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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Feb. 28, 2014


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Top enlisted members: Don't mess with commissaries
Read the Full Story
Military Corps Times, Karen Jowers
The Marine Corps' senior enlisted adviser recently told lawmakers that he believes focusing on the commissary benefit as a potential source of defense budget savings is a mistake.

"I'm a fan of [the commissary]," Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett told the House Appropriations Committee's military construction and veterans affairs panel at a hearing that focused on quality-of-life issues.

"I personally think it's ridiculous that we're going after something that saves a young lance corporal $4,500 a year," said Barrett, who testified alongside the senior enlisted advisers of the other services.

He was not the only one to cut against the grain of a new defense budget plan that calls for reducing the annual commissary subsidy by more than two-thirds, which advocates say would inevitable drive up customer costs.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said that for "those young men and women who are right on the edge [financially], that 30 percent savings is significant and they are shopping in that commissary."


Industry group slams DoD plan to cut commissary budget
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Karen Jowers
The Pentagon's new proposal to drastically reduce commissary funding goes too far, says an association representing companies that supply products to commissaries.

In unveiling his proposed 2015 defense budget, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel emphasized that the Defense Department "is not shutting down commissaries."

But the American Logistics Association says that in effect, that's what will happen. "Make no mistake: pulling the funding rug out from under these operations will shutter these stores over time," the association said in a statement.

The plan announced by Hagel would slash annual taxpayer subsidies to the commissary system by more than two-thirds. Over three years, the annual Defense Commissary Agency budget would drop from its current $1.4 billion to $400 million.

Only stores that are overseas and in remote locations would continue to receive direct subsidies.


DoD budget seeks cuts in BAH, commissary, Tricare benefits
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Andrew Tilghman
The Pentagon recently proposed the deepest and most far-reaching cuts to military compensation in the 40-year history of the all-volunteer force, explaining that such cuts are necessary in order to pay for more modern gear and high-tech weaponry.


Over three years, we will reduce by $1 billion the annual direct subsidy provided to military commissaries, which now totals $1.4 billion. We are not shutting down commissaries. All commissaries will still get free rent and pay no taxes. They will be able to continue to provide a good deal to service members and retirees – much like our post exchanges, which do not receive direct subsidies. Overseas commissaries and those in remote locations will continue receiving direct subsidies.

Congress:

US lawmakers push back against DoD budget plans
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Marcus Weisgerber and John T. Bennett
Congress and others in the defense community pushed back on Pentagon plans to cut 120,000 personnel from the active and reserve Army ranks, retire entire fleets of Air Force aircraft and sideline Navy ships. "We believe that we will present a budget that can fulfill the commitments that we have to this nation, our people, to keep them safe and secure, and also the commitments that we have to our allies and partners around the world," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said of DoD's recent $496 billion, 2015 budget proposal.

Obama's defense budget proposal sets stage for major battle with Congress
Read the Full Story
National Defense Magazine, Sandra I. Erwin
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is sending Congress a budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 with few sacred cows. He is recommending steep cuts across all branches of the armed services, he is truncating and terminating major weapon systems, and trimming popular military benefits. The Defense Department is also asking Congress for continuing relief from the spending restrictions of the Budget Control Act that Congress passed in 2011. The military will shrink, said Hagel, but it cannot live with sequestration.



Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association






WASHINGTON UPDATE


Sources: DoD 5-year spending plan $115 billion over budget caps, ignores sequestration
Defense News
The U.S. Defense Department on March 4 will propose a five-year plan that boosts Pentagon spending by a total of $115 billion over sequestration spending caps, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the plan.
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McCain places hold on two Obama defense nominees
The Hill
Sen. John McCain has placed a hold on two of President Barack Obama's nominees for top Pentagon jobs, after he said they gave unsatisfactory answers during their confirmation hearings. McCain placed a hold on Bob Work, Obama's nominee for deputy defense secretary, after he said the littoral combat ship program he had overseen while serving as secretary of the Navy "is on solid ground and is meeting its cost targets."
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Extra $26 billion for DoD would go toward 'base budget' readiness
Defense News
The extra $26 billion eyed for the U.S. Defense Department in 2015 would fund readiness initiatives and other "base budget type of stuff," the Pentagon's top buyer said. The comment came following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's recent announcement that the Pentagon would send a $496 billion 2015 budget proposal to Congress. That budget is in line with federal defense spending caps.
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Hagel to troops: Proposed cuts to compensation helps ensure readiness
Military Times
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently told hundreds of troops that the historic reductions in military compensation he proposing is, in part, an effort to keep them safe. A day after announcing the first-ever rollback of housing allowance, a cut to military commissary subsidies and new Tricare fees for military families, Hagel visited two installations in Virginia and met with troops because he wanted to explain to them "face to face, as your Secretary of Defense ... why we made the decisions we made."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Are grocery stores doomed? More shoppers buying food at big-box stores (Forbes)
Bush-era lessons remain relevant for Obama, Hagel as they prepare Pentagon's budget
(The Washington Post)
'Commissary Club' to open at McChord Field (Northwest Military)
WEST: Defense industry wants open and honest dialogue with services (UNSI News)
Defense officials step up rhetoric against cuts (National Defense Magazine)

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


COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, February 20, 2014 and 10 AM February 27, 2014:

PROMOTIONS
DP #6, Update #1.
DP #7, Update #1.
Mother’s Day, Update #1.
Spring Club Pack, Update #1.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
14-19, Packaged Salad Category, with 4 Attachments.
14-22, Store Reset Dates – Quantico.
14-23, Store Reset Dates – McGuire AFB.
14-24, Store Reset Dates – McChord AFB.
14-25, Store Reset Dates – Ft. Bragg North.

MISCELLANEOUS
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-09.
DeCA January Sales Data.
CRV Values, February 23, 2014.
New Items Added in CAO, Zone 28 Test, February 24, 2014.
Performance Measures, Biweekly New Items, 1 – 15 February 2014.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Exchange Roundtable, March 5-7, 2014, Marriott Norfolk Waterside, Norfolk, Virginia. Registration is open.
DeCA/ALA Appreciation Day Golf, April 30, 2014, Ft Lee, VA.
ALA Commissary Roundtable, May 1 & 2, 2014, Richmond Marriott, Richmond VA.
ALA Congressional Caucus, June 24, 2014, Washington, DC
ALA Hawaii Conference & Food Show, August 2014, Honolulu
ALA National Convention, October 24, 2014, Hyatt Capitol Hill, Washington, DC





COMMISSARY NEWS


2 or 3-roll hand wrappers
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as a small business set-aside. The solicitation is for nine 2 or 3-roll hand wrappers to be delivered to six Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and one commissary located in Japan. The contractor will be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port of embarkation. A purchase order is contemplated. The Request for Quote will be posted on FedBizOpps at www.fedbizopps.gov. Quoters may obtain a copy of the solicitation at this site.
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More guys in grocery aisles with higher brand affinity
MediaPost
Goodbye, macho; hello, mensch. A new kind of guy is emerging — one who does the shopping, and not just for beer, chips and maybe a carrot if bothered to buy it. Defy Media's second annual Acumen Report: Brand New Man, tapping something over 2,000 men ages 18-49, suggests that men are becoming household helpers, perhaps as they are supplanted at work by women — a big change from household engagement meaning coming home for dinner now and then.
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FDA proposes updates to nutrition facts label
Grocery Headquarters
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Nutritional updates.


