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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Jan. 17, 2014


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

The spending bill impacts on military resale:

The good news is that the budget process in Washington to returning to some sort of coherency after a long winter of gridlock and chaos. The bad news is that while more stable, the overall funding levels are lower and the heat remains on the resale system.

In December, the House and Senate agreed to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. This established topline-funding caps for government defense and non-defense accounts through 2015 and provided guidelines for two years of agreed budget levels. It set the baseline for DoD budgets for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 at roughly $497 billion, which is the current allocation for 2013. While it is not an increase, the Budget agreement levels avoid much of the significant decreases of the sequester for fiscal year 2014 (which runs from Oct. 1, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2014).

The Defense Authorizing Committees have passed their bills, establishing policy but setting funding levels far above the agreed-to budget levels. And, the Defense Authorizing Committees funded commissary operations and exchange support funding for fiscal year 2014. But, while funds can be authorized, funds have to be appropriated.

Here's where the funding rubber meets the road in the form of an agreement this week in the appropriations committees. Now that the topline budget levels were set, the appropriations committees could finally go about their business of setting and releasing outlays for fiscal year 2014. The Budget Agreement set a deadline of Jan. 15 for the appropriators to act. They didn't make that date so Congress passed a short-term extension (3 days) to allow the full Senate and House to approve the Appropriations Committee's work. The House approved it January 16th and the Senate is expected to pass it Jan. 17 or Jan. 18.

These appropriations bills allocate $572 billion to DoD, $487.6 billion to the base budget and $85 billion for wars and other overseas contingencies. Operating accounts (which fund DeCA and exchange base and transportation support) took a hit with O & M funding set at $159.9 billion, nearly $14 billion less than the 2013 level.


The appropriations bill provides additional stability for the Department of Defense and diminishes the possibility that we will experience the disruptions to commissary operations that occurred this past fall that included furloughs and commissary closures. However, it does not rule out furloughs for fiscal year 2014 as DoD is still operating in a severe funding crunch.

The fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill cut DeCA $46 million for "program decreases." The amount that DoD had requested for commissaries was $1,412,510,000. The appropriations bill provides $1,365,896,000.

The next hurdle to stability in DeCA funding is action on the fiscal year 2015 Defense budget that will be submitted in late February or early March. The late submission of the budget (usually submitted in January) is due to a major budget-driven retooling of the Department of Defense resulting from several reviews last year including the Strategic Choices and Management Review that was directed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The overall budget agreement restored much of the fiscal year 2014 DoD funding shortfalls set under the sequester but did not provide much relief for fiscal year 2015. So, DoD still must wrestle with significant shortfalls for 2015.

This sets the stage for the most critical period for DeCA and exchange appropriated funding in its history. We have been reporting on ill-advised proposals circulating within DoD for major policy changes with regard to commissaries ranging from cutting transportation funding to closing stateside commissaries altogether and on proposals to limit and curtail exchange appropriated fund support. Commissary and exchange employees and their industry partners continue to perform and deliver the benefit during these budget roller coaster times. They continue to reduce costs across the board to assist DoD in its efficiency effort. But, this success should not be punished by cuts that are way out of proportion with other defense program, run counter to the president's commitment to keep commissaries open and should not move out ahead of the DoD's, the president's and the Congress's commission to examine all elements of the military pay and compensation package.

While we have weathered consistent budget challenges to the system, we are ramping up our efforts to ensure commissary and exchange funding remains stable during this critical fiscal year 2015 period to educate defense policy makers and shore up Congressional support for these vital programs.


Armed services chairman to retire
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via Military.com, Donna Cassata
After 11 terms, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon has decided to retire. McKeon has represented a district in California that includes major defense contractors.

Coveted House gavel now up for grabs
Read the Full Story
The Hill, Jeremy Herb
Defense industry officials say a three-way race could emerge to succeed Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., as chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee.

