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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Not no, but hell no!:

So the news is all over the wire about the proposed hits to military resale that are loaded in the DoD FY 15 budget. Reduce the DeCA appropriation by $1 billion over the next three years ... raise the surcharge ... implement variable pricing ... in effect eliminate the benefit. Yes, the benefit! We see too many pundits talking about the "shopping" experience, the availability of other "shopping" alternatives. Lest we all forget, this is a benefit and it is not available outside the gate, and if DoD gets its way it will be eliminated.


This is indeed a strange scenario where DoD leadership has it wrong and the military family has it right. In three recent articles delivered in the military times publications they correctly teed up the discussion. First, the analysis of the impact of compensation as the problem in DoD is flawed at best if not false. Second, a survey of resale beneficiaries shows that for over 80 percent of the survey respondents the resale benefit is the number one benefit for the military family. It is valued and it is used. Finally, the most recent analysis shows that the cost of the resale benefit has in fact gone down in constant dollars and is an effective and efficient program.

But DoD is saying it is not important. It needs to be changed. The military family does not need it anymore. They have to take it down. There needs to be a new model developed that puts to burden of delivering the benefit on the backs of the military family. Am I missing something here?


So, we should ring our hands and prepare for end of an era. The end of a benefit that has exceeded every expectation for value, efficiency and effectiveness. DoD is going to take it down because they think they can. We vow not to let it happen. We vow to carry the message for the military family. We vow to make the analysis heard. Will we let this happen? ... Not no, but hell no!

Congressman Forbes speaks out in support of commissaries:

Forbes speaks in opposition to closing commissaries
Watch the Full Video
YouTube, Congressman Randy Forbes
Congressman J. Randy Forbes speaks on the House Floor in opposition to closing down commissaries, a system that is highly valued by the men and women who serve this nation, and represents a part of our commitment to taking care of our service members during and after their time of service to the United States of America.

MacDill families fear commissary closings
Read the Full Story
The Tampa Tribune, Howard Altman
For those who live on the base and the thousands of military retirees living nearby, the MacDill commissary offers about 30 percent savings over the cost of food and other items at civilian supermarkets. It also employs 103 people. But that benefit of service — and the jobs it generates — are in danger of disappearing.


Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association






WASHINGTON UPDATE


Senate panel to mark up bill repealing military pension cuts
The Hill
The Senate Armed Services Committee will soon mark up a bill to repeal the $6 billion military pension cuts included in last month's budget deal. The Armed Services panel is the latest to push a proposal that would reverse the $6 billion pension cuts included in the December 2013 budget deal.
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Robert Work said to be Obama's choice for Pentagon's No. 2
Bloomberg
The White House is expected to announce that President Barack Obama will nominate Robert Work as the Pentagon's No. 2 civilian leader, according to U.S. officials who asked not to be identified in advance of an announcement.
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Bypassing Congress on defense cuts
Politico
The Pentagon has learned that if it can't go through Congress to get what it wants, sometimes it's best to try going around. Two of the Defense Department's biggest long-term budget priorities — cutting troop compensation and closing bases — also happen to be politically radioactive for lawmakers sensitive about home-district economies and accusations of hurting the military.
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Raises, BAH are likely targets of 2015 defense budget
Military Times
The Pentagon's 2015 budget is likely to contain such belt-tightening proposals as reducing active-duty pay raises and housing allowances and instituting fees for Tricare for Life, officials recently told a Senate panel.
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Platform, personnel cuts likely in FY 2015 Air Force budget
Air Force Times
This close to the March 4 submission of the fiscal 2015 budget request, getting specifics from service officials can be like pulling teeth. But a number of statements, both in public appearances and during interviews, provide a sense of direction for the Air Force's plans. The message: Expect to see big cuts to personnel and platforms.
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HASC race: Thornberry has edge in helping GOP candidates
Defense News
One candidate to take the US House Armed Services Committee gavel next year has donated vastly more to GOP political candidates than his rivals, and sources say that gives him a major edge. Yet one of his likely competitors has posted impressive donation figures for the 2014 midterm election. Sources say that makes the HASC chairmanship race a lot more intriguing.
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Lawmaker tries to block transfer of Guard Apaches and personnel cuts
Army Times
In what is likely the opening shot in a looming battle between Congress and the Army, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., has introduced a bill that would freeze the Army's plans to transfer all of the National Guard's AH-64 Apache helicopters to the active-duty force and prevent most of the proposed Guard personnel cuts.
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Reid readies bill repealing pension cuts
The Hill
The Senate is gearing up to vote on a bill as early as next week that would repeal the $6 billion cut to military pensions as part of a larger veterans package, according to Senate aides.
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS


Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., Feb. 7, 2014.

PROMOTIONS
DP #6, CONUS Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
Father’s Day, Far East & Alaska Quantities.

NOTICES TO TRADE

MISCELLANEOUS
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-06.
CRV Values, February 2, 2014.
New Items Activated in CAO, Zone 28 Test, February 4, 2014.
Performance Measures, New Items Added, 16-31 Jan 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


DeCA sales and marketing jobs open for Industry
Defense Commissary Agency
The Defense Commissary Agency is advertising jobs which anyone may apply for.
  • Supervisory Category Manager, 1 position. This is for a GS-14 position with a salary range of $99,633.00 to $129,518.00. Applications must be made not later than Feb. 10, 2014.

  • Merchandising Specialist, four positions. These are for GS-13 positions with a salary range of $84,314.00 to $109,608.00. Applications for these positions must be made not later than Feb. 17, 2014.
For further information, or to apply for one of the jobs, click here.

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In-store specialty delicatessen and bakery resale operations
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency is seeking responsible sources with current relevant qualifications, experience, personnel, and capability to provide the labor, management and assorted food products necessary to support in-store specialty delicatessen and bakery resale operations in 11 U.S. Military commissaries. Solicitation HDEC02-14-R-0004, which is unrestricted, is expected to be issued on or about Feb. 20, 2014.
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Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Enterprise Business Solution (EBS):
https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=9974be49d8c3e5526941856956f2dc97. Via this link a draft Solicitation HC1028-14-R-0004 is provided for review and comments by industry. The Draft Solicitation includes the documentation describing the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) Enterprise Business Solution (EBS) requirement. The requirement for this EBS effort is a modernization of DeCA's resale business operations. (Please refer to the Statement of Objectives found in the attached Draft RFP via the link). Industry is encouraged to review the documentation and provide comments no later than 9:00 AM, Central, on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
An Industry Day/Pre-Solicitation Conference will be held to discuss the DeCA EBS requirement on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at the DeCA Headquarters (1300 E Avenue, Bldg 11200, Fort Lee, Virginia, 23801-1300). Additionally, One-on-One sessions will be held at the DeCA Headquarters between February 25, 2014 and February 28, 2014. Instructions for pre-registration for both events is detailed in the Pre-Solicitation Conference and One-on-One Industry Day sections of the Draft RFP. Pre-registrations for the Industry Day/Pre-Solicitation Conference and One-on-One Sessions are due no later than Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 9:00 AM, Central. NOTE: The February 26 meeting at DeCA is really geared to software providers not our general resale industry members. Seating space will be limited.

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$64,223 federal contract awarded to Computer Marketing Associates
HispanicBusiness
Computer Marketing Associates Inc. in McLean, Va., won a $64,222.94 federal contract from the U.S. Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, Va., for the renewal maintenance support for Protegrity Defiance Security Manager software licenses.
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Garden style indoor benches
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as 100 percent set-aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The solicitation is for garden style indoor benches to be delivered to Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and overseas locations. However, for overseas locations, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port. A Firm-Fixed Price contract is contemplated.
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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.


