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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

American Logistics Association continues to "sound alarm" on commissary cuts and price increases: 2015 Rand report substantiates dangers
Read the Full Story
Business Wire, Press Release
Rand National Defense Research Institute released a report on "The Likely Effects of Price Increases on Commissary Patronage." The report cited, "raising overall price levels will not be a successful strategy to cover shortfalls in costs caused by the elimination of the annual Department of Defense appropriation."


RAND: Price increases likely will hurt commissaries
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Karen Jowers
If experiences of civilian grocery stores are any indication, raising prices in commissaries wouldn't be good for service members and retirees or for the commissary system, according to RAND Corporation researchers.



Obama will weigh in by April 30 on military panel's proposed compensation reforms
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Kellie Lunney
The president offered support for 15 recommendations, but didn't rubber-stamp them.

Obama signals support for changes to military pay and benefits
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Andrew Tilghman
The push to reform military pay and benefits picked up steam Monday when the White House signaled support for the slate of controversial proposals that call for changing the military retirement and health care systems.

Senate, House spending plans boost defense funds
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Leo Shane III
The Senate early Friday morning narrowly passed a federal fiscal 2016 budget plan that would leave defense spending caps in place but use temporary war funds to plus up the Pentagon's funding for next year.



Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE


Carter backs retirement benefits for younger troops
Military Times
Defense Secretary Ash Carter waded into the debate about military retirement reform for the first time, saying he supports the idea of overhauling the current system to provide some benefits for troops who serve less than 20 years.
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Latest deals offer few answers to budget anxiety
Military Times
The good news: During recent budget resolution debates, Congress went on record saying the military needs more funding.
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Budgets signal sequester cuts here to stay
Defense News
What to do about sequestration is one issue House and Senate negotiators can skip as they craft a compromise 2016 federal budget blueprint.
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Rep. Tammy Duckworth to announce for Senate
Chicago Sun Times
Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., will announce a 2016 Senate bid likely on April 6, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. She is aiming to win the Democratic nomination to run against Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
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Missed an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR

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

Date Event
April 30 - May 1, 2015 2015 Commissary Roundtable
Oct. 26-28, 2015 68th Annual Convention


COALITION UPDATE


Don't erode military pay and benefits
Military Officers Association of America
MOAA is urging its members to write their Members of Congress ... The Pentagon again is asking in the FY 2016 budget proposal to simply erode pay and benefits and all of Congress' hard work. The budget calls for capping pay below private-sector pay growth for a third straight year (with four more years planned), increasing out-of-pocket housing expenses, slashing commissary benefits, and cutting health care benefits. Last year, Congress staved off many of the proposals. I ask that you block these proposals that would continue down the path of repeating the unwise measures that led to past retention and readiness problems ... MOAA challenges the administration's $4 trillion FY 2016 budget proposal, which once again calls for cuts to military people programs, in this month’s article "History Repeats" on pages 31-32.
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DoD budget threatens commissary benefit
National Military Family Association
Over the past few weeks, our Association has been closely studying the Administration's FY 2016 defense budget to determine how it will affect military families. In keeping with the past few years of belt-tightening, the budget includes several proposals that cut into military families’ purchasing power. The budget caps pay raises at 1.3 percent, continues chipping away at Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and increases military families’ health care costs. Our Association opposes all of these reductions. Yet, of all the cuts included in the budget, none are as harmful to military families' finances as the plan’s proposal for the commissary. If enacted, the proposals would effectively gut the commissary over the long term, ending a valuable benefit that military families have relied on for generations.
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Rand: Price increases likely will hurt commissaries
Military Times
"We've all said it: You raise the prices, shoppers won't come, and you end the benefit," said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association. "This is evidence that the DoD budget proposal will destroy the commissary savings." "I'm grateful to DoD for telling Rand to look at this. Rand has validated what we've been saying" ... "DoD has been saying that military families will accept higher costs. Rand has said the evidence doesn't point to that," Raezer said. "Military families will vote with their feet."
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Can your commissary benefit be saved?
AUSA Family Readiness
Picture this. You are purchasing groceries for your family at your go-to store. The usual traffic of shoppers is lighter, the prices you have come to rely on have increased, and the friends and co-workers you are used to bumping into are nowhere to be found. Are you at a chain grocery store in your neighborhood? No, it could be the commissary of the future if some Members of Congress have anything to say about it.
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Study: Increasing commissary prices 29 percent won't make up $1 billion budget cut
Military.com
Officials with the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits, a commissary advocacy group, agreed with the report's findings. "While the RAND report is correct in pointing out flaws in DoD's arguments and major second and third order effects of destroying this benefit, it only scratches the surface of the major consequences of pulling the rug out from under a very successful program that delivers so much to so many for so little," said Candace Wheeler, a coalition spokesperson. "DoD is sailing in dangerous and uncharted waters and Congress needs to look behind the curtain and examine DoD's proposal to cut off the blood flow to services cherished and valued by millions of military, particularly young families and fixed income retirees."
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Study: Commissary price hikes to offset funding cuts could backfire
Stars and Stripes
Raising prices at commissaries to compensate for a possible decrease in taxpayer funding could backfire, causing customers to shop elsewhere, according to a new RAND report. The study, published last week, says the Defense Department could expect to lose customers, depending on how much prices are raised and the convenience and affordability of shopping substitutes. If that happens, potential increases to store revenue from higher prices could be more than offset by a decrease in the number of purchases, RAND researchers concluded.
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The best way to use the commissary benefit is to be an informed shopper
EPR Retail News
What a commissary patrons know about their commissary benefit — how it works, its history and its features — can make all the difference in how they use it. Just ask Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Stuart M. Allison, the Defense Commissary Agency's senior enlisted advisor to the director. "The best way to use the commissary benefit is to be an informed shopper," Allison said.
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, March 26, 2015 and 10 AM, April 2, 2015:

PROMOTIONS:
- DP #10, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
- DP #14, Shippers/Pallets/One-Time Buys.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
- 15-44, Category Management Changes FY15.
- 15-45, Front-End Rack Plan-O-Gram.
- 15-47, Sales Floor Rack/Cooler Program for 2015-2017.
- 15-48, Category Review Notification - Shredded Cheese.

MISCELLANEOUS:
- Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 15-13.
- CRV Values, March 29, 2015.
- Guard/Reserve CONUS On-Site Sales Schedule as of March 26, 2015.




FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES


Preventative Maintenance and Repair of Misc. Food Processing Equipment
FedBizOpps.gov
Solicitation Number: HDEC04-15-R-0036. Agency: Other Defense Agencies. Office: Defense Commissary Agency. Location: Contracting Business Unit/Equip, & Maint Div (HDEC04).
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Milk and dairy product
FedBizOpps.gov
The Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, VISN 1, intends to negotiate a Sole Source commercial item procurement with Garelick Farms, LLC, 1199 W. Central St., Franklin, MA 02038 to provide milk and dairy products to all Medical Centers in VISN 1 (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI), for Nutrition & Food Service, and the Veterans Canteen Service.
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J-Repair and Maintenance of Commissary and Central Distribution Center Equipment
FedBizOpps.gov
This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format in Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued.
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Looking for more federal business opportunities? Search here.


COMMISSARY NEWS


Fact or fiction: What do you know about your commissary benefit?
DVIDS
What a commissary patron knows about their commissary benefit — how it works, its history and its features — can make all the difference in how they use it.
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Fort Carson access procedures changing soon
KXRM-TV
Fort Carson starts its changes in access control policies and procedures May 1, as directed by the Secretary of the Army. All visitors without a federal or DOD identification card entering the installation will be affected by the new changes.
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Balance of power shifts in groceries
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Orders for organic burritos, Thai stir-fry and other frozen products from Amy's Kitchen Inc. have been growing so quickly that late last year the company bought a second factory — an Idaho plant that H.J. Heinz Co. had just shut amid shrinking demand for its frozen food.
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General Mills looks to put a fresh face on its Green Giant brand
StarTribune
In a candid moment, the Jolly Green Giant might be saying "ho-ho-hum" these days. Frozen and canned vegetable sales are falling. Green Giant's strong suit — frozen veggies packed in sauce — has been particularly hard hit. There's even speculation that General Mills Inc., Green Giant's owner, might sell the venerable brand with deep Minnesota roots.
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Missed an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


Grocery stores are losing you; here's how they plan to win you back
NPR
If pushing a cart up and down the lengthy aisles of your neighborhood supermarket — past dozens of brands of packaged cereal and crackers lit by fluorescent lights — feels overwhelming and soul-sucking, you're not alone. But there's some good news: The days of shopping this way may be numbered.
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NAMA commnends members of Congress for introducing Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act
Milling Journal
The North American Millers' Association commends Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Kans., and G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., for introducing legislation that will create a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms.
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Grocery shopping has joined the sharing economy with Instacart
By Danielle Wegert
Millennials are causing change — everywhere. Millennials are changing the workplace, the home and everything in between. The sharing economy is one of the changes from this generation, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. From Uber to Kickstarter, the sharing economy is ubiquitous — even catching the nickname P2P, or peer to peer. These companies are connecting individuals whose wants and needs align. One of the newest additions to this sharing economy is P2P grocery shopping, specifically Instacart.
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Wal-Mart ratchets up pressure on suppliers to cut prices
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is increasing the pressure on suppliers to cut the cost of their products, in an effort to regain the mantle of low-price leader and turn around its sluggish U.S. sales.
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Ferrara Candy expanding operations in Illinois
Food Business News
The Ferrara Candy Co. is expanding two plants in the Chicago area. The plants are located in Bellwood and Bolingbrook, Illinois.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