Industry wipes away 'Got Milk?' mustache after sales take spill
NPR
There's a new slogan in town that will replace "Got Milk?" The famous tagline that encouraged Americans to consume more dairy has been benched by the MilkPEP, the national group of milk processors that launched the campaign back in 1993. The industry is hoping it can win back consumers with the slogan, "Milk Life," after sales declined, year over year, for the last four years.
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USDA food waste report has plenty to say about consumer waste
Mother Nature Network
The USDA recently released a report titled "The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States." The report defines food loss as "the amount of edible food, post-harvest, that is available for human consumption, but is not consumed for any reason." Almost one-third of food that makes it to the grocery store shelves goes to waste in our country, and twice as much is wasted on the consumer level than it is at the retail level. We are throwing away a lot of the food we buy.
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Analyst: Convenience trend hurts both cereal and baked breakfast goods
BakeryAndSnacks
The U.S. trend of skipping breakfast, or eating it on the go, hurts both cereal and packaged breakfast baked goods, according to an analyst behind a Packaged Facts report. The total retail sales of packaged breakfast goods reached $4.9 billion in 2012. However, health and diet concerns surrounding both packaged foods and bread and pastry products have "stunted" the segments growth.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Kraft in push to simpler, 'real' ingredients
MediaPost
Consumer attitudes about food and buying habits have shifted radically, and food and beverage companies have to adapt or face irrelevance, recently declared Kraft Foods Group CEO Tony Vernon.

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Security Insiders: High time for Congress to cave on closing military bases
National Journal
It's high time for Congress to agree to the Pentagon's request to close military bases, a whopping 91 percent of National Journal's National Security Insiders said.

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Demographic shifts contribute to the changing face of retail
NPR
So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would. Macy's said it would. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April. That's creating a glut of excess space.

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COALITION NEWS



Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...

The Coalition and Valued Associates sent out a national news release this week in response to the Pentagon's proposed budget cuts:

Pentagon Cuts Military Families EARNED Benefits

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Monday the Pentagon's budget includes a proposal to cut the $1.4 billion commissary funding by $1 billion over the next three years.

"Drastically cutting commissary funding will raise prices, cut military pay, and eliminate critical savings for military families," said Candace Wheeler, spokesperson for The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits.

"Service members and their families are used to sacrificing for their country but they shouldn't have to shoulder the responsibility of balancing the budget by forfeiting their EARNED benefits," added Wheeler.

"Commissaries are an integral part of the total compensation package for our military families," said Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, President and CEO, Military Officers Association of America. "Cutting $1 Billion dollars would sharply reduce the 30% savings military members and families now experience. Customers will vote with their feet and shop elsewhere. This proposal is a back-door way to undermine the commissary benefit," stated Ryan.

President Obama recognizes the importance of the commissary benefit, telling troops last summer that closing these stores: "is not how a great nation should be treating its military and military families."

Although Secretary Hagel continues to emphasize the Pentagon is not closing any commissaries, military family advocates point out an important distinction.

"The focus MUST be on preserving the 30% savings, not simply on keeping stores open," said Joyce Raezer, Executive Director, National Military Family Association. "If the savings disappear so will the customers and the response will be 'See, they didn't need the commissaries after all!'" warned Raezer.

A recent Military Times survey confirmed active duty families continue to rank the commissary as a highly valued benefit, and is highly used by enlisted families.

"I personally think it's ridiculous that we're going after something that saves a young lance corporal $4,500 a year," said Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett during yesterday's Congressional hearing on quality-of-life issues.

"This benefit is even more important today in our current economy," said John P. May, Executive Director, American Military Society.

Commissaries are part of the solution, not part of the problem with our Nation's budget challenges – providing a great return on every dollar spent to provide this benefit. Commissaries also provide vital employment for veterans, military spouses, and persons with disabilities; and help promote healthy lifestyles – all major Administration initiatives.

"We hope Congress recognizes the importance of the commissary benefit and continues to support its mission," added May.

"If we keep cutting important benefits, I fear one day Americans will wake up and discover draft cards in the wallets of their children," said Jack Du Teil, Executive Director, U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association.

#SaveOurBenefits represents 2 million military families, veterans, persons with disabilities, employees, and concerned citizens who are working to shape polices impacting our nation's ability to keep a healthy and vibrant military resale system, and protecting these critical EARNED benefits. Join us!


