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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only April 11, 2014


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Key senator opposes commissary budget cut
Navy Times, Patricia Kime

The chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee strongly opposes a Pentagon plan to cut funding for commissaries, another signal that the drastic $1 billion proposed reduction will not survive the congressional budget process.

Members of the House and Senate subcommittees that set Defense Department policy already have appeared lukewarm to the plan, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle saying the fiscal 2015 personnel budget proposals — including the commissary cuts — undermine the work of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, expected to publish pay and benefits recommendations in 2015.

But during a recent military health hearing, Chairman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., had the harshest words yet for the plan, which would slash the Defense Commissary Agency's budget from $1.4 billion to $400 million.


"I don't think we ought to cut the commissary budget. I think if we want to look at the stress military families are facing, we need to look at their activities of daily living and look at this holistically. [The commissary] is one of the most important tools you have for the health and well-being of the military and the garrisons in this country," said Mikulski to the service surgeons general.

The proposal calls for funding stores in remote areas and overseas out of the $400 million, while other commissaries would operate more like base exchanges, which receive no taxpayer subsidies.

The plan is expected to drive up prices for anyone who uses the commissary, from junior enlisted to retirees on fixed incomes.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the reductions in personnel costs, including the commissary proposals, are needed to slow the growth of military compensation costs to free up funds for training, readiness and modernization. Mikulski said at a time when thousands of junior troops and families use food stamps, it's inappropriate to increase their grocery budget.


"There's the stress of being on the battlefield and there's the stress of being a soldier. We wonder why they smoke, why they overeat the wrong foods, why aren't they eating kale and quinoa? Why aren't they at Whole Foods and watching Dr. Oz and being healthy? They are just trying to get food," said Mikulski.

Testifying before Congress in February, the top enlisted advisers of the Marine Corps and Air Force spoke out against the reductions, saying there may be other ways to reduce costs without diminishing the benefit.

"I personally think it's ridiculous that we're going after something that saves a young lance corporal $4,500 a year," Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett told the House Appropriations Committee military construction and veterans affairs panel.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody added 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."

Several lawmakers have stepped up to block the Pentagon from making any changes to the commissary budget before the commission issues its final report.

Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced legislation March 5 that would block the funding cut. On the House side, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., proposed a similar bill, the “Military Commissary Sustainment Act," three weeks later.

The House Armed Services Committee will unveil an initial version of its defense authorization bill at the end of April, with finalization expected in May. The Senate will hold closed hearings on its own National Defense Authorization bill May 21-23.

Staff Writer Karen Jowers contributed to this report.



Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association






WASHINGTON UPDATE


Reminder: The cost of war is borne by a small fraction of the population
The Washington Post
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan exacted a brutal toll on those who served, with a recent Washington Post-Kaiser survey of veterans finding an emotional cost that was far more widespread than previously recognized. Half of veterans said they knew a fellow service member who had attempted or committed suicide, while more than 1.4 million of the 2.6 million who served said they feel disconnected from civilian life.
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Can this man save the Pentagon?
The Daily Beast
It's easy to talk about change. But the military services, industry and Congress are all in favor of change as long as it doesn't threaten their interests, and are ready to hand out a beatdown to anyone who does not grasp that fact. But if you believe that technology can help solve the problems of national security, and that we can do better at applying it than we have done for the past 30 years or so, there is cause to raise a ragged cheer for the confirmation of Robert O. Work as Deputy Secretary of Defense, an event that should happen within days.
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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.

4 times per year, Judy Johnson’s Military Family Mailbox delivers an envelope of money saving coupons to 100,000 active duty families. Only active duty families living in military housing receive the coupons.