Food trends lean toward health, fun
By Archita Datta Majumdar
So what will be cooking in 2014? Will be there be another surge of change in restaurant menus and grocery aisles to match health trends? Will fine dining rule or will there be more cookouts throughout the year? Leading food and beverage experts and industry surveys give us some interesting insights to what the 2014 food world will look like. It seems the year's food trends will be matching American diversity all the way with an eclectic blend of tastes and cuisines to offer a full platter.
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What's in the 2014 farm bill?
The Huffington Post
The purpose of the farm bill is to balance the immediate needs of feeding the country with the long-term goal of ensuring a sustained food supply. In order to unite the interests of both urban and rural communities, the farm bill combines food assistance for our fellow country men, women and children in need, along with longer term agricultural policies.
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Believe in Heroes campaign raises $16 million for Wounded Warrior Project
Grocery Headquarters
Acosta Sales & Marketing announced that the 2013 Believe in Heroes campaign raised $6,011,218 to support Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. A growing national cause marketing campaign that brings together thousands of CPG brands, retailers and consumers to support injured service members through the simple act of grocery shopping, Believe in Heroes has raised a total of $16 million for critical veteran programs provided by WWP since Acosta founded the program in 2010.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Lack of quality space becoming a big problem for brick-and-mortar retailers (Business Insider)
Pentagon will review higher pensions for top officers (USA Today)
Budget cuts are sending the wrong message to veterans (Defense One)
A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail (CNBC)
Sears to hire 6,500 vets and spouses (Chain Store Age)

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


Store brands 2014: Sales trends
Supermarket News
Supermarket private label unit and dollar share reached 23.4 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively, according to Nielsen data for the 52-week period ending Nov. 23, 2013. In supermarkets, dollar sales increased 1.6 percent to nearly $61 billion. Fresh meat was the fastest-growing category in dollar sales, climbing 45 percent to $1 billion. Other top gainers included coffee, dairy dips/spreads, nuts and frozen dessert.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Grocery sales trends.


Hy-Vee unveils 'Responsible Choice' seafood program
Progressive Grocer
As part of the grocer's Seafood Procurement Policy, Hy-Vee has unveiled its new Responsible Choice program, in which select seafood products will bare a blue and green logo indicating they were sourced responsibly. "The Responsible Choice logo serves as a seal of approval that more and more of our seafood is responsibly harvested or raised, minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life," said Nate Stewart, VP of perishables at West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Economy grew 3.2 percent in Q4, fueling hopes for faster recovery
The Washington Post
Unprecedented spending cuts and the first government shutdown in nearly two decades significantly slowed economic growth at the end of 2013 even as the private sector proved surprisingly resilient, according to data recently released.

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A 3-horse race emerges for HASC gavel
Defense News
The race for the House Armed Services Committee gavel is underway, and sources see the panel's vice chairman as the odds-on favorite despite an expected challenge from an up-and-coming rival.

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Grandfather current troops, retirees on COLA cuts, DoD urges
Military Times
The Pentagon opposes the pending reductions in annual retirement pay increases and believes changes in the military retirement system should come not from Congress but from a commission convened to study benefits modernization.

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COALITION NEWS




Save Our Military Shopping Benefits Act Introduced ...

Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after introducing the Save our Military Shopping Benefits Act (H.R. 3996) on Wednesday, February 5th:
"Our military men and women rely on commissaries and exchanges on base to be convenient providers of essential, affordable groceries for their families. Closing these stores—which represent only three-tenths of one percent of the defense budget—would be a poke in the eye to our Armed Forces, and DoD should find other ways to save taxpayers money. It's unacceptable for the Obama Administration to support wasteful government spending while targeting for elimination benefits that servicemembers have earned, and that's why I introduced this bill to protect all commissary and exchange services through the end of this Administration."

The Save our Military Shopping Benefits Act [PDF], a two-page bill, would prevent the Department of Defense from closing or reducing operations of commissary stores and exchanges on military installations within the U.S. through 2016. It includes an exception for changes "required for upgrading or modifying an existing structure for safety or health reasons."

Ten original cosponsors—nine Republicans and one Democrat—joined Rep. Griffin in introducing the bill: Reps. Ander Crenshaw (FL-04), John Garamendi (CA-03), Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Billy Long (MO-07), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Candice Miller (MI-10), Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Kevin Yoder (KS-03) and Ted Yoho (FL-03).
The Military Times reported on the Save Our Military Shopping Benefits Act on February 5th, "Bill would block commissary closings, cutbacks."
Griffin said in an interview with Military Times. "We need to go after the waste and take commissaries off the table. That's what this legislation is about." ...

