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Exchange awarded top international store design for rebranding

On Sept. 17, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service made history by revealing its new brand at Tinker AFB. Now several months later, the Retail Design Institute has recognized the Exchange for its fresh approach to the 115-year-old Exchange benefit with its Retail Design Legion of Honor award.

Working alongside Chute Gerdeman, a full-service retail branding and design firm, the Exchange received high honors in RDI's International Store Design. The Exchange took first place in the Large Format Specialty Stores category with Commanding General Maj. Gen. Bruce A. Casella, and Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Dr. Jim Skibo accepted the award on the Exchange's behalf.

The renovations at Tinker AFB began during the month of June, transforming the store into three major divisions — Home, Life, Style and Customer Service, which was relocated to the front of the store to provide expert service upon entry. The transformation now has been applied to the Exchange's tabloids, catalogs, exclusive brand packaging, the new interactive website —, and to fleet graphics.

"We recognized a need to update our brand in order to communicate to military shoppers that we are here, ready with a new shopping experience, providing them with everything they need to outfit their unique military lifestyle," Skibo said. "The new brand marks a fresh and bold approach to the Exchange benefit."

The award–winning branding elements are a model for future Exchange image upgrades and new construction projects.

The Legion of Honor award was presented at the Retail Design Institute's 40th International Store Design Awards presentation at Times Center in New York City.

RDI is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to the international profession of retail store planning and design. RDI promotes the advancement and collaborative practice of creating selling environments. RDI celebrates exceptional retail design projects from full-line department stores to manufacturer's showrooms.

Some of the past recipients of the International Store Design Award for Large Format Specialty Stores include West Marine located in Jacksonville, Fla., and REI located in Round Rock, Texas. more

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