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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only February 27, 2015


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

It just doesn't add up:

The Administrations 2016 budget request for the defense department represents the largest baseline budget in history. In total, it is $34 Billion over the budget caps established by the Budget Control Act ... and yet they are seeking a $4.4 Billion reduction in the appropriations that supports the commissary benefit and, in turn, proposing actions that would first devastate and then destroy the military resale benefit for our military and their families. It is painstaking to ponder how a benefit that is so highly regarded by the military and their families fell so fast and so far out of favor with the leadership in the Pentagon. How did an Agency that was the poster child for DoD efficiency, internal controls and clean audit opinions become the bear in the shooting gallery for budget reductions? Look at the proportionality of what is taking place. They are tweaking health care, tweaking the housing allowance and destroying military resale.

The Military Compensation Commission recognized the value of the military resale system and in particular the commissary benefit and the role it plays in the overarching value of the military resale benefits to the military ... but they open a troubling path. A removal of the protections that have made the system the valued benefit it is today.

We are waiting for DoD to deliver its take on the Commission recommendations ... we already know the budget numbers. It is highly unlikely to expect that DoD is suddenly going to fall in love with the commissary benefit after it has proposed its dismantling over the last two budget cycles. You can probably expect that DoD is going to take the budget reductions and the Commission recommendations and go for the whole buffet. This has death spiral written all over it. Force the cuts and remove the protections up front and tell the system to figure it out. It cannot survive in that environment, and while you may not like the Commission recommendations, the members of the Commission recognized this fact. Congress will be placed in a difficult position. So much importance has been placed on the Compensation Commission recommendations that you can not just walk away from them ...

The top enlisted personnel pleaded with Congress to protect family programs. Looks like it will have to be Congress in the case of military resale. DoD has shown that it wants to destroy the benefits.



Top enlisted personnel: Protect family programs
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Patricia Kime
Service families are well cared for in today's military, but face increasing stress amid discussions on altering benefits, like health care and family programs, the services' top enlisted members recently told Congress.

Defense cuts spark worries about troops' careers, pay
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Leo Shane III
Looming budget cuts not only are stoking anxiety among troops, but also fundamentally changing how they think about the military, the services' top enlisted leaders recently told House lawmakers.

DoD official: No alternate sequester budget in 2016
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Paul McLeary
The Pentagon has not drawn up an alternate sequester-compliant budget for 2016 if Congress fails to act and the mandatory budget cuts kick in on Oct. 1 a senior Pentagon official said recently.

Republicans, Democrats want more DoD spending
Read the Full Story
Defense News, John T. Bennett
Republicans and Democrats remain deeply divided about how much the country should spend on the military, but a growing number of all Americans say the Pentagon budget is too small.

Defense hearings: Defense budget debate in full swing
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Leo Shane III
Congress will start its fiscal 2016 defense budget work in earnest, with officials from the Navy and Marine Corps on the Hill to talk about their priorities and the services' top enlisted leaders on hand to discuss quality-of-life issues.




Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE


Officials: Army mulls cutting troops in Alaska
Stars and Stripes
The Army could remove the bulk of its forces in Alaska under cost-saving plans that will cut active-duty ranks by tens of thousands of troops, the military said.
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Tricare proposal splits veterans' groups
The Hill
The leaders of several prominent veterans' and uniformed services' organizations are split over a proposal to effectively abolish Tricare, the military's health insurance plan.
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The Military has overkilled alcohol with big collateral damage
Task & Purpose
The military needs to acknowledge that responsible alcohol usage is part of the solution, not a problem.
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Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website. To learn more about each event, please click the following links:

Date Event
March 17-18, 2015 2015 ALA Exchange Impact Workshop
April 30 - May 1, 2015 2015 Commissary Roundtable
Oct. 26-28, 2015 68th Annual Convention


