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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only March 21, 2014


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

AFGE engages in store level campaign:

The largest government employee union The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has undertaken a campaign to distribute fact sheets on the impacts of the DoD 2015 budget proposal at store level. The fact sheet blows away the smokescreen employed by DoD which attempts to mitigate the devastating impacts of the proposal by misstatements and a complete lack of analysis. The fact sheet lays out a clear description of what is happening and what needs to be done. The entire fact sheet can be read here.


Senators introduce bill to prevent cuts to commissaries
Read the Full Story
Association of Defense Communities
Several U.S. senators have introduced new legislation to preserve funding for military commissaries, freezing the DOD's FY 2015 budget proposal to cut funding to the government-subsided grocery stores. The "Military Commissary Sustainment Act," co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., aims to "prohibit the reduction in funding for the defense commissary system in fiscal year 2015 pending the report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission."

Philpott: Documents show Hagel's plans for commissaries
Read the Full Story
Democratic Underground, Tom Philpott
Behind the plan to slash taxpayer support of commissaries is a concept Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his senior advisors have embraced that base grocery stores should operate as a business and not a benefit. This shift is candidly revealed in budget documents released and in a legislative packet for implementing the funding cuts drafted by the Defense Commissary Agency.


Troop survey shows distrust of retirement reform proposal
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Andrew Tilghman
The Pentagon's new proposal for reforming military retirement is drawing sharply negative reactions from today's career-minded service members, according to a recent survey of Military Times active-duty readers. By a margin of more than two to one, active-duty troops said they oppose the Defense Department's proposal that would scale back the size of the lifetime monthly retirement payments promised to troops who serve 20 years or more.

Some fast food outlets closing on military bases
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Karen Jowers
Four restaurants, including three McDonald's outlets, will close within the next three weeks on Navy installations, according to Navy Exchange Service Command officials. A source with knowledge of military on-base resale operations said the issue likely has to do with two new government regulations — one implemented, one pending — that will affect wages for contract workers in such on-base concessions.



Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association






WASHINGTON UPDATE


Union decries proposed DoD civilian cuts
Military Times
Officials from largest federal employee union are blasting a California congressman's plans to cut more than 115,000 defense civilian jobs over the next six years, calling it expensive and dangerous. The plan, introduced by Republican Rep. Ken Calvert, would trim the Defense Department's civilian workforce by 15 percent by 2020. The department now has roughly 775,000 non-military employees.
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How women are reshaping the defense industry
TIME
Women currently hold a little over 4 percent of the Fortune 500 CEO positions. However, in the defense industry, women are at the helm of 50 percent of the largest firms. Although women are hardly new to the industry, they are moving rapidly into the top jobs, and in the process melting away the defense industry's male-dominated image.
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For Pentagon, it's always a tough battle to get Congress to close military bases, facilities
The Washington Post
The third time may be the charm for the Defense Department in getting Congress to start the procedure that ultimately could close more excess military bases. That would mean authorizing the Base Realignment and Closure process.
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Help for Military Families Comes in the Mail
Military Media Inc.    Share   

Military families face tough financial challenges. Budget cuts will make it even harder for DeCA to deliver the commissary benefit.