The Coalition also sent out the following Call to Action alert on Tuesday, February 25th urging members to send our new Capwiz letters to the President and Congress. We shared this Call to Action and our letters with Valued Associate member organizations, and with AFGE DeCA Council 172. The Coalition continues to post new content driven articles everyday to Facebook.

Dear Coalition Member:

Commissary prices are going to skyrocket ... 30 to 50 percent over what you are paying now!

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today that the Pentagon budget proposal includes:

CUTTING THE $1.4 BILLION COMMISSARY FUNDING
By $1 BILLION OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS

Drastically reducing commissary funding will raise prices and amount to a cut in pay. Forcing you to make tradeoffs in your household budget – deciding between getting the car repaired, sending your kids to the school of your choice, or saving for college or your future.

President Obama 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."

Although Secretary Hagel stated, "We are not shutting down commissaries," there is a difference between keeping commissaries open and preserving the savings they provide you and your family, which are critical to helping you make ends meet.

The commissary benefit continues to be ranked by active duty families as one of your most valued EARNED benefits, and is highly used by enlisted families. Retired military families have EARNED this benefit through 20 plus years of service, and your patronage helps buy down the benefit for currently serving troops and their families.

We all realize the Pentagon is under tremendous pressure from sequestration and shrinking budgets, but the commissary program is a model of efficiency and should be emulated not decimated.

Cutting the commissary funding just doesn't make sense and seems like another broken promise!

As a military family, you are used to sacrificing for your country but you shouldn't have to shoulder the responsibility of balancing the budget by forfeiting your EARNED benefits.

The President said, "We can do better than that." We couldn't agree more!

DON'T ALLOW YOUR HARD EARNED BENEFITS TO BE TAKEN AWAY!

TAKE ACTION NOW by writing the President and Members of Congress.

Join Save Our Benefit. Like us on Facebook. Ask your friends to do the same!

The Coalition to Save our Military Shopping Benefits is working to ensure service members, veterans, military families, survivors, persons with disabilities, employees, and concerned citizens have a voice in shaping polices that impact our nation's ability to sustain a healthy and vibrant military resale system, and to protect these critical earned benefits.

WASHINGTON POLICY MAKERS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY!



CHAPTER ANNOUNCEMENTS


Hampton Roads ALA Golf Tourney — this Wednesday, March 5!
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Tee Time is at 11 a.m.; registration includes boxed lunch.

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Click here to register!