COALITION UPDATE


First Command reports: Career military families resolve to live frugally in 2015
First Command Financial Services Inc. via Business Wire
The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 95 percent of middle-class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are responding to another year of uncertainty over defense downsizing and proposed cuts to their military compensation with a set of frugal New Year's resolutions. Active-duty families are expressing ongoing concerns about a variety of financial issues related to their military service. January survey results reveal that 78 percent of military respondents feel anxious about sequestration. More than half are concerned about their job security in the coming months, and roughly 4 out of 5 expect to be financially impacted by anticipated cuts to defense spending.
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Restoring the faith with our military
The Huffington Post
Navy veteran Jeremy Hilton writes: The "Pentagon benefit battles" of the last five years have created such a raw wound for our military families that military advocacy groups are having to remind them "You Are Not The Problem"; commentary more reflective of the post-Vietnam era. Thankfully, I don't think that attitude extends into most of America; ironically it seems to be an attitude held inside the beltway on parts of Capitol Hill, at DoD, think tanks and much of the media, states Jeremy Hilton, #KeepYourPromise co-founder.
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Would administration, commission proposals ruin the military retail system?
Stars and Stripes and Air Force Sergeants Association
Stars and Stripes carried a column by journalist Tom Philpott that reported on a claim that AFSA has been contending all along: If the DoD portion of President Barack Obama's FY 2016 Budget Plan is passed as is, the military commissary benefit as we know it would be destroyed. The article reports, in part, "The Defense Department's fiscal 2016 budget request would slash taxpayer support of base grocery stores by $322 million in 2016 and by $1 billion next year, enough to 'destroy' the shopping benefit, warns the American Logistics Association." As to the exchange system, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service says the proposals of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to consolidate the exchange system will not realize the projected overhead savings, and the contribution to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs would be slashed or eliminated.
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Fort Meade, Maryland: Healthy Base Initiative to launch new projects
Capital Gazette
As one of 14 Department of Defense pilot installations and sites selected for this initiative, Fort Meade, Maryland, received approximately $206,500 in funding to create health-based programs. "We're making a good first step and we have the support of Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and people in our corner who are really supporting this initiative," said Scott Myers, business operations officer for DFMWR. "So, hopefully going forward, we will be able to do things to [make] the community healthier."
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, February 19, 2015 and 10 AM, February 26, 2015:

PROMOTIONS:
- DP #5, Update #1.
- DP #9, Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
- DP #10, WW Promotion Package, DeCA Celebrates Memorial Day & National BBQ Month.
- Case Lot Sale Store Dates, Update #1.
- Spring Club Pack, Update #1.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
None Received.

MISCELLANEOUS:
- CRV Values, February 22, 2015.
- Guard/Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule as of February 20, 2015.




FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES


Shelf Stocking, Receiving/Storage/Holding Area, Custodial Operations at McGuire AFB Commissary, New Jersey
FedBizOpps.gov
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area (RSHA), and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), McGuire AFB Commissary, located at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement (PWS). The solicitation includes a base period (August 1, 2015, through July 31, 2016) and four one-year option periods. This acquisition is a 100 percent set-aside for HubZone Small Business concerns.
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Shelf Stocking, RSHA, Custodial Operations
FedBizOpps.gove
Shelf Stocking, Receiving/Storage/Holding Area (RSHA), and Custodial Services at the Fort Bragg North Commissary located in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
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Shelf Stocking, RSHA, Custodial Operations at Saratoga Springs, New York Commissary
FedBizOpps.gove
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area (RSHA), and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Saratoga Springs Commissary, located in Saratoga Springs, New York, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement (PWS). The solicitation includes a base period (September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016) and four one-year option periods.
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Meat Department Wrapper/Labeler/Scales
FedBizOpps.gov
The Defense Commissary Agency seeks sources to provide Auto-wrappers/Wrappers/Labelers/Scales to Commissaries worldwide. We anticipate this will be a multiple award contract with a base year and four option years. The current contracts supplying this equipment are: HDEC04-11-D-0006, HDEC04-11-D-0007, HDEC04-11-D-0008.
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Looking for more federal business opportunities? Search here.


COMMISSARY NEWS


This is what a zero-waste grocery store looks like, and it's amazing!
Greener Ideal
Sarah Burke writes: I've been a little giddy about the idea of zero waste ever since I read about 23-year-old Lauren Singer from NYC being able to fit the amount of waste she produced from the last two years in a mason jar! That was hard enough to imagine, but now there's an entire grocery store doing it, too!
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When it comes to food, 2015 is all about going local
By Archita Datta Majumdar
As we begin 2015, more and more businesses are proudly sporting "locally grown" signs and labels. From grocery stores and delis to hotels and restaurants, food businesses are buying and serving local greens and meats to their customers. The trend is picking up quickly because not only is the produce and meat fresher and cheaper, but it is also mutually beneficial for the overall local economy.
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Industry reps: DOD plan would destroy commissaries
FRA
The Defense Department's fiscal 2016 budget request would slash taxpayer support of base grocery stores by $322 million in 2016 and by $1 billion next year, enough to "destroy" the shopping benefit, warns the American Logistics Association.
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How Wal-Mart plans to lure shoppers back to stores
Business Insider
Wal-Mart is cutting back on store investments and spending more on e-commerce in the face of stagnant same-store sales and falling store traffic in the U.S.
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Shift on the horizon: New wine-drinking trends
By Archita Datta Majumdar
America retained its position as the No. 1 wine-drinking nation in the world with about 322 million cases of wine sold in 2014. Though this figure was only a 0.3 percent growth compared to the year before, it actually represents an 80 percent rise in wine sales over the last two decades. Growth was mainly seen in the sparkling wine segment, which showed increased sales of 3 percent to about 16 million cases. As wine continues to grow in popularity, this figure shows the rising trend for Americans. Move over beer — let wine steal the show.
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Fort Lee, Virginia, entry access changing
U.S. Army
To mitigate confusion and community frustration, the Directorate of Emergency Services is partnering with the Garrison Public Affairs Office in the launch of an intensified publicity campaign for the new Army-mandated gate access procedures that will go into effect here in April.
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Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