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Republicans target civilian DOD personnel
The Hill
Six House Republicans have proposed legislation that would cut the civilian defense workforce by 15 percent in six years. The bill from Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., is aimed at stopping the Department of Defense's planned cuts to military personnel, and redirecting those cuts to a civilian workforce that Calvert says has grown too quickly.
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DoD's extra $26 billion fund a 'long shot'
Defense News
The White House has yet to send the U.S. Congress a line-by-line breakdown of its fiscal 2015 $56 billion Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative — of which $26 billion is earmarked for the Pentagon. But Congress' support for the spending plan tacked onto the new budget request seems unlikely.
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Army to cut combat brigades
The Hill
The Army may need to cut its number of brigade combat teams nearly in half to accommodate the Pentagon's plans to slice the Army's size to below 450,000 soldiers after 2017. Gen. John Campbell, the Army's vice chief of staff and second highest-ranking member, in an interview with The Hill said the service is already planning to make cuts to its combat brigades, basic Army units of 5,000 soldiers that can be deployed and sustain themselves overseas.
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A better way to close American bases
Politico
In an age of military belt-tightening, the Pentagon is wisely willing to scale back its base operations on U.S. territory. So why won't Congress let it? For the third year in a row, lawmakers appear uncharacteristically united in their opposition to the Defense Department's request for another round of BRAC, even though the process is based on a law Congress itself crafted back in 1990.
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Senator introduces jobs, small business bills to help vets
Navy Times
New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has introduced two bills to help veterans look for jobs and start small businesses. The Veterans Hiring Act would cut payroll taxes for businesses that hire veterans. The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act would lower the cost of Small Business Administration loan programs designed to help veterans start their own small businesses. It would permanently eliminate fee waivers for veterans applying for SBA Express loans and would focus on pre-deployment financial counseling and emergency assistance.
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Philippines offers US forces access to military bases
Reuters
The Philippines has agreed to allow the United States access to its military bases under a new security deal being negotiated by the two allies, amid mounting concern over China's increasing assertiveness in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How the Army plans to thin the ranks (Army Times)
Costco takes small steps to draw in younger shoppers (The Seattle Times)
Digging deeper into how the proposed budget will impact military families
(National Military Family Association)
Air Force details fleet cuts, states hardest hit (Air Force Times)

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, March 13, 2014 and 10 AM March 20, 2014:

PROMOTIONS
DP #7, Update #2.
DP #12, WW Promotion Package, Let Freedom Ring Savings Spectacular & Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival.
Spring Club Pack, May CONUS Quantities.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
14-28, Presentations for Brand Name Fresh Turkey Tray Pack Parts & Fresh Whole Body Program with 2 Attachments.
14-29, Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival.
14-30, 2014 Frozen Turkey Merchandising Program with Revised Attachment.
14-31, Store Reset Dates – McConnell AFB.

MISCELLANEOUS
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-12.
Performance Measures, Bi-Weekly New Item Fill Rates, 1-15 March 2014. NOTE: A new tab has been added to show fill rate by brand.
CRV Values, March 16, 2014.
New Items Added in CAO, Zone 28 Test, 17 March 2014.

Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization
Commission Upcoming Hearings:
The commission has again scheduled hearings. Please help spread the word and attend as many of these public hearings as possible. Here is the schedule:
  • San Diego, CA, 26-27 March 2014
  • Fort Benning and Ft Gordon, Atlanta, GA, 16-17 April 2014
  • MacDill AFB, FL, 21-22 May 2014
In addition, public hearings in North Carolina will be rescheduled for sometime in the spring.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
DeCA/ALA Appreciation Day Golf, April 30, 2014, Ft Lee, VA.
ALA Commissary Roundtable, May 1 & 2, 2014, Richmond Marriott, Richmond VA. Registration is open.
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

Why You Need To Register For the May 1 & 2, 2014 ALA Commissary Roundtable

If you haven't yet registered for the May Commissary Roundtable you need to do so. The steering committee has designed a must attend preliminary agenda for those who sell to the commissary system. This roundtable is all about SALES and TRAINING. The industry and our customer are changing quickly and we will kick the session off with Matthew Kelly, a Nationally acclaimed speaker, author and business consultant whose focus is learning to adapt to change and manage transition. His discussion is timely given the real life challenges that Industry and DeCA may face. He will arm us with the tools to push forward and grow SALES.

Of course, the DeCA Director will discuss DeCA's mission and what the future may hold and the Executive Director, Sales, Marketing & Policy along with the Director of Sales will share their vision and insight on increasing SALES today and tomorrow.

Concurrent breakout sessions on the Beverage Category, the Dry Grocery Category, the Store Perimeter and the Non-Food Category will be held. You can expect each of the respective Category Managers to outline their vision for the category and how they expect to grow the business. Since the four sessions will run concurrently, it is a must for each sales person who deals with DeCA and the company business manager to attend their appropriate breakout session. Additionally, in each of these sessions the Category Managers want to hear from us about our store level execution, product availability, etc. This will be the place to get the information you need to increase your SALES.