Judy Johnson coupons are delivered to the mailboxes of active duty families. This is the most fair and even distribution method ensuring the coupons reach the families...MORE
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SECNAV on sea pay, tobacco use, gender equity and more
Navy Times
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is pushing steps to boost quality of life for sailors and their families by expanding opportunities for women and paying sailors more for fleet duty.
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The growing shadow BRAC
Defense News
The conventional wisdom that there won't be another Base Realignment and Closure round is dangerously short-sighted. First, significant force structure and basing decisions are already occurring even without a formal BRAC round, what I call a "Shadow BRAC." Second, there is a much greater chance that President Barack Obama's request for a BRAC round in 2017 will be passed than most expect.
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COALITION UPDATE



Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...

Coalition Valued Associate member organizations testified before the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee this week on Beneficiary and Advocacy Overview of the FY 15 President's Budget. Col (Ret) Michael Hayden, Government Relations Director for the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) testified on behalf of The Military Coalition – comprised of 33 organizations representing more than 5.5 million members of the uniformed services — active, reserve, retired, survivors, veterans — and their families. Rick Jones, Legislative Director for the National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS) testified on behalf of the National Military Veterans Alliance (NMVA) – which represents more than 3.5 million members and some 80 million Americans – those who serve or have served their country and their families. Both the ALA and the AFMC are NMVA members.

In his opening statement, Mike Hayden stated, "Between the FY14 and 15 pay caps, this purposed BAH change, the planned reductions in the commissary, and the new health care fees, an E5's family of four would experience nearly a 5,000 dollar loss in purchasing power annually. For an O3, that family of four would experience nearly a loss of 6,000 dollars annually. These budget proposals would be major steps backwards towards repeating the insidious measures which lead to retention and readiness problems in the past and would undo the needed compensation improvements Congress put into place since 2000."

In his opening statement, Rick Jones stated, "You know that commissaries are a core benefit of the military family, an integral part of total compensation. Military families see 30% savings by shopping at commissaries. They save up to 4,400 dollars a year. The Pentagon plan would crush that savings hitting families right in the pocket book. The strangulation plan the Pentagon has foisted out would mean higher prices at the commissaries making commissary shopping less attractive. Resulting in fewer customer visits, diminished sales. It would also cause a deep drop in sales at exchanges, exchanges which pay for Morale Welfare and Recreation programs, such as child care, sports programs for the family."

TMC and NMVA written testimony strongly supports commissary and exchange benefits, and opposes any reductions that would end the appropriation for the commissary and exchange system or mandates consolidation. Written statements for the record were also submitted by:
  • Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
  • Air Force Association (AFA)
  • Retired Officers Association (ROA)
  • National Military Family Association
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
  • U.S. Naval Sea Cadets

To watch the hearing, go to http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/2014/4/beneficiary-and-advocacy-overview-of-the-fy15-president-s-budget.



COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, April 3, 2014 and 10 AM April 10, 2014:

PROMOTIONS:
DP #8, Update #2.
DP #10, Far East Quantities.
Halloween WW Promotion Package.
Spring Club Pack, Far East & Alaska Quantities #3.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
14-38, Frozen Turkey Merchandising Program (Turkey Breasts).

MISCELLANEOUS:
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-15.
DeCA Sales Team Directory, 8 April 2014.
CRV Values, April 6, 2014.
New Items Added in CAO Zone 28 Test, 3 April 2014.
Performance Measures, New Item Fill, 16 – 31 April 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:
  • Fort Benning and Ft Gordon, Atlanta, GA has been cancelled.
  • MacDill AFB, FL, 21-22 May 2014

