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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only March 06, 2015


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

The budget uncertainty: 1 step forward and 2 steps backward ...

You can easily glean from the stream below that here is as much posturing in the budget arena as there is substantive action. We continue to engage and educate the key decision makers on the devastating impact of the current Administration budget proposal. Keep in mind that, in spite of the fact the budget request is $34 billion that what is allowed by law, it destroys the military resale benefits. Proposals that place the burden of a reduced commissary appropriation on the back of the exchanges do not pass the sanity test. There is no sustainable business model that can absorb that added cost and survive.



House Democrats: No path to more DoD spending
Read the Full Story
Defense News, John T. Bennett
A senior U.S. House appropriator doubts Congress will address pending military budget cuts any time soon.

McCain, Reed want $577 billion plus war funding
Read the Full Story
Defense News, John T. Bennett
Senate Armed Services Committee leaders are urging congressional budget writers to clear the Pentagon to spend $577 billion next year, $54 billion above existing spending caps.

Sanders requests DoD meeting over wasteful spending
Read the Full Story
The Hill, Rebecca Shabad
Senate Budget Committee ranking member Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., requested a meeting with new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to discuss wasteful spending at the Pentagon.

Bob Hale: Targeted Pentagon budget cuts likely
Read the Full Story
Defense One, Marcus Weisgerber
The Pentagon is not likely to get the $535 billion President Barack Obama has requested for fiscal 2016, but that does not mean every Defense Department project will get hit with spending cuts like in 2013.

Thornberry to Price: At least $566 billion for DoD
Read the Full Story
Defense News, John T. Bennett
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry wants the House GOP budget resolution to propose a $566 billion national defense account and a separate $50.9 billion war fund.

Senate Armed Services Committee Leadership (Sens. McCain and Reed) ... site Compensation Commission and integration efficiencies in outlining funding needs to the Budget Committee.

The sections below are excerpts from the letter mentioned above. The take away is that even though more money is requested ... the statue quo is a nonstarter ...
  • A thorough examination, led by our Personal Subcommittee, of the recommendations of the congressionally-mandated Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission with the goal of identifying reforms that modernize the military personnel system, improve its efficiency and enhance the experience of our service members;
  • Committee-led investigations into significant cases of potential, waste, fraud or abuse, including cost overruns on major defense acquisition programs, to determine what happened, why it happened, who was responsible and who should be held accountable;
  • And, a wide-ranging oversight initiative to identify defense management reforms that could reduce or consolidate military headquarters, commands and infrastructure, slow the rate of personal-cost growth, enhance contract competition and improve the training and effectiveness of the Department of Defense's financial management workforce.
President nominates Conger to No. 2 position in comptroller's office:

... John Conger has appeared at the last two ALA Congressional Caucus events and provided an excellent insight into the budget impacts on DoD. He is well versed in the issues facing military resale.

John Conger — who currently is the Pentagon's acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment — was recently nominated by President Barack Obama to be the principal deputy to the department's comptroller. Conger obtained his current title in December after DOD merged its installations and operational energy organizations to comply with the newly enacted fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. Previously, Conger had been acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, a title he assumed in September 2012, after Dorothy Robyn vacated the top installations slot. He joined DOD in 2009 as the assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment.



Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE


Bid for more US defense funds gets chilly House reception
Reuters
U.S. military officials seeking a big boost in defense spending received little encouragement from a House panel reviewing their bid for more funds, with one lawmaker saying the extra money would have to be cut "with you or ... without you."
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Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money
Military Times
The Pentagon is pushing for a new round of base closures geared specifically toward saving money. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Installations John Conger told the House Appropriations Committee that the last round of closures was "not designed to save any money" and was more about rebalancing the force than cutting costs. "We look at the next round as an efficiency-driven one. In such a budget environment as we have today, it only makes sense to avoid spending money on excess," he said.
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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