The Executive Director Store Operations personnel will hold another great session on Operational Execution and Excellence where they will be talking about where the SALES are accomplished – the store itself. We can expect to hear about promotional execution to improve SALES, keeping the shelves full, store level SALES, etc. Again, all about SALES and improving the business.

A guest speaker from the Category Management Association will fill us in on the training and direction of the Category Managers and he will attend the breakout sessions as a resource. Brian Gildenberg, Kantar Retail, Chief Knowledge Officer, will give us insights on shopper needs and category trends as well as ideas on how we succeed in this new environment and grow SALES.

During the general session, we will have an Industry Panel of Experts from top CPG companies which will use their category, retailer and Industry expertise in a discussion designed to facilitate brand, category and retail SALES growth at DeCA.

The DeCA Infrastructure Directorate will give us insight on supply chain modernization and we will again hear from the DeCA Chief Operating Officer.

We are working on obtaining some key Congressional leaders to provide us with their Congressional view. And of course, ALA Legislative Affairs will give us the "down and dirty" status of the legislation and how it might affect all of us.

The One-On-One sessions with DeCA Category Managers will be held, so industry members can meet the new DeCA Sales team.

This will be a jam-packed event all centered on training and improving SALES. If you haven't registered you need to do so soonest.

Hope to see you there!





COMMISSARY NEWS


Senators introduce bill to prevent cuts to commissaries
Association of Defense Communities
Several U.S. senators have introduced new legislation to preserve funding for military commissaries, freezing the DoD's FY 2015 budget proposal to cut funding to the government-subsided grocery stores. The "Military Commissary Sustainment Act," co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., aims to "prohibit the reduction in funding for the defense commissary system in fiscal year 2015 pending the report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission."
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Philpott: Documents show Hagel's plans for commissaries
Democratic Underground
Behind the plan to slash taxpayer support of commissaries is a concept Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his senior advisers have embraced that base grocery stores should operate as a business and not a benefit. This shift is candidly revealed in budget documents recently released and in a legislative packet for implementing the funding cuts drafted by the Defense Commissary Agency.
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Pest control management
Federal Business Opportunities
Pest Control Service, Aberdeen PG Commissary, Building 321 3400 Aberdeen Blvd, Springfield Rd, Aberdeen PG MD 21005; Fort Belvoir Commissary, Building 2302 6020 Gorgas Rd, Fort Belvoir VA 22060-6209; Quantico MCCDC Commissary, Building 3400 Russell Rd Quantico MCB, VA 22134. The Period of Performance will be for a base period of August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014, and will include four 1-year option periods that may extend performance through August 31, 2018. This Request for Quotation will be issued on or about May 10, 2013 with a tentative closing date of May 31, 2013. This acquisition is being issued as a 100 percent Small Business Set-Aside.
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Defense Commissary Agency Enterprise Business Solution
Federal Business Opportunities
The purpose of this amendment is to provide the Questions and Answers document. The following Question and Answer document contains all non-proprietary questions and answers received during the Draft RFP Question and Answer Period, the Presolicitation Conference/Industry Day (held February 26, 2014), and the One-on-One Sessions (held February 26-27, 2014). It is suggested that all interested parties check the FedBizOpps website, www.fbo.gov, for the posting of the Final RFP.
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Time to say goodbye to your supermarket
TIME
Traditional grocery store chains are facing challenges not only from large discounters and warehouse stores such as Wal-Mart and Costco, but also from natural grocers and specialty stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. And it doesn't end there: Changing shopping habits are sending more people to drugstores, dollar stores, and, increasingly, websites to buy their groceries. The traditional chain grocery store as we know it is over, and the remaining players must either adapt or die.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Adapting to change.