EXCHANGE NEWS


2015 Exchange Impact Workshop: 'Elevating the Experience'
ALA
March 17- 18
Hilton Arlington Hotel
Arlington, Texas


If you do business with the Exchange, you do not want to be left out of this inaugural meeting. For the first time, more than 45 associates of the Exchange will be presenting their categories and collaborating in townhouse forum workshops to improve go to market strategies. From store repositioning discussions to individual category workshops, you do not want to be left out.

For further information about the workshop, click here. To register and view the preliminary agenda, go to www.ala-national.org. Space is limited, so register today! The choice to be involved is yours.

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Exchange Executive Promotions and Assignments

On behalf of the Director/CEO, please join me in congratulating these deserving associates.

Executive Promotions
Robin Ayling, PB 5B General Manager, Wright-Patterson Exchange, Central Region to the position of PB 5C General Manager, Ft. Riley Exchange, Central Region in May 2015. Annalisa Bonato, PB 4F Store Manager (MS), Ft. Polk Exchange, Central Region to the position of PB 5A Region Retail Program Specialist, Central Region Business Office, Exchange HQ in April 2015.
David Cline, PB 4F Network Planning Analyst, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Telecommunications Engineer Analyst, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2015. Julie Emory, PB 5B General Accounting Manager II, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5C Chief Budget Statement, Fin Analysis & Budget Division, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2015.
Kimberly Neiss, PB 4F Sales and Merchandise Manager, Ft. Belvoir Exchange, Eastern Region to the position of PB 5A Store Manager (MS), Eglin AFB Exchange, Eastern Region in 25/27 April 2015. Donald Walter Jr., PB 4E Store Manager (MS), Ft. Rucker Exchange, Central Region to the position of PB 5A General Manager, Wright-Patterson Exchange, Central Region in May 2015.
Executive Assignments
Amir Alidina, IT Field Support Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Pacific Region to the position of IT Install and Maintenance Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in May 2015. Charles Estrada, Financial Analysis Manager, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of General Accounting Operations Manager, Finance and Accounting Manager, Exchange HQ in January 2015.
Joseph Fischer, Store Manager (Main Store), Elmendorf Exchange, Western Region to the position of General Manager (Dual), Denver Exchange, Western Region in May 2015. Wayne Hansen, General Manager, Langley-Eustis Exchange, Eastern Region to the position of General Manager, Ft. Benning Exchange, Eastern Region in June 2015.
Roger Hugh, General Accounting Operations Manager, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of Senior Treasury Analyst, Finance and Accounting Directorate, Exchange HQ in January 2015. Georg Main, General Manager (DUAL), Incirlik Exchange, Europe Region to the position of Store Manager (MS), Elmendorf Exchange, Western Region in July 2015.
Garry Renteria, IT Install & Maintenance Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of IT Field Support Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Pacific Region in April 2015. Maria Smith, Vice President EEODI, Executive Group, Exchange HQ to the position of Vice President Talent Management & Development, Human Resources Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2015.