Dempsey: Sequestration endangers defense strategy
U.S. Department of Defense
While the U.S. military remains strong, sequestration endangers the mission of protecting America and its interests, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told the Senate. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified before the Armed Services Committee. Both men said the military would not be able to fulfill defense strategic guidance if sequestration triggers in October.
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Senior enlisted advisors: Uncertainty affects quality of life
U.S. Department of Defense
Service members and their families are concerned about potential sequester-caused cuts to the military's budget and possible changes to quality of life, pay and compensation programs, the services' senior enlisted advisors told a House panel. The Army's senior enlisted leader said adequate funding is key to showing soldiers how much leadership cares. "Caring for our people builds trust, and trust is built with predictability," Dailey said. This, he said, "is the unwritten contract" between the American people, its leaders and the Army's soldiers and civilians.
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VFW says ending sequestration is top 2016 priority
Military.com
Members of the nation's oldest veterans' service organization will be lobbying to end sequestration when they appear before congressional committees and meetings with lawmakers in their offices. "Our members — all voting constituents — will use this face-to-face opportunity [with Congress] to demand ... an end to the sequester," VFW National Commander John W. Stroud said. With the U.S. still at war, the cuts required under the sequester will devastate military readiness, homeland security, the quality-of-life of military families and veterans, he said.
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The bottom line: Budget vs. commission
Military Officers Association of America
Within a few days of each other, the White House and the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission both released their ideas for transforming military pay and benefits. The administration's FY 2016 budget rehashes many proposals that don't attempt to modernize or reform pay and benefits — they simply continue to erode them. On the other hand, the MCRMC report contains 15 recommendations to totally overhaul pay and benefits. Some appear to be well thought out and have our support.
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Industry reps: DoD plan would 'destroy' commissaries
National Association for Uniformed Services
A NAUS ally in the fight to retain the Commissary benefit, the American Logistics Association, which represents manufacturers, distributors and brokers of products sold in commissaries and base exchanges, has released a position paper that contrasts DoD's plan to "wreck" commissaries with less onerous recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel to consolidate all base store operations to gain efficiencies. 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, which the ALA says would "destroy" the shopping benefit.
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Army announces new Afghanistan deployments
Army Times
More than 2,300 soldiers from three major Army units will deploy to Afghanistan this spring and summer, officials have announced. The deployments are part of the regular rotation of forces to Afghanistan, where the mission in January transitioned to a train-and-advise mission called Resolute Support. About 10,000 U.S. troops are now in the country.
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, February 27, 2015 and 10 AM, March 5, 2015:

PROMOTIONS:
- DP #7, Update #1.
- DP #8, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
- Mother's Day, Update #2.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
15-32, Revised Ft Lee Access Requirement. If you call on the DeCA Headquarters or the Ft. Lee Commissary this is a must read NTT.

MISCELLANEOUS:
- Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 15-09.
- Stores Closed Due to Snow, March 2 and 5, 2015.
- CRV Values, March 1, 2015.
- Guard/Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule as of February 27, 2015.




FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES


Shelf Stocking, Receiving/Storage/Holding Area (RSHA), and Custodial Operations at the Key West NAS, Florida commissary
FedBizOpps.gov
Solicitation Number: HDEC08-14-R-0012. Agency: Other Defense Agencies. Office: Defense Commissary Agency. Location: Contracting Bus Unit/Commercial Activities (HDEC08).
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Maintenance and Repair of Misc. Food Processing Equipment
FedBizOpps.gov
Solicitation Number: HDEC04-15-R-0014. Agency: Other Defense Agencies. Office: Defense Commissary Agency. Location: Contracting Business Unit/Equip, & Maint Div (HDEC04).
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Looking for more federal business opportunities? Search here.