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Food prices surge as drought exacts a high toll on crops
The Wall Street Journal
Surging prices for food staples from coffee to meat to vegetables are driving up the cost of groceries in the U.S., pinching consumers and companies that are still grappling with a sluggish economic recovery. Federal forecasters estimate retail food prices will rise as much as 3.5 percent this year, the biggest annual increase in three years, as drought in parts of the U.S. and other producing regions drives up prices for many agricultural goods.
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Snacking category broadens as consumers consume more
BakeryAndSnacks
A consumer's definition of "snack" is broadening to encompass beverages and foodservice items, and snacking at least twice a day is up, according to new research from foodservice research and consulting firm Technomic.
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See related story: Sweet potato cookies: The new way to indulge (BakeryAndSnacks)


Dannon to boost yogurt's nutrition
Progressive Grocer
The Dannon Co., together with the Partnership for a Healthier America, has revealed a commitment to further improve its yogurt product's nutritional content. As part of the four-part commitment, Dannon will boost by 10 percent the nutrient density of its products in part by increasing nutrients that are considered essential to a healthy diet, while lowering total sugar and fat, and will invest in nutrition education and research to promote healthy eating habits.
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Consumers want more protein in their diets
Grocery Headquarters
The majority of U.S. consumers (78 percent) agree that protein contributes to a healthy diet and more than half of adults say they want more of it in their diets, reports The NPD Group. In their quest for more protein, about half of consumers say non-meat sources are best and the other half consider meat and fish the best source of protein, according to recent NPD food and beverage research.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
How do pricing strategies affect profitability?
By Danielle Wegert
Consumers desire value in purchases. They want the price they pay for a product to be equal to or less than what they feel they get out of that product. Businesses desire profit from the services or products offered. How can your business achieve profitability while also maintaining a satisfied customer base? Pricing strategies.

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DoD budget: Expect big changes in 5-year spending priorities
Defense News
Just before Maj. Gen. Jim Martin, the U.S. Air Force budget director, walked into the Pentagon briefing room on March 4, an aide slipped him a note. The paper said that if a reporter asked about the future of the service's Combat Rescue Helicopter program, say that Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James just made the decision to keep the program alive.

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Pentagon officials: We need more base closures
Stars and Stripes
Each military branch has excess capacity and needs another round of base realignment and closure, defense officials recently told a House panel. Appearing before the House Appropriations Committee's Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee, officials noted varying amounts of excess capacity on U.S. bases, and sought help.

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COALITION NEWS



Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...

Coalition Valued Associate member organizations will be testifying next Wednesday, March 26th before the Subcommittee on Personnel of the Senate Armed Services Committee as part The Military Coalition (TMC) – comprised of 33 organizations representing more than 5.5 million members of the uniformed services—active, reserve, retired, survivors, veterans—and their families. Several Valued Associate organizations will be Storming the Hill next week as well...

The Coalition has been working to garner support for Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) bipartisan legislation, the Military Commissary Sustainment Act, which prohibits the Pentagon's proposed funding cut for military commissaries in the President's FY15 budget until after the nonpartisan Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission issues their final report in February 2015.

The Coalition has also been garnering support for the Save Our Military Shopping Benefits Act (H.R. 3995) introduced by Representative Tim Griffin (AR-02) to protect commissary and exchange benefits.

Valued Associate members and military and veterans service organizations are supporting both of these legislations.



CHAPTER ANNOUNCEMENTS


ALA NY West Point Golf Outing this June!
The ALA NY Chapter is having its annual West Point Golf Outing on Monday, June 23. Proceeds from the event benefit the Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund.

We do not currently have an online registration process - any inquires can be directed to me at this email address:
jmugnai@familymedia.com.