Omnibus spending bill calls for $93 billion for Pentagon procurement
Read the Full Story
Defense News, John T. Bennett
Congressional appropriators recently unveiled a massive federal spending bill that includes a full 2014 Pentagon appropriations measure that would provide nearly $93 billion to buy new weapons.

Advocates: COLA fixes miss the mark
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Patricia Kime
The massive omnibus spending bill unveiled by congressional appropriators includes restoration of the full annual cost of living adjustment for medically retired service members and eligible survivors.

Possible commissary closings stateside: Another broken promise
Read the Full Story
BusinessWire, Candace Wheeler
The American Military Society has joined The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits to help protect commissary and exchange benefits. The Coalition now represents nearly 2 million service members, veterans and their families.

Congressman Wittman speaks our in support of the military resale benefits:

http://youtu.be/3HWSrOwCIhE


Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association






WASHINGTON UPDATE


Congress readies 3-day CR — full defense bill is complete
Defense News
Congressional appropriators have completed a full 2014 Pentagon spending bill that will be part of a massive government appropriations measure, sources say. That omnibus measure, however, won't pass before a Jan. 15 deadline, forcing lawmakers to first adopt a three-day stopgap funding measure.
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Pentagon seeks to protect R&D funding in 2015 budget
Defense News
Senior Pentagon leaders are trying to protect vulnerable research and development funding in the fiscal 2015 budget plan, despite desires within the military services to put money toward other near-term initiatives, according to Defense Department officials and sources.
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South Korea, US reach deal on sharing defense cost
Yonhap News
After months of tough negotiations, South Korea has agreed to pay 920 billion won ($866 million) to the United States this year in their latest deal on sharing the cost of keeping American troops here, the foreign ministry said. The figure represents a 5.8 percent increase from 869.5 billion won that Seoul paid in 2013 under a previous Special Measures Agreement, according to the ministry.
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS


Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., Jan. 16, 2014.

PROMOTIONS
DP #5, Alaska Shipper & Promotion Quantities.
Canning, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Easter, Update #1.
Easter Hams Promotion Package.
Fathers Day Promotion Package.
Suncare, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Winter Club Pack CONUS March Quantities and Update #1.

NOTICES TO TRADE
14-12, Store Rest Dates – Patrick AFB (Corrected Copy).
14-14, DeCA Summit Meeting with FDS Distributors on Delivery Frequency.
14-16, Store Reset Dates – Ft. Campbell.

MISCELLANEOUS
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-03.
CRV Values, January 12, 2014.
New Items Activated in CAO, Zone 28 Test, January 11, 2014.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
March 5-7, 2014: 2014 Exchange Roundtable at Marriott Norfolk Waterside, Norfolk, Va. Registration is open.
April 30, 2014: 2014 DeCA/ALA Appreciation Day Golf, Ft. Lee, Va.
May 1 & 2, 2014: 2014 ALA Commissary Roundtable at Richmond Marriott, Richmond, Va.