Military veterans organizations are ramping up efforts to oppose any reduction in the commissary benefit.

"The American Legion supports this bill, and we don’t want the taxpayer subsidy taken away," said Dean Stoline, deputy director of the legislative division of the American Legion.

Stoline noted that delegates to the Legion's 2012 national convention unanimously passed a resolution opposing any efforts "to dismantle or downsize the Defense Commissary Agency."


Coalition and Valued Associates in the News ...

The Military Times also issued a report on February 5th entitled, "Commissaries won't close, but prices may increase."
"It's military families' purchasing power that will change," said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association. "If you increase the surcharge and prices, you take away the savings, and you take away the benefit." ...

"This is a model to emulate, not decimate," said Patrick Nixon, president of the American Logistics Association, and a former DeCA director. "It's part of the solution, not the source of the budget problem. We challenge any program [in DoD] to ... show they can deliver more bang for the buck."


Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions ...

We are hearing that the DoD budget will be sent to OMB next week (Feb 10th) and should be delivered to Congress on or around March 6th. Many of our Valued Associate members have already expressed growing concern, alerted their members to the possibility of commissary closures and the DoD budget proposal to drastically cut commissary funding, and have also encouraged their members to send letters to Congress and the President.

The Coalition plans to roll out another Call to Action alert to our members as soon as the President's budget is delivered to Congress. We will also share it with our Valued Associates and AFGE DeCA Council 172, who have been sharing our messages with commissary employees. We are also discussing the possibility of mounting an all out effort in March outside the commissaries to engage patrons directly. We will keep you posted.

In addition, we will be meeting with Members of Congress this month, and will be reaching out to some of our Valued Associate members to join us. On Monday, AFMC and others from the resale community met with the HASC Professional Staff who pointed out that if the Committee rejects what is in the President's proposal, then they will have to have their bill scored and offsets made, whether it is related to money or policy. In the meantime, we are still encouraging members to send letters to the President as well as their Members of Congress. Here is the link to our current Capwiz letters posted on January 28th. We will update them again later this month before sending out the follow up Call to Action alert.

Key themes we are messaging:
  • President believes commissaries are an important benefit of military life and that closure of these stores "is not how a great nation should be treating its military and military families."
  • Price increases are a cut in pay for military families and veterans.
  • There's a face to the cuts – puts strain on military families' household income, especially junior enlisted families that live pay check to pay check, and fixed income retirees.
  • The military communities' hard earned benefits are being eroding one by one. Cutting the commissary benefit is yet another "broken promise."
  • Wait for the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to do the job given by the President and the Congress.
  • Commissaries support all Administration major initiatives—military spouse and veteran hiring, small business, persons with disabilities, healthy eating, efficiencies, and accountability.
  • Is a program that should be emulated not decimated.
  • Only area of DoD compensation where costs are dropping.
  • Military Times survey said it is the number one benefit – highly used by enlisted families.
  • 64% of commissary employees are military connected.



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.

HOLE SPONSORSHIPS WELCOMED to benefit HRALA's Scholarship Program!

Click here to register!

Please sign up by Feb. 15, 2014. Field is limited to first 144 to register.