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EXCHANGE MARKET NEWS


Gap raising minimum wage for US employees
BuzzFeed
The owner of Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Piperlime, and Intermix said it will raise the current $7.25 minimum wage for its workers to $9 this year and to $10 in 2015. Update: Gap executive Art Peck tells BuzzFeed, "It's coinciding with the national debate, but honestly, this was a business decision."
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Wal-Mart's big-box formula comes under strain
The Wall Street Journal
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., facing a sustained drop in store traffic, said it would accelerate its spending on its online presence and smaller-format stores meant to be more convenient for short shopping trips. The company booked nearly half a trillion dollars in sales for its just-completed financial year. But Wal-Mart's big-box formula for success is under strain because of a change in shopper habits, as consumers increasingly go online to buy clothes and electronics, while heading to dollar stores and pharmacy chains to refill on basics.
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Samsung builds retail clout in Europe, North America
The Wall Street Journal
Samsung Electronics Co. became the world's biggest smartphone maker largely without the help of its own retail stores. Now, faced with a horde of cheap, new rivals and the prospect of slowing growth, it is trying to increase its clout among consumers by expanding its retail presence in two of its largest markets—Europe and North America.
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Wintry weather chills sales for some — raises it for others
Advertising Age
Amid the cabin fever caused by the mother of all 21st century winters has been a cottage industry of excuse and explanation-making for media and marketers.
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Americans hoping to cushion their rainy day funds with tax returns this year
National Retail Federation
Having a plethora of options for how to use their tax refunds, more Americans this year are opting to stash their cash away for a rainy day. According to NRF's Tax Returns Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 46 percent of those expecting a refund this year will put their money into savings, up from 44 percent last year and the highest percent in the survey's history. Two-thirds (66.6 percent) of those surveyed are expecting a refund this year.
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Inside Target, CEO Gregg Steinhafel struggles to contain giant cybertheft
The Wall Street Journal
Executives settled around a square table inside a Target Corp. conference room here earlier this month and munched on store-brand snacks as they chewed over something far less appetizing. Opinion surveys commissioned by the company found that the massive cybertheft that waylaid Target late last year had knocked confidence and trust in the 51-year-old retailer to an all-time low.
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Report: Target data breach costs banks more than $200 million
Chain Store Age
The costs related to Target's data breach have now exceeded $200 million for financial institutions, according to the Consumer Bankers Association and the Credit Union National Association. The $200 million figure does not include the cost of any a fraudulent activity, which would push the cost of the breach to the industry higher as consumers are not held liable.
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Demographic shifts contribute to the changing face of retail
NPR
So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would. Macy's said it would. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April. That's creating a glut of excess space. But that's just one of several forces changing the face of retail.
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Michigan hardware stores able to keep shovels in stock, but only barely
MLive
With major retailers turning customers away because of a lack of inventory, residents can take comfort in the fact that local hardware stores are pursuing other avenues in order to keep shovels, snowblowers and other types of snow and ice removal equipment in stock. Attempting to strike a balance between how much of a product to order versus how much you will actually sell is something that local hardware stores have been dealing with all winter, said Phil Ippel, co-owner of L. Hoekstra True Value in Kalamazoo.
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The top 50 e-retailers
STORES
E-retailing, as defined in this analysis, includes B2C e-commerce only (i.e., where the company owns the inventory and the revenue reflects e-retail sales). Companies that primarily operate as e-marketplaces are excluded from this analysis as their revenues are largely derived from fees and commissions on sales from third-party sellers (consumers or other businesses that own the inventory) rather than directly from the sale of goods. For the first time, Deloitte has compiled a list of the world's top 50 e-retailers.
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Wal-Mart's China syndrome a symptom of international woes
Reuters
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, famed for its low prices, has stumbled in the one major market where consumers say price is less of a driver in their buying decisions: China. There, consumers say they want food that is safe and authentic, and, after 17 years, Wal-Mart is changing its approach, closing some big-box stores that never quite caught on with locals. Instead, it's focusing on private-label products and imports, putting its stamp on quality and safety.
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Sears closing store, ending a century in Sodo building
The Seattle Times
Troubled retailer Sears will close its Sodo store and auto center at the Starbucks Center, a building where it has operated for more than a century and that played a key role in its westward expansion. The closure will result in 79 lost jobs.
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American Eagle may shine brightest in 'post-apocalyptic future of teen retail'
BuzzFeed
Investment bank Jefferies sent clients a note Friday titled "Teenage Wasteland: Assessing the Post-Apocalyptic Future of Teen Retail." According to its survey of more than 1,000 teens, American Eagle has more "brand relevance" than rivals Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch.
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Report: Amazon seeks deals with major retailers
Chain Store Age
Amazom.com is reportedly seeking to strike deals with about 10 major retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Lord & Taylor, to sell their goods via listings on its e-commerce site.
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2 new Sears Hometown Stores open
Chain Store Age