COMMISSARY NEWS


Does the Commissary REALLY save you 30.5 percent?
Military.com
A new study conducted by the Defense Commissary Agency found that shoppers save an average of 30.5 percent when using the commissary instead of other grocery sources. The study compared the prices of 37,000 products with UPC symbols at 30 randomly selected stateside commissary stores with prices at surrounding grocers — both traditional ones like Safeway or Publix and non-traditional ones like Sam's Club or Dollar General. They found that, on average, those items were 30.5 percent cheaper at the commissary during the study period.
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New price study validates commissary's 30 percent savings
Noodls
Commissary savings are now being measured against a wider range of retailers that sell groceries, and the comparison confirms the value of the benefit, according to the Defense Commissary Agency's 2013 price comparison study. For the first time, the expanded comparison survey allowed DeCA to look beyond traditional grocery stores to include price comparisons with club stores, drug stores, dollar stores and the discount department stores.
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Rep. Wittman praises commissary program, doesn't mention the system being subsidized under the food stamp program
GroundReport
On Jan. 10, Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for one minute to praise the military commissary system. "Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my support for the military exchange and commissary program."
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Do online grocers beat supermarkets?
The Wall Street Journal
The idea of buying groceries online has been around as long as the Internet, but who would ever do it? Limited selection, high cost and inconvenient delivery timing has kept it a niche business in mostly urban areas. But now online groceries are starting to make sense for the rest of us and, thanks to growing competition, they can even save you money.
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Ahold USA marks 120th pickup point
Drug Store News
Ahold USA has opened 120 pickup points for online orders as of the end of 2013, the supermarket operator recently said. Ahold, which hopes to triple its online food sales by 2016, said the opening of pickup points in the United States and Europe would be an important part of reaching that goal.
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Flat shelf utility cart
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as a 100 percent small business set-aside for flat shelf utility carts. This equipment will be used by Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the continental United States and overseas locations. However, for overseas stores, except Hawaii, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port.
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SPONSORED CONTENT
Business reviews now available on the ALA Business Resource
MultiView
Nearly 7 out of 10 people read online reviews before making a purchase, and in the business-to-business world, reviews are even more important in the decision-making process. To help in your purchasing decisions, we are pleased to announce that we've now incorporated business reviews into our ALA Business Resource. Now you have the opportunity to share your experiences with a company's products or services with your fellow colleagues, or read what others have to say about a potential future vendor. Visit the ALA Business Resource to search for qualified product and service providers and write a review.


COLA fixes miss the mark
Navy Times
The massive omnibus spending bill recently unveiled by congressional appropriators includes restoration of the full annual cost of living adjustment for medically retired service members and eligible survivors. The provision preserves annual increases in military retirement pay for those with service connected injuries or illnesses deemed serious enough to warrant retirement as well as those who receive annuity payments under the Survivor Benefit Plan.
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Lawn maintenance services
Federal Business Opportunities
Lawn service at Oceana NAS Commissary in Virginia. The Period of Performance will be for a base period of March 1, 2014 through Feb. 28, 2015 and will include four 1-year option periods that may extend performance through Feb. 28, 2019. This Request for Quote will be issued on/or about Jan. 15, 2014 with a tentative closing date of Jan. 29, 2014. This acquisition is being issued on a 100 percent Small Business Set-Aside basis.
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Counter-top pressure-less steamers
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as unrestricted. The solicitation is for four counter-top pressure-less steamers to be delivered to three Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and one commissary located in Hawaii. The contractor will be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to Hawaii. A purchase order is contemplated.
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Are GMOs worth the risk?
By Lauren Swan
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in our food supply has been a hot topic in the U.S. for the past several years, reaching its peak with the passing of The Farmer Assurance Provision. Many Americans, regardless of ethnicity or political party, want foods containing GMOs to be labeled. Meanwhile, barely more than a third of Americans believe GMOs are safe to eat, regardless of labeling. Many people are eager to have a say in GMOs, however it seems not many are truly aware of the repercussions GMOs can have on their bodies.
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Starbucks pushes further into grocery with Seattle's Best revamp
Bloomberg Businessweek
Starbucks Corp.'s Seattle's Best brand is adding new packaged coffee varieties with revamped bag designs as it focuses on boosting sales at grocery stores. Seattle's Best this year will sell house and breakfast blends of packaged coffees, replacing its levels one and two varieties, after the lighter roasts and number ranking system didn't resonate with all customers.
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Shoppers buy less than 1 percent of available products
Progressive Grocer
Consumers are highly selective regarding CPG purchases, buying on average less than one percent of products available on grocery shelves during a one-year period, according to "Engaging the Selective Shopper," a new study conducted by digital media company Catalina.
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5 mistakes people make at the grocery store
The Huffington Post
What do root canals, pelvic exams, filing taxes, car repairs and grocery shopping have in common? Absolutely nothing, except they are all life activities that some despise with the intensity of a thousand white-hot suns. Distain for this household chore is not uncommon. Many people feel overwhelmed and anxious when faced with a warehouse full of food. Part of the reason this necessary evil is difficult is that many of us make a few big mistakes when it comes to shopping for our food.
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Blueberry demand on the rise in US
Grocery Headquarters
New research from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council shows Americans are nearly twice as likely as they were nine years ago to buy blueberries in the coming year, and the number of households saying they've purchased blueberries within the past month (69 percent) has nearly doubled since 2008.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New price study validates commissary's 30 percent savings (Defense Commissary Agency)
Top 10 of 2013: Macy’s to close six locations, open nine others (Chain Store Age)
Sandwich, sushi prep tables and grab-n-go merchandisers (Federal Business Opportunities)
Top 10 of 2013: Dunkin’ Donuts to open 330 to 360 stores in 2013; expand into California
(Chain Store Age)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
New Year, new trends
Progressive Grocer
Customization. Wellness. Easy preparation. Value. Cleanliness. Taste. Specialties. These are all trends that should be guiding your deli planning and operations in the coming year.

