The Evolution Of Army Navy Stores

There is a traditional image of the Army Navy Store as a seller of camping gear, portable gas powered stoves and the like. But an interesting transformation is taking place with some of these stores. The transformation is especially noteworthy with many of the changes that have taken place at Bills Army Navy Store in Short Hills, NJ.

Originally founded as the “typical” Army Navy Store, Bills Outdoors Army Navy Store has taken on an entirely new dimension with an interesting, innovative inventory and a very diverse selection of products. Owner Lee Lucas brings a commitment to the New Jersey market that has led the way with many innovative and useful products.

With kayaks, outerwear and thermal underwear, shoppers find many of the “staple” items they have come to expect. But then, there is the unexpected. A good case in point is the trendy Vibram footwear that has created so much buzz in recent years. Designed specifically for natural running, the Vibram FiveFingers running shoes, for example, offer a near-barefoot experience and a custom, snug fit thanks to a quick-lace system.

Product innovation goes even further with Lee Lucas, though. He has transformed the store into everything from a complete back to school “one stop shop” to a showplace for gear and clothing that would not normally be expected.

So, why all of the innovation?

Bills Outdoors Army Navy Store was actually the second location with the first Irvington. Lee Lucas bought the Irvington business, named Bills Army Navy, and from a guy named Bill, who was moving out of the area. Not wanting to confuse and distract people from what was already a well-known name, Bills Army Navy of Millburn was established in 1971.

After the original owner retired, as if by default, Lee Lucas became known as Bill almost overnight. Mr. Lucas was determined not to loose the business’s identity a second time. so he set out to tell everyone that his name is actually Lee, but the name “Bill” seemed to stay in everyone’s mind.

With a well-known reputation for customer service and satisfaction, Mr. Lucas felt there was a good opportunity to demonstrate some major innovation beyond the typical Army Navy Store retail business model.

Want to learn more about this unique store? Visit or call 973-467-0086.

Learn more about The New Type Of Army Navy Store. Stop by this interesting site and see the fascinating product selection.