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. has opened two new Sears Hometown Stores. The stores are located in Longmont, Colo. and Wenatchee, Wash., and will celebrate their official grand openings Feb. 28-March 1.
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Hess Station manager foils skimmers
CSPnet
A manager at a Hess station doing routine inspections found skimming devices placed within the pumps, apparently before data thieves were able to retrieve the compromised data, according to the local sheriff's office. The devices, placed into pumps to steal credit-card information, were located on pumps at a Hess location in Brooksville, Fla.
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Jack Link's beefs up its meat-snack business
CSPnet
With a quest to become the top global provider of branded meat snacks, Minong, Wis.-based meat-snack provider Jack Link's said it plans to acquire Unilever's meat-snack business. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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C-stores preparing to step up on new food stamp requirements
CSPnet
Convenience stores will have to start stocking a variety of "staple foods" with snacks and fountain drinks if they want to keep accepting food stamps, under a section of the farm bill, reported the Cronkite News Service. The provision, included into the nearly 1,000-page bill signed into law earlier this month by President Obama, would require that stores increase the "depth of stock" in four of those staples: bread or cereals, vegetables or fruits, dairy products and meat, poultry or fish.
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Macy's American Rag supports musical content outreach with hashtags, Instagram
Mobile Marketer
Macy's private label clothing brand American Rag has launched a new music-driven program that includes hashtags, Facebook and Instagram activations for community-building and increasing brand awareness. The new All Access program is targeted at the brand's Millennial customers with the goal of providing direct access to exclusive music, videos, contests and in-person appearances by musicians.
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Consumers socking away tax refunds
MediaPost
Retailers hoping to get a bit of a bump from people burning through their tax refunds may have to be patient: A new survey from the National Retail Federation reports that 46 percent of those expecting a refund this year intend to save the funds. That's somewhat more than the 44 percent who said they would do so last year, and a record high for the survey. About 67 percent of those polled say they anticipate a refund check from Uncle Sam.
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Try before you buy
The Associated Press
The fitting room is coming home. Online retailers that sell jeans, eyeglasses and shoes are shipping their products to customers for free to try on at home before buying them.
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Wal-Mart doubles small-store expansion amid weak sales and lowered outlook
Chain Store Age
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently doubled its projected growth of its small-store format as the retailer reported a disappointing fourth quarter and issued lower-than-expected fiscal 2015 guidance.
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Wine gains attention and sales in c-stores
CSPnet
Despite the fact that consumers consider c-stores a destination for beer and even spirits, wine isn’t as often on their list — but that is changing. Based on the tracking of 1,500 wine brands, Chicago-based Technomic Inc. found that off-premise wine grew 2.6 percent by volume, with table wine up 2.3 percent. Just-released preliminary numbers for 2013 find total wine at retail up 2.1 percent.
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Order up! Food businesses find an appetite for bitcoin
NPR
Hungry for a Philly cheesesteak or a hot Reuben sandwich? That'll be about 0.001 bitcoin, please. From restaurants to breweries, to even your and, the popular cryptocurrency has inched its way into the food industry, as more vendors consider it a valid form of payment. Unlike cash or credit, bitcoin is an invisible currency that exists only online and can be transferred from person to person sans a centralized government or bank.
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Companies are investing more money, resources in customer experience
CMSwire
Companies are committed to customer experience. It's a priority in most, more important this year than last — and many companies are hiring more people to focus on it. Those are among the key takeaways in the latest of a series of reports from Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm. Companies with the most positive CX results have above-average financial performance, understand the connection to business results and possess the needed resources, skills and leadership. They are also the ones that focus most on websites, phone agents, mobile and measurement/analytics.
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Top wine trends for 2014
By Archita Datta Majumdar
What can we look for in wines this year? The answer is as wide as it is interesting. Wine consumption and revenue figures have been on a steep rise for the last decade. Even the recession could not make much of a dent in the numbers, and the industry seems to have become even more robust than before. The U.S. market is especially in the limelight with production and consumption both at an all-time high. Here is a look at upcoming trends that will shape the future of the wine industry in 2014 and beyond.
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Why you should listen to customers
Fox Small Business
If you are doing anything worthwhile, you will have critics. Learn to discern between those providing valuable feedback on your product or service and those who simply have too much time on their hands and a sour attitude. When you encounter valuable feedback, determine whether you should implement the suggestions.
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The fuel landscape 5 years from now
Convenience Store News
Traditional petroleum — classified as E10 under the blend wall — continues to overwhelmingly be the fuel of choice sold at the nation's gas stations. But alternative fuels are beginning to make their presence felt, and the landscape could be completely different in five years' time, according to the latest Convenience Store News Motor Fuels Study.
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Online retailers can empower frontline customer service reps
Multichannel Merchant
Every customer touchpoint gives you the opportunity to deliver a "Wow" experience — one that keeps the customer coming back and telling their friends about the experience. Get back to basics with the following tactics for empowering your customer service employees, ensuring your customers feel taken care of when they reach out for help.
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EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENTS