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


Defense Information Systems Agency: Defense Commissary Agency Enterprise Business Solution
ITbriefing
Please see the attached Final RFP, HC1028-14-R-0004 for the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) Enterprise Business Solution (EBS) requirement. The requirement for this EBS effort is a modernization of DeCA's resale business operations.
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Single racks, roll-in stainless steel
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as 100 percent total small business set-aside. The solicitation is for 66 single racks, roll-in, stainless steel to be delivered to Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and overseas locations. However, for overseas locations, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port.
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Renewal maintenance support for DeCA's Cisco Secure Access Control Server Vitual Software
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency issued a modification, P00002, to delivery order, HQC007-12-F-0031 against an existing NASA SEWP IV contract for a five-month extension for maintenance support for DeCA's Cisco Secure Access Control Server Virtual Software to co-term with DeCA's Prime Cisco contract. This modification was issued in accordance with FAR 6.302-1(c), Application of Brand Name Descriptions and FAR 6.302-1(b)(2), Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.
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Bridget Bennett
The Packer
Bridget Bennett, supervisory category manager of produce at Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, Va., describes her work in the produce industry as dynamic, challenging and rewarding. Bennett first became familiar with the industry and the Defense Commissary Agency as a shopper. As a young military spouse, Bennett began her career in the commissary as a cashier. "When I was promoted to produce manager, I knew that I had found a challenge that really intrigued me and allowed me to use my creativity," said Bennett.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam participates in Healthy Base Initiative
America's Navy
Events at Hawaii's largest Navy Exchange and commissary, the Mall at Pearl Harbor, kicked off the Healthy Base Initiative April 4 to promote healthy behaviors and healthy environments for military members and their families. The event included live hula dance exercises and live music by Sailors of the Pacific Fleet Band as well as representatives from Health and Wellness and local farmers.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Commissary cuts could hurt MWR programs (Military Times)
10 best convenience store chains in America (CSPnet)
Senate panel signals possible future relief from full sequester cuts (Seapower Magazine)
Navy move to ban tobacco sales would include Marine Corps (Military Times)
With 'Ryan Budget,' GOP wants to show it's strong on defense (Defense News)

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


FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
After decades, coconut oil re-emerges as a cooking trend
By Katy Bynum
For years, coconut oil was the go-to choice in many North American homes and commercial kitchens — used by the home baker for superior-tasting, flaky pie crusts and by the restaurant chef for deep-frying foods.

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Exchange-Commissary Merger eyed to stem store crisis
Progress-Index
Crowds that shop daily in base commissaries and exchanges perhaps are oblivious to a confluence of forces threatening to dismantle their multi-billion dollar resale systems.

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Proposed AAFES and DeCA merger
Military.com
According to a recent Military Update, the plan to cope with DoD budget cuts includes slashing taxpayer support of commissaries, from $1.4 billion a year down to $400 million by fiscal 2017.

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CHAPTER ANNOUNCEMENTS


ALA NY's annual 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 inquiries 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/ INDUSTRY ANNOUNCEMENTS


Dear Suppliers,
The Exchange is testing this year three new exciting television marketing channels: Misses and Juniors Softlines channel at Fort Bliss, Operation Be Fit channel at Fort Belvoir, and a Health/Beauty channel at Tinker Air Force Base. The TV screen will be located directly in the section of where the category is housed. Therefore, the screen for the Health/Beauty channel at Tinker will be in the HBC section of the store.

The goal is to see what impact we have on sales lift and customer behavior. At the end of the year, the Exchange will decide which one out of the three channels to move forward with.

The good news is that we have an opportunity for you to submit your national ads for broadcast. There is no cost for you to participate during the test (through end of 2014). Ads will repeat approximately every 15 minutes. This is a great opportunity for you to reach customers at the very moment they are making their product decision. Both digital signage studies and our own internal survey found that screens, such as these, have the following benefits:
  • Half of customers indicated they noticed an ad.
  • 1 in 5 made an unplanned purchase after seeing the ad.
  • Nearly half of surveyed customers say the screens influenced their purchase decision
  • A quarter of surveyed customers say the screens "strongly" influenced their purchase.
This is a great opportunity to feature all the wonderful advertising that is already created for National TV advertising. If you would like to participate please start submitting your advertising to me for my respective categories. I ask that you title the message in the following manner: Tinker Health/Beauty Channel Advertising – Brand XYZ start date 1 May

Since this can be time sensitive it would be best to follow the naming convention of the subject line as laid out above.