Thanks,

Joe Mugnai
FamilyMedia
516-746-2000
jmugnai@familymedia.com

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EXCHANGE MARKET NEWS


Retail sales in US increase for first time in 3 months
Bloomberg
Sales at U.S. retailers rose in February for the first time in three months, claims for jobless benefits dropped last week and consumer confidence improved, pointing to an economy regaining traction after a harsh winter slowed demand even more than previously estimated. The 0.3 percent advance in purchases followed a 0.6 percent drop in January that was larger than initially reported, the Commerce Department in Washington said.
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Obama overtime executive order could affect convenience stores
CSPnet
Some U.S. workers — including those in convenience stores — who are deemed ineligible for overtime compensation under what's known as the "white-collar exemption" would be able to collect extra pay under an executive order President Barack Obama plans to issue March 13, a White House official told Bloomberg.
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A CEOs perspective on a minimum wage hike
Bloomberg
VideoBrief Stephen Sadove, former CEO at Saks and Chairman at National Retail Federation, talks with Betty Liu about President Barack Obama's call for a rise in the minimum wage and why retail is pushing back on the idea on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop."
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Ikea targets urban youth with PS 2014 design collection
Bloomberg Businessweek
Ikea, which became the world's largest furniture retailer with reliable storage systems and flat-pack couches, has focused its latest temporary collection with products targeted at urbanites to boost its design appeal. With PS 2014 — the PS stands for Post Scriptum — the company will sell 51 items from April 1, including a miniature greenhouse and a bench that doubles as a portable playground aimed at the increasing number of city dwellers living in small spaces.
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Wal-Mart offers grants to help innovation initiatives in manufacturing
Milwaukee Business Journal
Nonprofit organizations looking to help manufacturers bring back business to the U.S. or looking to help grow businesses in the U.S. can apply for grants from Wal-Mart, the Wal-Mart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The three entities partnered together to launch the Wal-Mart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, which is offering grants of $100,000 or more to nonprofit organizations.
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Dollar General Q4 disappoints; to open 700 new stores in 2014
Chain Store Age
Dollar General recently reported a 1.5 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits, below analysts' estimates, as the retailer felt the impact of harsh winter weather, along with increased competition and low consumer confidence. The company also said it plans to open approximately 700 new stores in 2014.
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Report: Target had early notice of breach
Chain Store Age
Target Corp. reportedly had early notice of the holiday data breach that exposed the personal and financial information of millions of customers but did not act upon it. According to Bloomberg, a $1.6 million security application called FireEye notified Target of a possible intrusion in to its network, but the retailer failed to respond.
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Jewelers woo engaged same-sex couples
The Wall Street Journal
The legalization of same-sex marriage in 17 states is bringing more same-sex couples into stores to buy engagement rings. Well over 70,000 legal same-sex marriages have taken place in the past decade, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center estimate based in part on state records. Jewelers—from purveyors like Tiffany & Co. and department-store chains like Macy's Inc. to smaller, specialty retailers and jewelry designers—are taking steps to woo this small but growing segment.
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Survey: Morale top retail staffing challenge
Chain Store Age
Morale is the biggest challenge facing retailers trying to fill and maintain their staffs. According to a new survey of 168 retail staffing managers and HR executives conducted by Harris Poll for CareerBuilder and WorkInRetail.com, 37 percent of respondents cited lifting employee morale as a challenge.
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Healthier options
CSPnet
There is growing interest by convenience store retailers to appeal to consumers' desire for healthier options, and providing healthy choices — in addition to not-so-healthy ones — is not a trend or a fading fad, it's now the norm. As consumers get smarter about their health, it's important for retailers to stay abreast of the latest news, information and trends to keep them satisfied and coming back for more.
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Amazon Prime fee jumps to $99 a year
CNET
Amazon's Prime premium service just got a little more expensive. For the first time, the online retailing giant will raise the membership fee for Prime, hiking it by $20 to $99 a year. Amazon Student Prime will rise $10 to $49 a year. Prime members will pay the higher fee when their accounts come up for renewal. The critical cut-off date is April 17. If your renewal comes up before then, you'll still pay the original $79 fee. If comes up on April 17 or after, you're stuck with the higher fee.
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Google searches for space in NYC's Soho for retail store
Bloomberg
Google Inc. has been prowling Manhattan's Soho neighborhood in search of a location for its first stand-alone retail outlet, according to a local real estate broker. "Google has been looking in Soho for a long time," said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail group at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. "They want to be near Apple, and they've been concentrating on Greene Street. There are different streets that are in vogue, that have become hot, and it's just now that Greene Street has become the street in Soho."
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Outlook for online state sales tax fix dims in US Congress