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EXCHANGE MARKET NEWS


CVS to stop selling cigarettes by Oct. 1
The Washington Post
CVS, one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, recently said it will stop selling cigarettes at its 7,600 locations in an expensive but calculated bid to boost its image as a full-fledged health-care provider rather than a simple purveyor of greeting cards and shampoo. Executives said the move will cost the company $2 billion a year in lost sales. But they are gambling that abandoning smokers will help them strike more profitable deals with hospitals and health insurers — and appeal to growing ranks of customers newly insured under the Affordable Care Act.
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Radio Shack to close 500 stores
Prairie Business Magazine
U.S. electronics chain Radio Shack Corp. is planning to close about 500 stores within months, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The struggling retailer, which is due to report results for the fourth quarter later this month, said it could not comment on rumor or speculation.
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Report: Target says vendor breach led to data theft
Chain Store Age
Target reportedly said a data breach at an unidentified vendor led to hackers obtaining phony credentials that allowed them to gain access to Target's systems and steal the information for 40 million credit and debit cards, as well as the personal data of about 70 million consumers.
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NRF: Minimum wage hike would bring 'minimum opportunities'
Chain Store Age
In his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said he plans to sign an executive order increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts and asked Congress to approve the same increase for all workers — and the National Retail Federation is not happy.
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Report: Poor tablet experience impacts purchase willingness
Chain Store Age
Almost 77 percent of consumers report that having a poor or unsatisfying experience while trying to use a website on their tablet will affect their willingness to purchase from that brand. Other tablet research from omni-channel commerce technology provider Useablenet shows that 70 percent of consumers say that the quality of photography and design of a tablet site influences their decision on whether to purchase
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Amazon to offer Kindle checkout system to physical retailers
The Wall Street Journal
Amazon.com Inc. plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a checkout system that uses Kindle tablets as soon as this summer, people briefed on the company's plans said. In one scenario, the Seattle company would give merchants Kindle tablets and credit-card readers, the people said. Amazon also might offer retailers other services, such as website development and data analysis, the people said.
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Target hackers used stolen vendor credentials
The Wall Street Journal
The hackers who stole 40 million credit- and debit-card numbers from Target Corp. appear to have breached the discounter's systems by using electronic credentials stolen from a vendor. The finding will help to start unraveling the riddle of how the software that carried out the attack got into Target's systems. It also underscores the risks companies face as they operate vast, interconnected business systems.
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Conn's announces 4 new stores
Chain Store Age
Conn's announced the opening of four Conn's HomePlus stores, with locations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Amarillo, Texas; Chandler, Ariz.; and Shreveport, La. The new HomePlus store format showcases furniture and mattresses in addition to the leading brands and the latest technologies in consumer electronics and home appliances.
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Obama promises 'opportunity for all' in State of the Union address
Retail's BIG Blog
President Barack Obama covered a wide range of issues with implications for retailers in his annual State of the Union address, calling for a controversial minimum wage increase but also promising action on tax reform, immigration, trade, infrastructure and other issues as he outlined steps to boost the economy, create jobs and yield "opportunity for all."
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Take care of your customers or someone else will
enVista
Delivering outstanding customer service is more important than ever before in the face of today's increasingly informed and savvy consumer. However, improving customer service without increasing costs is challenging. In order to win in a highly competitive retail environment, retailers need to rethink their supply chain processes, retail delivery models and enabling technologies.
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Millard 'Mickey' Drexler talks price, creativity, career
Women's Wear Daily
Millard "Mickey" Drexler was on a roll. During a wide-ranging discussion, the J. Crew Group Inc. chairman and chief executive officer, who was the guest speaker at the inauguration of the striking auditorium in New School's University Center in Manhattan, touched on the company's business, his career and the state of the industry.
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Wal-Mart aims to match Amazon's service offerings
The Wall Street Journal
The head of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s e-commerce efforts predicted that the retailer would be able to match the service offerings of competitor Amazon.com Inc. within two years. In a private interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wal-Mart global e-commerce CEO Neil Ashe said that the company was continuing to build out new warehouses across the country used to distribute online orders.
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Radio Shack breaks campaign in support of new positioning
Advertising Age
In its latest brand-positioning shift, struggling consumer electronics retailer Radio Shack Corp. is emphasizing one of its longtime, core tenets: customer service. A new national advertising campaign called "Do It Together," from Austin, Texas-based GSD&M, aims to show how Radio Shack and consumers can collaborate to solve technological problems like connecting today's many devices.
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Apple's retail stores key to tech giant's success
Fox Business
Revenue growth may have slowed last year at Apple's retail stores, but the division remains one of the world's strongest retail chains and a key strategic focus of the tech-giant's future. With revenue exceeding $20 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 28, Apple's bricks and mortar unit exceeded the total annual revenue at big name retailers such as Nordstrom, The Gap or AutoNation.