Based on installation of the screens the target date for the start of this program is 1 May so please start sending in your ads. Once submitted to me please follow the attached instructions for upload to the ftp site. No advertising will be featured until coordination between our Digital Media Networks team and the buyer has occurred. Featured advertising will also be worked according to the most current product assortment selection at Tinker. To submit an ad or video, please refer to the attached document for video specifications and how to deliver the file. If you have an assigned air date or time sensitive ad, please make sure we have it no less than 10 business days prior to the start.

Thanking you in advance for your participation!

Lisa Olivares
Buyer, Merchandising Directorate
MD-C2
Army & Air Force Exchange Service
214-312-3239
olivaresl@aafes.com

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Exchange Executive Promotions and Assignments

Executive Promotions
Kenryu Bryson, PB 5B Senior Corporate Policy Specialist, PL Corporate Policy Division, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5C Corporate Policy Division Manager, PL Corporate Policy Division, Exchange HQ in March 2014. James Ballard, PB 4F Senior Contract Specialist, Strategic Planning & Partnerships Directorate, Exchange HQ, to the position of PB 5A Senior Procurement Analyst, Strategic Planning & Partnerships Directorate, Exchange HQ in March 2014.
Nicola Carter, PB 5C General Manager MacDill AFB, Eastern Region to the position of PB 5D General Manager, Okinawa Exchange, Pacific Region in July 2014. Michael Einer, PB 5C Store Manager (MS), Okinawa Kadena Main Store, Pacific Region to the position of PB 5D, Area Manager, Korea Operations Branch in July 2014.
Daniel Enderle, PB 4F General Manager (Dual), Zama Area Office, Pacific Region to the position of PB 5A, General Manager (Dual), Misawa Exchange Pacific Region in June 2014. Michele Franklin, PB 4F Field Technical Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB Systems Analyst Lead, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in March 2014.
Santiago Garcia, PB 5A Systems Analyst Lead, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5C Operations Technical Support Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in March 2014. Phillip Jernigan, PB 5B Application Programming Manager, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5C Application Systems Analyst Programmer, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in April 2014.
Chad Lucas, PB 5C Infrastructure Support Manager, Information Technology Directorate, to the position of PB 5D Director IT Operations, Information Technology Directorate in March 2014. Alejandro Real, PB 5C Application Systems Program Manager, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of PB 5D Director IT Transformation, Information Technology Directorate, Exchange HQ in March 2014.
Jason Rosenberg, PB 5D Area Manager, Europe Region, to the position of PB 5E, Region Vice President, Europe Region, in June 2014. Paula Strawn, PB 4F Service Business Manager, Ft. Campbell Exchange, Central Region, to the position of PB 5A Service Business Manager JBLM-Lewis, Western Region in May 2014.
Executive Assignments
Elizabeth Goodman-Bluhm, Area Manager, Okinawa Exchange, Pacific Region, to the position of Area Manager, Europe Region in June 2014. Roger Hugh, General Accounting Operations Manager, Finance & Accounting Directorate Pacific Region to the position of General Accounting Manager, Finance & Accounting Directorate Exchange HQ in April 2014.
Denise Hunter, DD Washington Office, Executive Group, Washington Office to the position of Executive Administrator, Executive Group Director/CEO, Exchange HQ in April 2014. Deodatta Nabar, Senior Policy Program Manager, Merchandising Directorate Exchange HQ to the position of Planning, Allocation, Replenishment Manager, Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ in March 2014.
Roger Wulff, Planning, Allocation, Replenishment Manager, Merchandising Directorate, Exchange HQ to the position of Senior Policy Program Manager, Merchandising Directorate in March 2014. Ann Yi, Store Manager (MS), Fort Belvoir Exchange, Eastern Region to the position of Store Manager (MS), Okinawa Exchange, Pacific Region in July 2014.