COMMISSARY NEWS


DeCA tackles shortages
DVIDS
The Defense Commissary Agency began airlifting certain perishable items and recently found viable local products to ease constraints in the pacific.
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DeCA expects several more months before Pacific commissaries return to normal
The Defense Commissary Agency
The Defense Commissary Agency says it will take a few months to stabilize product deliveries to its stores in the Pacific as shipments from West Coast ports return to normal schedules.
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New commissary planned for NAS Jax as part of $37 million renovation
Jacksonville Business Journal
Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, is working on several expansion projects on base, including a nearly $30 million 115,000 square foot commissary.
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Report: Target to revamp groceries to focus on younger shoppers
Reuters via CNBC
Target has zeroed in on seven grocery categories, including granola, yogurt and craft beer, to attract younger shoppers, urban dwellers and Hispanics, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
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Beyond Meat CEO: 'We're building 1 of the great American meat companies (from plants)'
FoodNavigator-USA.com
Beyond Meat — the California-based firm that claims to have unlocked the secret to making "near-perfect" replicas of meat from plants — says that in future, meat-free products won't be confined to a "vegetarian" section, but just part of the broader "protein" set.
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Still doing your own grocery shopping? That's so 2014
USA Today
From steaks to lobsters and even cars, it seems you can buy almost anything online. But how about a gallon of milk or a carton of eggs? Money expert Matt Granite says there isn't a one-size-fits-all fix for general grocery shopping online. But if you live in certain cities and areas, you could be in luck.
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How grocers can harness the power of meat
Progressive Grocer
The analysis recently came full circle with discussions on broad meat trends, the importance of supermarket food service and how shoppers view the meat department bringing the 2015 Annual Meat Conference to a close.
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Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


Don't forget herbs, spices: Natural flavor growth goes beyond high-intensity flavors
FoodNavigator.com
The trend for natural foods has seen alternatives to synthetic flavors take center stage, but growth in this sector has been matched by increasing use of herbs, spices and seasonings, say experts.
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Connecting veterans to jobs through Starbucks New Military Family Stores
Financial
Employing two Marine Corps veterans, a former Navy machinist and two military spouses, a Starbucks store in San Diego has among the highest percentage of partners (employees) with personal connections to the U.S. Armed Forces. It's fitting that this Starbucks location has received a special designation as the company's first Military Family Store.
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GMO apples: Coming soon to a grocery store near you
By Archita Datta Majumdar
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved two new genetically modified apples — Arctic Granny Smith and Arctic Golden — for sale in the United States. Amidst the GMO war that is raging across the country, this new development may well be fodder for more debates. Typically, apples turn brown pretty fast once they are cut. Developed by a Canadian biotech company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., these new types are genetically altered to prevent them from browning after they're sliced or get bruised.
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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.

Hotel Details
The headquarters hotel for this event is the Hilton Arlington in Arlington, Texas. A discounted group rate is available to attendees. For further details, visit our website.

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INDUSTRY NEWS


Tax refunds? Consumers want to save, not spend
MediaPost
Don't expect consumers to race to the malls to spend their tax refunds this year. A survey from the National Retail Federation reports that of the 66 percent of Americans expecting some cash back from Uncle Sam, most intend to save it.
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The Wal-Mart headline you probably missed
CNBC
The world's largest retailer recently created quite a buzz when it said it would raise the hourly pay for 500,000 employees to $9 an hour in April, followed by an hourly wage increase for current associates to $10 or more in February 2016.
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TJ Maxx, Marshalls to follow Wal-Mart in raising pay
The Associated Press via ABC News
The owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores became the latest retailer to boost pay for its U.S. workers, putting pressure on other chains to do the same.
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Shoppers to retailers: 'We're back!'
Fortune
At long last, shoppers are heading back to stores, judging by a slew of earnings reports in February from retailers.
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Wal-Mart pledges $100 million to boost jobs
Fortune
One week after announcing plans to increase the pay of low-wage workers to at least $9 an hour, Wal-Mart is delivering more good news on the job front: The company will donate $16 million to seven nonprofit groups focused on helping entry-level U.S. workers in retail and related industries.
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West Coast port gridlock hits inventory at Macy's, Home Depot
The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
Macy's and Home Depot said that they were still trying to untangle gridlocked shipments at West Coast ports, a logistics nightmare that has affected merchants across the country.
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Shoppers return to chain stores
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Shoppers are making a comeback especially to retailers catering to lower income Americans, a sign that a battered segment of consumers is on the mend.
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Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