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It's time to cut military health and pension benefits
Defense One
Military health and pension benefits, which have more than doubled in the past decade, should be reduced as the defense budget comes down.

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CBO suggests tough defense spending cuts
Military Times
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has proposed six ways to reduce defense spending ranging from deep cuts to the military services to controversial reductions in pay and benefits.

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COALITION NEWS




The Coalition in the news ...

The Coalition To Save Our Military Shopping Benefits was quoted in the Military.com article:
Study Confirms 30 Percent Savings at Commissaries 1/9/14

"The new price study confirming the 30 percent commissary savings is critical and timely given the disheartening news that the Pentagon is considering a proposal to close all commissaries in the United States."
Coalition and Valued Associate Advocacy and Actions ...

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which included cuts to retirement cost of living adjustments, blind-sided the military community, who have mobilized to fight this "broken promise." In addition to the grass roots campaign #KeepYourPromise, many of our Valued Associate members have spearheaded Capwiz letter writing campaigns. To date, members of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) have sent a staggering 250,000 messages to Congress on this issue alone and sent a combined total of 1 million messages on all issues last year – proving the power of these Associates and their members to act when their benefits are threatened.

The Coalition has also been driving home the message of "broken promise" in our Call to Actions and news releases:
"We realize these are tough economic times, and that sequestration and shrinking budgets are forcing the Pentagon to make some drastic decisions, but closing commissaries would be a terrible betrayal and a broken promise to our military community."
In reaction to this latest cut to military pay and compensation benefits, the Coalition is now messaging – closing commissaries would be "another broken promise." The Coalition drove this message home in our news release this week announcing that the American Military Society has joined our efforts:

Possible Commissary Closings Stateside: Another Broken Promise

The American Military Society (AMS) has joined The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits to help protect commissary and exchange benefits. The Coalition now represents nearly 2 million service members, veterans, and their families.

Military families have become increasingly concerned by ongoing attacks to their hard earned pay and compensation benefits. Cuts to retirement cost of living adjustments blind-sided the military community, prompting them to fight this broken promise while still reeling from the news the Pentagon is considering a proposal to close all commissaries in the United States. Although no final decisions have been made, the official word from the Department of Defense is that "all cost-cutting efforts need to be on the table."

"We realize these are tough economic times, and that sequestration and shrinking budgets are forcing the Pentagon to make some drastic decisions, but closing commissaries would be a terrible betrayal and another broken promise to our military community," said Candace Wheeler, spokesperson for The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits. "Commissaries are a vital part of military pay and compensation and one of military families' most valued earned benefits," she added.

"AMS is proud to join with other military and veterans service organizations in supporting The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits," said John P. May, AMS Executive Director. "Commissaries and base exchanges are vital to the morale and welfare of members of the military and their families. They are an important part of the military pay and benefits package, and they significantly improve our military families’ quality of life," stated May.