EXCHANGE MARKET NEWS


Macy's plays to Gen Y with original programming
MediaPost
As part of its intensifying efforts to connect with Millennials, Macy's is adding original programming to the mix, debuting a new video series called "The Next Style Star." To produce the 10-episode series, the retailer is partnering with Maker Studios, which bills itself as the largest producer and distributor of online video content for Gen Y.
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An open letter for retailers: Stop personalizing TO customers, personalize WITH them
LinkedIn
Dear Forward-Thinking Retailer,

First of all, kudos to you for realizing the importance of personalization. You recognize that the best way to engage and gain your customers' loyalty is to give them tailored experiences, rewards and offers. That's why you've invested in collecting data, segmenting shoppers, and serving up the best and most relevant messages.

While that's all well and good, there's just one caveat I'd like to bring up: Going about personalization the wrong way can do more harm than good.

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Brookstone files for bankruptcy with offer from Spencer's
The Wall Street Journal
Brookstone Holdings Corp., the specialty retailer famous for massage chairs and travel electronics, filed for bankruptcy-court protection Thursday with a plan to sell its business to another retailer for $147 million. An affiliate of Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc., the parent of gift-shop chain Spencer's, has agreed to serve as the stalking horse, or lead bidder, for Brookstone's assets.
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J.Crew grads strike out on their own
Bloomberg Businessweek
It wasn't until Emily Sugihara quit her job as an assistant designer at J.Crew that she started winning accolades from Mickey Drexler, the company's chief executive officer. After she left the rebounding American retailer in 2006, Sugihara and her mother parlayed a sewing hobby into a business selling affordable nylon and canvas bags. She mailed some free samples to former colleagues; eventually, the clothier decided to stock Baggu's $9 shoppers in a rainbow of colors as part of its In Good Company program, which is devoted to third-party collaborations.
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Sam's Club releases survey on 'Microbusinesses'
The New York Times
Sam's Club recently announced that it had joined with Gallup to release quarterly surveys on the country's smallest businesses, as it released the results of the first such survey. The tiny businesses surveyed by Sam's Club, the warehouse club chain, are just the sort of customers who might need 25-pound bags of flour or 1,000 little packages of ketchup on a regular basis.
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Congress votes to bring 'full-time' definition back to 40 hours
Fast Casual
The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted in favor of HR 2575, AKA the Save American Workers Act, which would bring the definition of a full-time employee back to 40 hours a week. The definition was changed to 30 hours under the initial Affordable Care Act bill. Nearly every restaurant and retail organization supports the SAW Act, which was introduced by Congressman Todd Young, R-Ind. In a statement recently released, the National Restaurant Association called HR 2575 a "key vote" and top priority for the industry.
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NRF: With winter weather behind them, retail employment grows in March
National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation recently issued the following statements from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in response to the March jobs report: "After a long, harsh winter that put many retailers at a disadvantage in terms of inventory control and staffing their stores, merchants are eager to move forward with their spring hiring and operational plans," said Matthew Shay. "Though we can report relatively positive figures for March, there's still noticeable slack in the labor market; in order to see momentum in economic growth through 2014, it's imperative our leaders in Washington put job creation and the economy back at the top of their agenda, giving businesses the confidence they need to grow and invest."
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Mattress Firm completes acquisition of Sleep Experts
Chain Store Age
Mattress Firm Holding Corp. announced it has completed its acquisition of the outstanding partnership interests in Sleep Experts Partners. With the acquisition, Mattress Firm expects to operate an additional 55 stores in the Dallas and Austin markets, two of Mattress Firm's core markets.
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5 minutes with Nordstrom's Vice President of Customer Experience
Retail's BIG Blog
It's been refreshing to see Nordstrom, known for its in-store customer experience, thrive both online and off while bringing digital to the physical store experience. And while it may be a top buzzword this year, innovation — beyond making Nordstrom a compelling place to shop — also makes it an exciting place to work.
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Neiman Marcus unveils top management roles
Women's Wear Daily via Fashion Snoops
The Neiman Marcus Group is tearing down the silos and getting channel agnostic. In a major management change at headquarters, the Dallas-based luxury retailer will today reveal it's merging its store and online merchandising and planning teams into a single organization. Beginning April 14, the blended organization will be run by Jim Gold, who has been named president and chief merchandising officer of the Neiman Marcus brand. Gold has been with Neiman's since 1991, serving most recently as president of specialty retail for Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC.
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Brookstone's bankruptcy woes don't mean the mall's dead
CNNMoney
Brookstone, everyone's favorite massage chair retailer, is on the brink of bankruptcy. That news last week came on the heels of pizza chain Sbarro's Chapter 11 filing. While Brookstone and Sbarro failed for lots of reasons (like lots of debt and food that tastes like cardboard, respectively) their downfalls have given consumers good reason to resume the death of the shopping mall drumbeat. Sure, there are some shopping mall staples that are suffering. But it's wrong to write off the shopping mall altogether. The shopping mall is changing; it isn't dead.
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The 9 most counterfeited products in America
24/7 Wall St.
While government agencies do their best to crack down on counterfeit goods, they only manage to catch a fraction of the fake products that enter the United States. Still, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection values that seized fraction at staggering amounts. The value of counterfeit goods seized rose by 38.1 percent in 2013, from $1.2 billion in 2012 to $1.7 billion last year.
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C-STORE NEWS