Retailers are cautious after solid holiday
The Dallas Morning News
Retailers are sending a clear message midway through earnings season: They're cautious about 2015. Major U.S. chain stores are reporting improved 2014 holiday-quarter results, with profits collectively up about 10.9 percent so far, but most have lowered guidance for this year.
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Consumers increase payment via technology, want drone deliveries
MediaPost
As American consumers grow more reliant on e-commerce, they're also increasingly open minded about innovations: A new survey reports that 66 percent expect to have a package delivered by drones in the next five years, for example. And cash continues to lose its clout.
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Kmart testing smaller 'K-fresh' format for supercenters
Supermarket News (registration required)
Kmart is flipping several of its remaining Super Kmart supercenters to a smaller, less-service oriented food format it is calling "K-fresh."
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RadioShack to sell name along with $20 million opening bid
Bloomberg Business
RadioShack Corp.'s biggest shareholder, already seeking to buy hundreds of stores from the bankrupt electronics retailer, agreed to a separate sale of the chain's name, with bids to start at $20 million.
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Cornell: Food will be 'critically important' to Target's future
Supermarket News
Food will be "a critically important area of opportunity" for Target Corp., Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO, told analysts recently. "Food is very important to our guests, and we know food trips drive traffic," he said. "We recognize we have a lot of work to do as we begin to build our reinvention plans for food."
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C-STORE NEWS


A menu to increase food and beverage sales
Convenience Store News
A menuboard that has been optimized and strategically designed gets customers to spend more. An optimized menuboard can also shave precious seconds off the customer's order time, resulting in increased throughput and customer satisfaction.
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Weight concerns hold weight with C-store shoppers
Convenience Store News
Convenience stores may not have a reputation for being a shopping destination for "weight-friendly" products, but C-store customers care about purchasing them. Bars are particularly popular when it comes to offering nutrition while being a tasty snack, according to a new General Mills Convenience & Foodservice survey.
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Does 'disruptive technology' affect C-store value?
CSP
Thirty-eight percent of convenience-store owners and 31 percent of gas-station owners surveyed by business-for-sale online marketplace BizBuySell.com believe that "disruptive technology" companies represent a threat to the value of small businesses.
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Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


When to upgrade your foodservice equipment
Convenience Store News
Foodservice equipment in a convenience store takes a beating, especially in high-volume stores, so it is important to properly maintain the equipment to yield the longest life possible.
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RaceTrac insiders steer frozen beverage refresh
Convenience Store News
Three months after asking customers their opinions on a possible rebranding of its frozen drink offering, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. is unveiling its new Numb Skull image.
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AdvancePierre acquires stuffed sandwich maker
Convenience Store News
AdvancePierre Foods will acquire the manufacturing assets of Better Bakery LLC, a Valencia, California-based manufacturer of premium stuffed sandwiches. Production will relocate to AdvancePierre's Caseyville, Illinois, facility.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Officials: Army mulls cutting troops in Alaska (Stars and Stripes)
The Military has overkilled alcohol with big collateral damage (Task & Purpose)
This is what a zero-waste grocery store looks like, and it's amazing! (Greener Ideal)
Maryland: Healthy Base Initiative to launch new projects (Fort Meade Soundoff)
Would administration, commission proposals ruin the military retail system? (Stars and Stripes and Air Force Sergeants Association)

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


MWR NEWS


MWR offers unique opportunities to service members abroad
DVIDS
Eighty service members from the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy currently deployed as the Black Sea Rotational Force, and U.S. Army soldiers with the Black Sea Area Support Team, who signed up for the overnight trip hardly expressed any disappointment of their assignment. Thanks to the MWR, service members were able to spend the weekend learning about the history and culture of Romania while visiting Peleș Castle and Bran Castle.
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Arizona: CWFC designed to improve employee morale
The Fort Huachuca Scout
There's an organization on post designed to enhance the quality of life for Fort Huachuca, Arizona, federal civilian employees during and outside of duty hours.
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Maryland: Healthy Base Initiative to launch new projects
The Capital
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.
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