"These benefits are even more important today in our current economy. We hope Congress recognizes the importance of these benefits and continues to support their mission," added May.

Commissaries and exchanges are part of the solution to our Nation’s budget challenges, not part of the problem – providing a great return to the Department of Defense on every dollar that is spent to provide this benefit. Commissaries and exchanges also support several key White House initiatives – hiring veterans and military spouses, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

President Obama recognizes how important commissaries are to military life and believes closure of these stores: "is not how a great nation should be treating its military and military families."

"The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits couldn't agree more," said Wheeler. "We will continue to fight for our military families and veterans' earned benefits and welcome the support of the American Military Society," stated Wheeler.

The American Military Society (AMS), founded in 1982, is a national military and veterans association that promotes the welfare of the men and women who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces of the United States. It educates the public and members of Congress about the uniformed services and gives voice to members' concerns about military pay, health care, pension and disability, survivor benefits, education, housing, childcare, and other quality-of-life programs. AMS represents members' interests at both the federal and state levels.

The Coalition to Save our Military Shopping Benefits is working to ensure military families, veterans, employees, and concerned citizens have a voice in shaping polices that impact our nation's ability to keep a healthy and vibrant military resale system. Individuals and organizations should join Save Our Benefit to help protect these critical earned benefits.




CHAPTER ANNOUNCEMENTS


Hampton Roads ALA Golf Tourney
Join us for the Hampton Roads ALA Golf Tourney at Sewells Point Golf Course in Norfolk, Va., on March 5.