Executive Promotions
Cologne Anderson, PB 4F Auditor II, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ, to the position of PB 5A Auditor III, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2014. Ronald Apflert, PB 4F Business Analyst III (Services), Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Business Program Specialist (Services), Services Operations Support, Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ in December 2013.
Hans Beauvais, PB 5D Audit Group Manager, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5E Vice President of Audit Division, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ in January 2014. Mark Brown, PB 4F Business Analyst III (S), Executive Office Western Region, to the position of PB 5A Region Retail Program Specialist, Retail Business Office Central Region in January 2014.
Joanne Cahalan, PB 4F General Manager (Dual), POM Executive Office, Western Region, to the position of PB 5A Store Manager (MS), Andrews AFB, Eastern Region in March 2014. Don Cassens, PB 4F Operations Analyst Logistics Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Senior Transportation Analyst Logistics Directorate, Exchange HQ in April 2014.
Melissa Delgado, PB 4F Auditor II, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ, to the position of PB 5A Auditor III, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2014. Susan Eaton, PB 5C Audit Group Manager, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5D Audit Group Manager, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2014.
James Gordon, PB 5A Procurement Manager, PZ-Plans, Strategic Planning & Partnerships Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5C Associate Director, PL-K HQ Support Services, Strategic Planning & Partnerships Directorate, Exchange HQ in January 2014. Jennifer Hall, PB 4F EDI Pro Lead-SR Business Analyst, Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Senior Project Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2014.
Hideko Israel, PB 5A Auditor III, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5C Audit Project Manager, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2014. John Landry, PB 5C Attorney II, General Counsel Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5D Attorney III, General Counsel Directorate, Exchange HQ in January 2014.
Walter Lowe, PB 5A Auditor III, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5C Audit Project Manager, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2014. Kelli Rhody, PB 4F Associate Payments Manager, Finance & Accounting Directorate to the position of PB 5A Treasury Analyst, in Finance & Accounting Directorate December 2013.
Jerry Riordan, PB 5C General Manager, Ft. Carson, Western Region, (currently deployed) to the position of PB 5D, Area Manager Hawaii Western Region in February 2014. Michele Weisshaar, PB 5A General Manager, USMA Executive Office, Eastern Region, to the position of PB 5C General Manager Ft. Meade Eastern Region, in February 2014.
David Yi, PB 4F Replenishment Manager, Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5A Senior Policy Program Manager, Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ in December 2013.
Executive Assignments
Moreno Alarilla, Chief Europe Food Branch, Europe Region to the position of Region Food Program Specialist, Western Region Food Business Office in March 2014. Michael Deerhake, Area Manager, DS: Eglin AFB, Central Region to the position of Area Manager, DS: Wright-Patterson, Central Region in February 2014.
Stephen Groll, Corporate Policy Specialist II, Executive Group, Exchange HQ to the position of Senior Inspector General, Audit Directorate, Exchange HQ in January 2014. Mira Hebert-Villalobos, Senior Policy Program Manager, Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of Region Services Program Specialist Western Region Services Business Office in October 2013.
Timothy Kelly, Vice President IT Store Systems Development, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in February 2014. Thomas Kuttamperoor, General Manager, Ft. Lee, Eastern Region (currently deployed) as General Manager, Afghanistan to the position of Store Manager (MS), MacDill AFB, Eastern Region in March 2014.
Angela Mauras, Store Manager (MS), MacDill AFB, Eastern Region to the position of General Manager USMA Executive Office, Eastern Region in March 2014. Daniel Schmidt, Area Manager, DS: Ft. Leavenworth, Central Region to the position of Area Manager, DS: Ft. Hood, Central Region in February 2014.