Reuters
Prospects for federal action to resolve a fight over state sales taxation of online retailing recently faded in the U.S. Congress, after a senior Republican lawmaker said more debate is needed before legislation can move forward. The issue has been unsettled for years, with brick-and-mortar retailers, including those with big Internet businesses, saying it is unfair that they must collect state sales tax on their customers' purchases, while many shoppers who buy from strictly online retailers pay no sales tax. The difference gives a pricing edge to businesses that exist almost entirely online.
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Sears Holdings to spin-off Lands' End
Forbes
Casual clothing retailer Lands' End has moved one step closer to becoming a stand-alone company. Sears Holdings Corp. announced on March 13 the details and timeline of its separation. Earlier in December, Sears Holding announced the tax-free spin-off of Land's End. Post spin-off, Lands' End will operate as an independent publicly traded company engaged in the multi-channel retailing business of casual clothing, accessories, footwear and home products through its retail stores as well as online.
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Davis startup helps shoppers compare grocery prices
Sacramento Business Journal
A Davis-based startup has created a website designed to take some of the stress out of grocery shopping. ShoppingScout.com lets users enter their location and compare prices for common grocery items at local stores. "From a consumer perspective, the goal is to help families save time and money," said David Chan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Engage3, the startup that developed the website.
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Getting a jump on spring holidays: A guide for retailers
Shop.org Blog
Spring holidays such as Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day are important shopping periods for many retailers. In 2013, NRF surveys conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics found that U.S. consumers spent an estimated $17.2 billion for Easter, $20.7 billion for Mother's Day, and $13.3 billion on Father's Day. While smaller than back-to-school or the winter holidays, all three represent strong reasons to engage with customers as well as great opportunities to test drive new website features and functions retailers are investing in this year.
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Finally, the right fit in men's suit deal
The Wall Street Journal
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. was worth far less than Men's Wearhouse Inc. when Jos. A. Bank Chairman Robert Wildrick launched a $2.3 billion takeover offer for the company. Men's Wearhouse scoffed, calling the offer "opportunistic" and "subject to unacceptable risks and contingencies." Ultimately, Mr. Wildrick got his combination, at a price that will reward him and his shareholders handsomely. But the buyer is Men's Wearhouse, not Jos. A. Bank.
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JC Penney stock surges, Macy's hits new high
CNBC
A pair of department store upgrades drove Macy's and J.C. Penney shares higher, but while the bullish attitudes were aimed at the same sector, they gave differing opinions on where consumers' dollars are headed. Citi upgraded J.C. Penney stock to "buy" from "neutral," based on its conviction that the low-price department store chain can achieve positive same-store sales in the high mid-single-digit range going forward.
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Costco CEO Craig Jelinek talks strategy
Puget Sound Business Journal
VideoBrief Poor holiday sales and "treasure hunt" items were some of the topics when Costco CEO Craig Jelinek talked recently with Brad Goode of KOMO Television in Seattle. The two men took a shopping cart and toured a Costco store for an "Inside the Costco Craze" segment on Goode's "Goode for Business" KOMO TV report on the business world.
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Industry execs discuss business environment
Women's Wear Daily
"February started off like here we go again," said Terry Lundgren, chief executive officer at Macy's, said at a conference on March 11. "All of a sudden, Valentine's Day came and the business turned and also the weather began to normalize and not everywhere, but in certain parts of the country, and when it did, the business came right back." (Subscription required.)
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Are malls over?
The New Yorker
Recently, Woodville Mall in Ohio was torn down. So are countless other malls across the U.S. — so many that there's a website devoted to "dead malls" that are out of commission. In some cases, the buildings have been converted into community colleges, corporate headquarters, or churches. Others, like the Woodville Mall, have become so damaged by water, mold and asbestos that city officials are glad to demolish them.
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Retailing's battlefield: Fight for market share
Women's Wear Daily via Fashion Snoops Blog
Fashion's become a street fight for market share. To grow and keep ravenous investors happy, retailers need to do everything they can to push their competitors out of the consumer's mind — in the process squaring off against everyone from the store across the mall to the hot new line, the latest gadget, the new food trend, the most popular app and more.
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Want millennials' Info? Offer something in return
MediaPost
If at first you don't succeed in getting millennials to share their contact information, preferences and brand habits, try, try again. But offer something in return. According to new research from Mintel, 60 percent of millennials are already willing to provide their details about their personal preferences and habits with marketers. But for 30 percent of those who initially balked at sharing the information, their minds changed after being offered a small incentive (such as a $10 gift card).
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CIO priorities
STORES