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EXCHANGE MARKET NEWS


J.C. Penney to close 33 stores, cut 2,000 jobs
Moneynews
J.C. Penney Co. recently said it would close 33 stores and cut 2,000 jobs as part of its efforts to return to profitability. Chief Executive Myron Ullman said in a statement the action "addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores."
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Sears turns to corporate blog to defend itself
Advertising Age
With its earnings continuing to tank and its future called into question, Sears Holdings Corp. recently turned to an old standby for a company pleading its case to the media, analysts and consumers: The corporate blog.
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Age matters: Spotlighting the generational impact on spending
Retail's BIG Blog
For a consumer to eventually choose to shop and spend money — from any generation and at any company — it boils down to past experiences: how they feel about the economy, their money-spending lifestyle and how they place value in items they're shopping for. Looking at consumers by when they were born unveils trends retailers can use for understanding who they are selling to and how they should best reach them.
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Retailers must end consumer addiction to discounts
CNBC
Retail stocks recently took a hit as the holiday picture came more into focus, with signs increasingly pointing toward a lackluster season of deep discounts and low traffic. Although experts said 2014 should offer some relief to consumers' pocketbooks, as the broader economy continues to strengthen, retailers' big challenge will be to find a way to attract customers without giving away the store, as many did this holiday.
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Low-end retailers had a rough holiday
The Wall Street Journal
Retailers catering to lower income consumers had a rough holiday. Family Dollar Stores Inc. recently lowered its full-year profit forecast and reversed course on strategy. Meanwhile, Sears Holding Corp. said sales at its Sears and K-Mart chains fell deeply from a year earlier, reflecting weakness in its customer base as well as strategic missteps by executives trying to reshape its business.
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Retail hiring lifts employment in December
National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation recently issued the following statements from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz on the December jobs report: "The nation's retailers continued to add to their payrolls in December even in the midst of the condensed holiday shopping season," said Shay. "Retailers and merchants, especially those operating clothing and general merchandise stores, increased hiring, which may indicate a solid holiday sales season."
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Heavy discounting cuts into holiday profits
Chain Store Age
Retailers across the board, from Victoria's Secret parent L Brands Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters to Family Dollar Stores and Bed, Bath & Beyond, recently cut their fourth-quarter earnings forecasts as heavy promotions and discounts cut into profits.
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Family Dollar president, COO Michael Bloom resigns
Chain Store Age
Family Dollar Stores recently announced that president and COO Michael Bloom has left the company to pursue other interests. The company will conduct a search for a new president and COO. The news comes amid disappointing first quarter results for the company, which lowered its earnings expectations for the second quarter and full year.
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Barnes & Noble holiday revenues drop 6.6 percent
Chain Store Age
Barnes & Noble reported decreases in revenue for both its retail and Nook segments during the nine-week 2013 holiday season as compared to the same period in the prior year. The retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com, had revenues of $1.1 billion, decreasing 6.6 percent from the prior year.
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Costco tops estimates in December
Chain Store Age
Costco Wholesale Club's same-store sales rose 3 percent in December, beating analysts' estimates of a 1.8 percent gain. The metric climbed 5 percent in the U.S. and inched up 1 percent overseas for the five weeks ended Jan. 5.
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Macy's to trim 1.4 percent of workforce
The Wall Street Journal
Macy's Inc. is laying off about 2,500 employees as part of a plan to cut costs and generate $100 million in annual savings, a move that helped the company issue an upbeat profit outlook for the new fiscal year.
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Macy's to shut 5 stores, cut 2,500 jobs; will save $100 million annually
Chain Store Age
Macy's recently said that it plans to close five underperforming stores in early spring 2014 and cut 2,500 jobs in "organizational changes" to sustain its profitability. The cost-reduction initiatives are expected to save the retailer about $100 million annually, beginning in 2014.
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Holiday sales saved by last-minute shoppers
The Washington Post
Holiday shoppers who put off their purchases until the last minute led a late surge in sales, according to data recently released by ShopperTrak, a research firm. Sales in November and December were up 2.7 percent from 2012, which was better than the firm's projected increase of 2.4 percent. But foot-traffic was down more than 14 percent from 2012.
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Stores turning tables on m-commerce tech
MediaPost
Even as retailers are busy sweeping up tinsel and crunching fourth-quarter numbers, it's clear to observers that this holiday marked a changed approach to omnichannel strategies. And mobile is still the wild card.
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J.C. Penney 'pleased' with holiday performance, but offers no sales data
Chain Store Age
J.C. Penney recently issued a brief statement saying that it was "pleased" with its performance for the holiday selling period, and reaffirmed its fourth quarter fiscal 2013 guidance for increased same-store sales. But the retailer did not provide any specific sales data.
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Container Store Q3 net income slightly drops
Chain Store Age
The Container Store Group Inc. saw its net income drop about 2 percent, to $5.2 million from $5.3 million, during the third quarter of fiscal 2013. This occurred while net sales grew 7.3 percent, to $188.3 million from $175.4 million, and same-store sales increased 4.7 percent.
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QVC's contact center gets top score in ForeSee Experience Index
MultiChannel Merchant
QVC had the highest score in contact center customer satisfaction with a score of 88. QVC beat out Amazon, Costco, O'Reilly Auto Parts and PetSmart which each saw a score of 85, according to the recent ForeSee Experience Index: 2014 U.S. Retail Edition.
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Restaurants fear clout of a new food giant
The Wall Street Journal
Customers will have less room for maneuver if Sysco completes its planned $3.5 billion purchase of U.S. Foods. The deal would combine the country's two biggest food distributors into a giant with $65 billion in annual revenue, five times as much as the next-biggest rival.
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Report: Retail foot traffic declines during 2013 holiday season
Chain Store Age
The full months of November and December 2013 suffered a brick-and-mortar customer traffic decline as compared to the same two months in 2012. According to new analysis from RetailNext, average sales decline remained at low single digits, which was aided by average growth in average transaction value and a slightly positive 0.2 percent point increase in conversion.
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Target cuts outlook — discloses wider data breach
Chain Store Age
Target Corp. recently cut its profit forecast on the heels of disappointing fourth quarter same-store sales. The retailer also disclosed that its previously announced data breach involved many more people was much wider than it initially thought.
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7-Eleven adds low-cal breakfast sandwich
Supermarket News
7-Eleven has begun selling an egg white breakfast sandwich that contains just 180 calories. Priced at $1.99, the sandwich consists of egg whites, lean Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese on a whole wheat English muffin. At select stores, customers can request to have the sandwich toasted, or the sandwich can be microwaved in store or reheated at home.
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Creating a lifetime of customer love
By Emma Fitzpatrick
As a business, you need to sell your product. But being a business means far more than just your net profit. You need to be focused not just on getting new faces in the door, but also on bringing them back time and time again. After all, when it comes down to it, the people who buy your product run your business. Follow these tips below to make sure you and your business are fostering a lifetime of love with your customers. If your customers love your product, then you'll be in a prosperous business forever.
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New menu items are a hard sell with majority of consumers
Convenience Store News
Although restaurant operators heavily promote new additions to their menus, approximately 70 percent of consumers won't try new menu items, according to The NPD Group's new report, Menu Item Trial: Motivating First-Time and Repeat Orders. However, of the 30 percent who are "early adopters," 17 percent will order a brand-new item and 10 percent will try a limited-time offer item.
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Retail stores 'meet a human need, not just a commercial one'
Retail Customer Experience
The opening keynote at this year's National Retail Federation Big Show began not with a photo of a smartphone or a website or any other technology, but with a photo of a 17,000-year-old cave painting. In the session "Reimagining Main Street," Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of retail developer Caruso Affiliated, focused on the evolutionary background of retail and the human need to socialize, and talked at length about how retailers need to return their focus to it.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Socializing retail.


EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENTS


Promotion to Divisional Merchandise Manager
All,

I have been selected to be the new Divisional Merchandise Manager for Health, Baby and Household.

In the last eight years, it has been my honor and privilege to work with each of you in the food department in various positions. With your support, we have created sales that will reach nearly $90 million dollars for the fiscal year 2013, created 340 plus planograms, restructured the supply chain in both CONUS and OCONUS, established a food and candy credit program, and built a promotional calendar that will generate more than $8 million dollars in 2013 and social media events beyond our customers wildest dreams! You and your teams have embraced meaningful initiatives such as Sailor of the Year, Customer Appreciation, Wounded Warrior, and Navy Blue Holidays with great passion and enthusiasm! Together, we have accomplished so much throughout the years as partners and I am lucky to have had such phenomenal people to work with in the food categories.

Please accept my personal thanks for giving each and every day to those who have given so much, the Navy sailor and families! I am so grateful for the friendships and partnerships we have forged and hope to work with you in the future as I move forward.

All my best and very sincerely,
Diane Martinsen

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Homeward Bound campaign welcomes service members home
Public Affairs
Service members and their families continually make sacrifices. Multiple deployments, long training exercises and constant states of readiness can add to the stress of not just being a service member, but a spouse or family member as well. In 2014, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is joining military communities around the world to celebrate the homecoming of America's brave warfighters by hosting a yearlong "Homeward Bound" campaign to honor those who serve.
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VCS Sales November 2013

Homeward Bound

Exchange YTD and Monthly Summary's 2012

ALA Executive Briefing (archive link)

Prospective suppliers/vendors

AAFES Press release Archive 2010-2012

AAFES sales flyers (to view click below)

(Click image above for special advertisements!) Exchange Savings Tabloid Portal

EUROPE SALES FLYER (AAFES)

PACRIM SALES FLYER (AAFES)

Exchange Facebook promotion pages

Exchange Social Media Advertisements:



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Army MWR
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Military Onesource
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MCX
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TREA
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AAFES Pinterest
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MCX
Army MWR
TREA
Military Onesource
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Food Court Info

Savings Portal: See all the savings posted here by week from AAFES and DeCA

SaveOurBenefit

Receive money saving offers via text

Join your local Exchange Buddy List

Join our Online Savings Club

Military Life Resource Directory page

Exchange Online Store

Exchange Online Store — Savings Center

Exchange Online Mall

Join the Exchange Online SAVINGS Club (receive exclusive COUPONS)!

