contributed more than $260 million to Morale, Welfare and Recreation/Services programs.

▶ In 2011, AAFES reported approximately $8.2 billion in sales.