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Retailers right-sizing amid 2014 uncertainty
RetailingToday
Revelations of job cuts at leading retailers, the latest involving Sam's Club, are a reminder that pro-active expense control remains retailers' best friend when it comes to ensuring profitability when faced with a murky outlook for consumer spending.
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Retailers have already installed hardware to read safer smart cards
The Dallas Morning News
Major U.S. retailers, including Wal-Mart and Kroger, already have checkout systems that work with the smart cards that are widely used internationally. It's harder for hackers to extract personal information and account numbers that are stored in a computer chip. But U.S. consumers don't have the cards yet, making the hardware unusable against the criminal world for now.
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Retail CIOs look to break online and offline shopping barriers
CIO
CIOs at retail operations are expressing strong interest in consolidating their far-flung and often siloed IT systems in response to the dissolving barriers between the online and in-store shopping experience, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation and Demandware, a retail technology provider.
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Merchandise returns account for nearly $270 billion in lost sales
Chain Store Age
Merchandise returns in 2013 cost U.S. retailers more than $267 billion in lost sales. That's one of the findings contained in The Retail Equation's 2013 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry study, which analyzes results from the National Retail Federation's annual survey on merchandise returns and the 2012 Canadian Retail Security Survey from The Retail Council of Canada National Retail Federation.
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Sam's Club to cut 2,300 workers
Chain Store Age
Wal-Mart Stores is eliminating the positions of about 2,300 Sam's Club employees. The job cuts represent 2 percent of Sam's total workforce. Employees whose jobs are eliminated that cannot find another job with Wal-Mart or Sam's Club will be eligible for severance.
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One-third of Americans will buy new TV in 2014
Chain Store Age
Almost one-third of U.S., consumers (30 percent) plan to buy a new TV in 2014 and of those, 32 percent said during Super Bowl sales, while 25 percent said during Black Friday. A new consumer survey from FatWallet also revealed price will have the most influence on TV purchases, with more than half saying they plan to spend less than $500, while one-in-four plan to spend more than $700.
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Target offers few details in Congressional briefing; could face $1 billion fine
Chain Store Age
A Target representative reportedly offered few new details during a phone briefing with members of Congress about its holiday data breach. According to Reuters, Target official Isaac Reyes spent about an hour on the phone with members of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee on the evening of Jan. 30.
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Online retailers don't meet expectations for returns
Chain Store Age
In a study of the returns and refunds performance of the 25 largest online retailers, StellaService found that the majority of retailers evaluated aren't meeting consumer expectations.
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Newly wary, shoppers trust cash
The New York Times
Like dieters vowing to trade cupcakes for carrots, a number of American shoppers are making a new pledge: cash only. The drumbeat of disclosures about credit and debit card breaches at major retailers (and hints of more to come) has unnerved consumers to the point where chatter online and at the water cooler is filled with people promising to curb their plastic habits.
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Air intake filters reduce maintenance costs
Filtration + Separation
Keeping food and drink cold is a major cost for retailers. Poor maintenance results in up to a 10 percent increase in energy use. One of the major causes of refrigerator inefficiency or failure is dirty or clogged condenser coils. This results in restricted airflow throughout the system and will require the refrigerators to work harder and consume more electricity in order to maintain the optimum temperatures necessary to avoid food spoilage.
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Record growth in the US wine market
By Archita Datta Majumdar
U.S. wines are taking both the domestic and world market by storm. An increase in exports as well as domestic sales figures point to this positive growth. Sales figures of all wines in the U.S. hit a record high in 2012 with a 2 percent increase in sales from the year before, at around $34.6 billion. These figures are a result of a staggering 360.1 million cases of both domestic and foreign wine sold across the country. The U.S. has fast become an important market for wine today and will be even more so in coming years.
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Consumers likely to be frugal for Valentine's Day
Retail Customer Experience
On the heels of a healthy yet modest holiday shopping season, cautious consumers aren't quite ready to splurge on Valentine's Day this year, continuing to keep their budgets in check. According to the National Retail Federation's 2014 Valentine's Day spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 54 percent of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year, compared to 60 percent in 2013.
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Consumer spending rises
Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Despite flat incomes, Americans increased their spending over November and December by 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. During the same time period, income rose 0.2 percent in November. Economists are hoping that stronger economic growth will promote stronger employment and income gains this year.
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Retailers to Congress: There's no end in sight for credit card breaches
The Washington Post
The testimonies from top retail executives affirmed what many security experts have long warned: There is no end in sight for the recent spate of cyberattacks. Real change would require all the actors in the payment card system — merchants, banks the issue credit cards and the card networks — to work together to replace the plastic in our wallets with something more sophisticated, such as a card with a computer chip.
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EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENTS


Position of DVP Northern District currently open
All:

Howard Seignman, District Vice President (DVP), Southeast District, retired from NEXCOM on Jan. 1, 2014, after 36 years of service. Kevin Comer, DVP, Northern District, will be transferring to assume responsibilities as DVP/Southeast District. No date has been established for this move.

The position of DVP Northern District is currently being advertised.

Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer them for you!

Kristine

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AAFES facilities worldwide
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is the 43rd largest retail organization in the U.S., with annual revenue of $10.3B and employing 40,622 civilian and military personnel. The Exchange operates retail and convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, theaters, vending and other businesses on military installations in all 50 states, five U.S. territories and more than 30 countries.

The Exchange is responsible for more than 2,817 facilities worldwide in more than 30 countries, 50 states and five U.S. territories. The Exchange operates 131 main stores, 174 Military Clothing facilities, 850 Specialty Stores (Troops Stores, Service Stations, Express Stores, Class Six outlets, bookstores, etc.) and 72 theaters. Plus the Exchange has more than 1,590 quick serve restaurants, such as Taco Bell, Burger King and Starbucks. Concession operations overseen by the Exchange add 3,509 more activities.

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New Exchange Post is out!
Check out the NEW eVersion by clicking here!
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2014 Exchange Roundtable revised agenda is now available:

Click here to view the updated 2014 Exchange Roundtable Agenda

Congressman Joe Wilson will join us in Norfolk for the Roundtable
Exchange Council Members,
Please help us spread the word and provide clarity around NEXCOM's "Big Idea Session" at the ERT in Norfolk. The intent is to have the vendors come in with an idea, a product, a concept, etc. to help drive the business in 2014. In talking with Tess, she mentioned she got this idea from the show "Shark Tank" where people come in with a quick proposed idea/product that they feel will do well. They are looking for input from the vendor community on any ideas they think will bring business into the exchanges of course they will be addressing your questions in the Break Out Sessions as well.

The Other Services are developing what they want to cover during their session and Ana Middleton and Mike Immler will be discussing strategic processes as well as taking your comments and suggestions if you would like a question to be asked and don't want to do it in person email bellis@ala-national.org or text 817-201-9921.

AAFES Sales December 2013

VCS Sales December 2013

Homeward Bound

ALA Executive Briefing (archive link)

Prospective suppliers/vendors

AAFES Press release Archive 2010-2014

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

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:

2014 Exchange Roundtable
All Day Event
March 5-7, 2014
Norfolk Waterside Marriott
Norfolk, VA
Click here to view flier.

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


Marines raise money from their powerful 'brand'
The Daily News Journal
Over its storied 238-year history the Marine Corps has built a powerful brand. Only in recent years, however, has the Marine Corps and other services been able to capitalize on their reputations by selling agreements that allow businesses to purchase the right to use trademarked slogans or emblems on everything from coffee mugs and T-shirts to airsoft guns, which fire plastic pellets.
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Yamada introduces veterans home oversight bill
Lake County News
Recently, Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, D-Calif., introduced AB 1580, legislation to establish new oversight processes for the appropriation of funds in the State's Veterans Homes. Specifically, this bill addresses issues identified in an October 2013 California State Auditor's report regarding the mismanagement of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation fund which helps support programs and activities for Veterans Home residents.
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