MCX Mailers

Find a store


View our latest market surveys

Product recalls and alerts (Exchange)

Save the dates:

March 5-7, 2014: ALA Exchange Roundtable, Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Va.
Click here to view flier.

2014 Exchange Roundtable
March 5-7, 2014
Norfolk Waterside Marriott
Norfolk, VA

Why do I need to be there for this event?
Attend the March 2014 Roundtable in Norfolk to better understand The critical significance of the Military Resale Exchanges in a new Defense budget era and how you too can help by participating in an all-new panel and town hall format.

Military resale and VCS programs meet critical criteria for Defense and Veterans programs, providing a model to emulate, not a program to decimate. In short, we are all part of the solution to present and future challenges, to increase the benefit and not reduce the benefit for our service members and their families.

Exchanges, Canteens and Commissaries provide this model because it offers the ability to produce and support a highly valued benefit with high personnel support, retention, and compensation value, all at little net cost and a significant financial ROI return to the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration.

What will you do and how can you help support the tremendous sacrifice of our military personnel and their families? Please join us in Norfolk.


Hotel Information:
The headquarters hotel for this meeting is the Marriott Norfolk Waterside located at 235 E Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510. The Marriot is offering a discounted group rate to industry attendees: $112 single, plus taxes. To take advantage of this discount, contact the Marriott at 1-800-228-9390 or 757-627-4200, and mention the "American Logistics Association 2014 Exchange Roundtable." This discounted rate will be offered through 5pm eastern, Feb. 12, 2014, or until the ALA room block fills. Hotel rooms are reserved on a first come, first served basis and attendees are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible for best availability.

Government/Military Partner Reservations:
The Government Per Diem room block secured by ALA is reserved for those persons employed by AAFES (The Exchange), MCCS, NEXCOM, CGES, VCS, DOD or DeCA. The Marriott will require proper ID upon checking in. To reserve a room at the GPD rate, please complete the GPD Hotel Reservation Form and return it to ALA no later than COB Feb. 10, 2014. Reservations will be made on a first come first served basis and, once the GPD block is full, ALA cannot guarantee that a reservation at the GPD rate will be available.

Cancellation Policy:
Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. Cancellations received by Feb. 3, 2014, will receive a full refund. Cancellations received between Feb. 4-21 will be subject to a $250 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after February 21st or for "no-shows". Cancellation refunds will be processed by original method of payment. All refunds will be processed post-meeting and mailed directly to the individual on the registration form. Cancelled registrations may be transferred to individuals within the same company, upon written request. Cancelled registrations may not be transferred to another ALA meeting. Any cancellations resulting due to a family or medical emergency must be submitted in writing by within three days of the start of the meeting to receive a refund.

Click here for the Industry Registration Form (for check payments only)
Click here for the GPD Hotel Reservation Form

Go to: www.ALA-National.org, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.







MWR NEWS


DOD focuses on healthy, active lifestyle for children
Before It's News
With the national rate of childhood obesity increasing, the Defense Department wants to ensure children in military families lead healthy and active lifestyles, the Defense Department's director of the office of family policy and children and youth said.
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MWR to kick off Pro Bowl with events for NFL fans
Ho'okele
NFL players from all over the United States will soon arrive in Hawaii for the annual Pro Bowl Game. This year the format of the game has changed. It is no longer an AFC vs. NFC matchup, but a free-for-all including a Pro Bowl Draft that will diversify the rosters to include both AFC and NFC on a team. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam's Morale, Welfare and Recreation will host the Official NFL Pro Bowl Practice on Jan. 23 at Earhart Field, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
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2013 year in review
Fort Drum
A lot happened in 2013. Click the headline above to take a look at the past year's activity in and around Fort Drum.
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Executive Briefing
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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