CIOs can summarize both their priorities and their challenges in one word: Agility. They're committed to supporting the business roadmap by means of agile IT decision-making, leveraging new technologies and reducing the time it takes to implement hardware and software upgrades. Still, obstacles remain, including the speed at which CIOs can implement IT changes and the need for increased capital resources.
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Now you can search the world's fashion with a photo
Mashable
Your neighbor's lovely handbag just got a little closer to your reach. If you've ever coveted a piece of apparel worn by a coworker, a stranger on the street or sighted in an Instagram feed, a new app called ASAP54 can find it for you in stores, or at least something very similar. All you'll need is a photo. The app will ask you to crop out the specific item you're looking for, and will return numerous results of similar items which can be purchased through the app's mobile browser.
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Office Depot seeks unique identity from competition
Sun Sentinel
Office Depot is a company in search of itself. New chief executive Roland Smith said the nation's No. 2 office-supply retailer needs to develop what's known as a "unique selling proposition" — a way to set itself apart from competitors that include Staples, Amazon and Costco.
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Retail on the Streets
This is Retail
VideoBrief We hit the streets of New York City and found some friendly strangers to share with us what they really think about the retail industry. Spoiler alert: They're intrigued by the "Beyond" in Bed, Bath and Beyond.
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3 new consumer insights to improve conversions through content
Shop.org Blog
Using consumer demand signals and science to identify the right products and the best content. The unparalleled rise of Web-enabled products, services and devices in recent years has resulted in a surge of connected shoppers and the amount of time they spend online. The Internet has also provided many quick and easy ways for this wired community to express likes and dislikes through a multitude of channels including reviews, ratings, social likes, images, videos, etc.
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Speculation grows over a Reynolds American bid for Lorillard
CSPnet
With a possible price tag in excess of $20 billion, Reynolds American Inc. may make a bid for Lorillard Inc., said a report by The Financial Times blog FT Alphaville. As reported in a 21st Century Smoke/CSP Daily News Flash, quoting knowledgeable sources, the blog said that Reynolds may offer as much as "$22 billion at first" in a bid for Lorillard.
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An update on state e-cigarette legislation
CSPnet
With the vast majority of state legislatures now having begun their 2014 legislative sessions, there have been a number of bills introduced regarding electronic cigarettes. In particular, some state legislatures are considering taxing e-cigarettes under several different tax rates and a number of states have bills pending that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to underage youth.
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Kellogg's launches Krave Treat Bars
CSPnet
Kellogg's Krave cereal has inspired a new snack for the treat bar segment that provides convenience store shoppers with a crunchy and sweet on-the-go fix. Developed for c-stores, Kellogg's Krave Treat Bars feature ingredients from Kellogg's Krave cereals in two flavors: S'mores and Brownie.
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3 spring cleaning tips for small business
Fox Small Business
Spring cleaning is not only for households. For small business owners, springtime is a reminder to get things in order. From an aesthetic standpoint, cleaning up a messy office not only injects a sense of order that might desperately be needed, it also provides a sense of accomplishment. From an operational standpoint, small business owners can clean up their books from 2013, store receipts, tax returns and other important documents electronically, and close out old inventory to greet the arrival of warm weather.
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Burger King to let you pay your way — with a smartphone
Bloomberg
Burger King Worldwide Inc., the second-biggest U.S. burger chain by store count, is introducing an app that will allow customers to pay for Whoppers with their smartphones as it races rivals to woo younger diners. The program will be introduced next month and should be in all of Burger King's more than 7,000 U.S. locations in "a few months," says Bryson Thornton, a spokesman for the company. The option to order food and drinks ahead of time for later in-store pickup may be added.
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6 risk assessment questions to ask before taking your business online
Ventureburn
Launching an online business, or taking an existing business online, requires a new set of skills for anyone who is used to a more traditional bricks-and-mortar retail environment. There are new ways to market, new ways to deliver your product — and new ways to ensure you don’t become the victim of thieves or fraudsters. Whether you are an experienced online retailer or a relative novice, these are the questions you need to ask and answer to protect yourself from online fraud that could result in product loss or chargebacks.
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Walmart to Go quietly opens its doors
Convenience Store News
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. quietly debuted its convenience store format by opening the doors of its first Walmart to Go store on Saturday, March 15. The official grand opening was March 19, according to media reports. Saturday served as a "soft" opening for the approximately 2,500-square-foot store, located in Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s hometown of Bentonville, Ark., at 1300 S. Walton Blvd., employees told the Fort Smith City Wire. Cashiers are located at the center of the store, which offers standard convenience goods such as tobacco products, magazines and an ATM, along with a flower stand and Hallmark cards.
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EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENTS




Army & Air Force Exchange Service and Unilever to give away $10,000
As March Madness approaches and the journey to the Final Four begins, Army and Air Force Exchange Service shoppers have a chance to win big with the Unilever Sweepstakes. Now through April 7, the Exchange is offering shoppers worldwide the opportunity to enter the Unilever Sweepstakes to win one of six $2,500 Exchange gift cards to use towards the purchase of a big screen TV. "This is a great opportunity for families to score that big screen television they've been eyeing," said the Exchange's Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. "Now they have the chance to catch all of the excitement of their favorite sports events."

Exchange unveils March Homeward Bound giveaways
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is offering a springtime shower of March giveaways as part of its Homeward Bound campaign, celebrating the homecoming of America's warfighters and honoring those who serve. First, to kick off the month, from March 7-31, authorized shoppers can enter the Beats by Dre gift card giveaway for a chance to win one of 20 Exchange gift cards valued at $500. Then, from March 21-April 3, the Exchange will offer three lucky patrons a $100 gift card for Stylique salon services. Finally, from March 28-April 3, shoppers can enter to win a $5,000 Exchange gift card from Armored Auto Group.

ALA Exchange Roundtable 2014 Presentations

AAFES Sales January 2014

Homeward Bound Slides

NEXCOM Sales January 2014

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)

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:

DeCA/ALA Appreciation Day Golf, April 30, 2014, Ft Lee, VA.

ALA Commissary Roundtable, May 1 & 2, 2014, Richmond Marriott, Richmond VA. Registration is open.

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

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







MWR NEWS


Sports and recreation briefs for March 13
Belvoir Eagle
Check out the following events and opportunities in your area!
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Some fast food outlets closing on military bases
Marine Corps Times
Four restaurants, including three McDonald's outlets, will close within the next three weeks on Navy installations, according to Navy Exchange Service Command officials. And two other contractors have asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast food restaurants at two other installations, according to AAFES officials. A source with knowledge of military on-base resale operations said the issue likely has to do with two new government regulations that will affect wages for contract workers in such on-base concessions.
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Active-force sees sharp manpower drop
Army Times
Regular Army end strength in January took a sharp drop and hit 523,000 by the end of the month, after hovering around 530,000 early in the fiscal year. The downward trend is likely to show up in February, too, although totals for last month are pending tabulation by the Defense Manpower Data Center. The effects are showing up from smaller recruiting and re-enlistment missions for 2014, plus an expected surge in involuntary separations and retirements generated by the drawdown-related boards that met last summer and fall.
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Executive Briefing
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