INDUSTRY NEWS


Americans feeling less satisfied with shopping experience
NBC News
U.S. consumers are generally less satisfied when they go shopping, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index report released recently. Overall satisfaction with the retail experience dropped for the first time in four years. The overall decline was about 1.5 percent. Brick-and-mortar stores had flat or lower scores. Only online retailers are up from a year ago.
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How Wal-Mart plans to lure shoppers back to stores
Business Insider
Wal-Mart is cutting back on store investments and spending more on e-commerce in the face of stagnant same-store sales and falling store traffic in the U.S.
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West Coast ports come back to life
Bloomberg Business
Ports are coming back to life along the U.S. West Coast after dockworkers resolved a nine-month labor standoff, though the cargo backlog from ships waiting offshore may take eight weeks to clear.
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Retailers wrestle with the future of shopping
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Retailers want their shoppers to have the same experience whether on the phone, on the computer or in the store. One inventory, one unified customer service experience, one checkout. It can mean pick-up in store, ship from store, click and collect, order in-store or a number of other options that make it painless to get what you want, wherever you are, when you want it.
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Touring a new Amazon fulfillment center: Could robots eventually replace humans?
Charlotte Business Journal
Bright orange, 700-pound robots that look a bit like oversized Roombas zip along the floor of the warehouse with giant storage cages full of products on top of them. The Kiva drive robots, which are everywhere in Amazon's new DuPont, Washington, fulfillment center, can carry up to 3,000 pounds.
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How Wal-Mart's CEO came to support a $1 billion wage hike
Bloomberg Business
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon helped set the stage for the recent $1 billion pay increase almost a year ago in Orlando, Florida, when he rallied managers to reverse a slide in customer service.
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Who's at risk in the Los Angeles port slowdown
Bloomberg
Piper Jaffray has an interesting report out this morning on the effects of the port slowdown in Los Angeles. While much of the discussion has been about the impact on perishable goods, as the dispute drags on, it is now impacting apparel and footwear.
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Best Buy is opening a tech office in Seattle
StarTribune
Best Buy is expanding into Amazon's home turf. The Richfield, Minnesota-based electronics retailer is opening a technology center in Seattle this spring as it looks to drive growth through innovation on its online and mobile platforms.
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NRF survey: Americans planning to save, not splurge, with tax refunds this year
NRF
Playing it safe and planning ahead, Americans plan to stash their tax refunds into savings this year. According to the National Retail Federation's annual Tax Returns Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 47 percent of those expecting a refund plan to put the money into savings, the highest percentage in the survey's history.
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Kohl's ranks third nationally in customer satisfaction
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Kohl's Corp. ranks third in customer satisfaction out of more than a dozen of the country's largest department and discount stores, the latest edition of an annual benchmarking study shows.
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Neiman Marcus' CMO hones its digital edge
MediaPost
To many people, Neiman Marcus still evokes the luxury retail clichés, like its $31,000 crocodile handbags, $600 moisturizers or over-the-top his-and-her holiday gifts. But to core fans, Neiman Marcus' digital strategies are as cutting-edge as its fashion collections: Precise, personal and unexpected.
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Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


C-STORE NEWS


Shoppers feeling a bit better
CSP
The U.S. economy made significant positive strides in 2014, but improvements are taking longer than expected to ripple through the population, according to IRI's Q4 2014 MarketPulse survey.
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Lil'Drug Store names Doran & Ward 2014 Supplier of Year
CSP
Lil'Drug Store Products Inc. has named Doran & Ward Printing & Packaging Co. as its 2014 Supplier of the Year. The award recognizes Doran & Ward for its excellence among all of LDSP's suppliers of four critical expectations: solid cost value, exceptional product quality, outstanding customer service and strong positive impact on LDSP's business.
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Retailers wary of Monster distribution transition
CSP
Change is always difficult. With the transition of much of the distribution of Monster energy drinks from beer distributors to 100 percent via Coca-Cola bottlers just beginning, many retailers are understandably nervous.
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2015 Beverage Report: Brewed and fermented
CSP
Beer grows on back of imports, craft and cider.
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Sheetz set to open 500th convenience store
CSP
Major regional, family-owned convenience-store chain Sheetz Inc. will celebrate the opening of its 500th C-store on Feb. 24. All Sheetz locations will give away free coffee and fountain drinks that day, and the company will hold a grand-opening event at the new store in Thomasville, North Carolina.
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Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New DoD chief: We must become leaner, balance budget (Federal Times)
3,000-plus troops will deploy to Europe (Army Times)
Nutritional Guide Program with shelving labels for Commissary Stores (FedBizOpps.gov)
Carter takes over at Pentagon (Military Times)
NAUS testifies before House Military Personnel Subcommittee (National Association for Uniformed Services)


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


MWR NEWS


Maryland: Healthy Base Initiative to launch new projects
Fort Meade Soundoff
A 24-hour fitness center and new cardio machines are two of the projects that Fort Meade, Maryland, will undertake with its remaining Healthy Base Initiative funding. The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will use the funding to transform Murphy Field House into a 24-hour fitness center. Funding also will be used to purchase new treadmills and elliptical machines for Gaffney Fitness Center.
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Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) RFI
FedBizOpps.gove
Please click "Read More" for full details.
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