New item launch plan (Exchange)

Dear Vendors/Brokers,

New items are the key drivers for category growth and increasing sales. In a collaborative effort to excite and effectively market new items to our customers we have developed a new item multi-channel marketing package. The menu of marketing options are valuable opportunities to communicate the impactful new items to customers. Impact new item launches in which we use speed to market strategy and planogram resets are where we need to implement multi-channel marketing. Each impact new item launch and planogram reset we are requesting your support on this new initiative.

Please work directly with your buyers to schedule multi-channel marketing on the next new items. We are confident this additional marketing and customer experiences through samplings in store will produce incremental sales growth.

Thank you for your continuing support,

David H. Arens
Divisional Merchandise Manager Retail Food
Sales Directorate
214-312-3215
arensd@aafes.com

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AAFES Homeward Bound Program
Click here to view info on the AAFES Homeward Bound Program!
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Wage hike's impact on DoD far from clear
Navy Times
A 39 percent increase in the minimum wage for federal contract workers will be good news for the many military spouses and veterans who work for these contractors when it takes effect next January. But defense and service officials are still far from sorting out other possible effects on military installations — to include prices of products in on-base retail activities and funding for morale, welfare and recreation programs.
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Air Force base to lease 6 sites to cut costs
Dayton Daily News via Military.com
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will lease up to six spots on and off the sprawling 8,145 acre military installation in a push to build public and private partnerships and cut costs with defense budgets shrinking. Potential stakeholders recently toured the locations and brainstormed ways to make use of the land and create or extend partnerships between the base and outside organizations in academia, industry and government.
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2014 Exchange Roundtable revised agenda is now available:

Click here to view the updated 2014 Exchange Roundtable Agenda

Coast Guard Exchange Update for the Roundtable:

We would like the vendors to address the following questions during our "BIG IDEA" session:
  1. CGX Exchanges were impacted on Black Friday 2013 when commercial retailers opened on Thanksgiving Day. We have no future plans to open on Thanksgiving Day. What can vendors offer to help us be more competitive on Black Friday 2014?
  2. What items or categories of merchandise are you currently having success with in other military exchanges do you suggest for CGX exchanges?
  3. How can you help military exchanges remain competitive with Walmart in the markets where Walmart is adding Alcohol to their assortments?
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Best,

Sarah Malbon Mikus
Director of Merchandise
USCG Community Services Command

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.

Homeward Bound Slides

CGES Sales January 2014

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)

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MCX
Army MWR
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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)!



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 5 p.m. 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


Wage hike's impact on DoD far from clear
Navy Times
A 39 percent increase in the minimum wage for federal contract workers will be good news for the many military spouses and veterans who work for these contractors when it takes effect next January. But defense and service officials are still far from sorting out other possible effects on military installations — to include prices of products in on-base retail activities and funding for morale, welfare and recreation programs.
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Top Dog: Military-inspired by Authentic Apparel
Fashion Indie
Everyone seems to be doing military-inspired these days and we wanted to highlight a new brand that's doing it right. Authentic Apparel Group just launched their line of premium army style clothing that's officially licensed by the U.S. Army. They've taken classic pieces like the field jacket and the flight bomber, and are updating them to fit more modern cuts.
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Benning Hotel sparks fear in local competition
Military.com
It's an 860-room hotel that is impressive in its sheer size and is situated in the heart of Fort Benning's Main Post area — where soldiers train, work, live and play. The 450,000-square-foot property also is part of the U.S. Army's effort to privatize its on-post lodging to replace as quickly and economically as possible rooms that are showing age through decades of wear and tear.
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