RadioShack to fight for standard general takeover
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
RadioShack Corp. said an offer from Standard General LP to save much of the iconic chain is the best to emerge from an auction, beating out rival offers that would see the retailer shutdown.
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Retailers fail to offer what shoppers want, survey finds
Chicago Tribune
Despite retailers' efforts in recent years to give shoppers a "seamless" experience whether they're shopping in store, online or on their mobile phones, a gap remains between what customers expect and what retailers are offering, according to a new report from Accenture.
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Is income inequality to blame for sagging retail sales?
Cleveland.com
Cash registers are ringing nearly nonstop at dollar stores. The constant swiping of platinum credit cards at high-end department stores reveal brisk sales at the other end of the retail spectrum, as well.
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Tim Hortons borrows Burger King's global expansion plan
The Globe and Mail
The new owner of Tim Hortons Inc. has an aggressive plan to expand the coffee chain beyond Canada by borrowing from the playbook of sister chain Burger King Worldwide Inc. and teaming with deep-pocketed local franchisors — even in markets in which it didn’t think it would be welcome.
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Missed an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


El Centro, The Gap team up to help students
The Dallas Morning News
For the fourth year in a row, El Centro College has received a grant from Gap Inc. as part of Skills for America's Future. The program is a White House initiative that was announced in 2010 to encourage businesses to work with community colleges.
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Target to expand solar deployments to 180 stores and DCs
Chain Store Age
Target Corp. is expanding its deployment of solar energy. The retailer has signed a power-purchase agreement with Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC that calls for supplier to install solar arrays on the roofs of 180 Target stores and distribution centers across the United States from Augusta, Maine, to San Diego.
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The golden days of '40 percent off' sales are over
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)
If you're an avid shopper, there's a good chance you've asked yourself some variation of these questions lately: Wasn't that store offering a "40 percent off your purchase" promotion the last time I came to the mall? And maybe the time before that?
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ADA and e-commerce: What retailers should know
Chain Store Age (account required)
We are or should be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act's requirements for accommodating the physically disabled. Wheelchair ramps, handicap stalls, handicap parking, lifts and other items designed to assist the physically disabled are commonplace. However, the ADA is much broader than this, and the United States Department of Justice and the courts are focusing on making the internet more accessible for the visually impaired.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Virginia: Golf Club opens its doors to all, discounts fees (Belvoir Eagle)
NCR Software modernizes retail, supply chain operations for Defense Commissary Agency (PRZOOM)
Kraft and Heinz to merge in deal backed by Buffett and 3G Capital (The New York Times (tiered subscription model))
Defense hearings: Preparing for NDAA proposals (Military Times)
How Congress is doing an end run around sequestration (The Washington Post (tiered subscription model))

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


C-STORE NEWS


Retailers ramping up expansion
Chain Store Age
From extreme-value discounters to C-store operators, retailers across the board are expanding their brick-and-mortar portfolios in 2015. Here's a review.
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Speedway prepares 3rd CNG site
CSP
Speedway LLC has partnered with IGS CNG Services to install compressed natural gas fueling at one of its Speedway locations in South Bend, Indiana. This will mark Enon, Ohio-based Speedway's third CNG fueling location and its first in Indiana.
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Swat the competition
CSP
Not too long ago consumers knew what they needed and where to buy it. Convenience stores were for cigarettes, supermarkets for food for dinner; prescriptions were picked up at the drug store. Trips to mass merchandisers were reserved for the big hauls.
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Vehicles for menu growth
CSP
Often, new menu ideas don't come from individual flavors or ingredients. Instead, they take shape via the vehicles that will carry whatever flavors are in vogue. CSP's resident chef identifies three styles of food that are perfect for menu rejuvenation in countless variations.
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Missed an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


Pepsi No. 2 again among CSDs
CSP
In addition to putting pressure on carbonated soft drinks as a whole, the consumer backlash against diet sodas has taken its toll in another way: Moving Pepsi Cola back into the No. 2 position among CSDs, ahead of Diet Coke for the first time in five years.
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Gas station attendants receive $5.5 million in back pay, damages
CSP
In the past five years, more than 1,100 attendants at gas stations branded Shell, Exxon, BP and other leading brands in New Jersey have been denied the minimum wage and, in some cases, overtime pay.
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Females: Purchasing powerhouse
CSP
There's no denying the need for convenience stores to make the female consumer a marketing priority. Certainly, it's long been known that the C-store devotee affectionately known as "Bubba" has been losing market share to a female counterpart for some time.
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A guide to advanced energy design
CSP
Today's grocery and convenience stores often include a wide range of prepared-food services and expanded fresh-food products, which creates unique challenges in the design process due to the needed balance between refrigeration, foodservice and HVAC systems.
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MWR NEWS


IMCOM leaders set sights on 2025
U.S. Army
U.S. Army Installation Management Command top leaders held a conference here for garrison commanders and command sergeants major to set a collective course for IMCOM 2025 And Beyond.
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Hawaii: JBPHH 'Kicks Butts' in anti-smoking campaign
Ho'okele
Anti-smoking advocates across Oahu, Hawaii, joined their counterparts nationwide for the 20th annual Kick Butts Day held March 18 at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange. "Kick Butts Day is designed to raise awareness of tobacco use in the state or community," said Brittany Bigham, a director for the campaign.
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Hawaii: MWR held spring open house
Ho'okele
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Morale, Welfare and Recreation celebrated National Craft Month by hosting a spring open house March 28 at the Hickam Arts & Crafts Center. This was the first of two open house events planned for the year. The second is scheduled to take place in December.
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