The Pantry names Dickson chairman
CSPnet
Southeastern convenience store chain The Pantry Inc. has announced that its board has elected Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson, former chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., to serve as chairman effective April 2, 2014. He replaces Edwin J. Holman, who has been chairman since Sept. 2009.
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Convenience stores saw record in-store sales in 2013
CSPnet
U.S. convenience stores reached record in-store sales in 2013, with sales climbing 2.4 percent to $204 billion. Combined with motor fuels sales of $491.5 billion, overall c-store sales were $695.5 billion, according to figures released by the National Association of Convenience Stores. The association announced the industry's 2013 numbers at the NACS State of the Industry Summit, a two-day conference that reviews and analyzes the industry's key economic indicators.
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Welcome to the c-store 'Twilight Zone'
CSPnet
When Speedway's Glenn Plumby presented this year's NACS State of the Industry Summit numbers, he joked that the convenience store channel had clearly entered the Twilight Zone. According to Todd Hale, Nielsen's senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights, it is not alone. "You guys aren't the only industry in the Twilight Zone right now," Hale said as he kicked off his "Understanding the Convenience Shopper 'Superconsumer'" general session at the event in Rosemont, Ill. "Retailing in general is having some tough times."
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Watch out for these c-store 'disruptors'
CSPnet
The indications are good that the economy is on the mend, although convenience store retailers still have plenty of disruptors that can stymie future growth. That was the message of Dr. David Nelson, founder of Finance & Resource Management Consultants Inc. and professor of economics at Western Washington University, during his annual presentation on the economic outlook at the 2014 NACS State of the Industry Summit.
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MWR NEWS


New DoDEA chief has a military parent's perspective
Military Times
As a retired Army colonel, Thomas Brady brings a unique perspective to his new role as director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, which operates 191 schools for military children around the world. Eight of his family members have attended DoD schools: his wife, Lisa, his five children and two of his seven grandchildren. Of his six grandchildren now in school, all are in public schools. "That's an important focus of mine ... not only the 82,000 students we have in DoDEA, but to be keenly aware of the 1.2 million sons and daughters in local schools and what we can do to help them," said Brady.
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Coast Guard Commandant Papp to receive Arleigh Burke Award
Seapower
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. will receive the 2014 Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award at this year's Sea-Air-Space Exposition. Selected for his "outstanding leadership, personal integrity, professional achievement and unselfish dedication to America," Papp will be presented with Navy League's highest honor at the Sea-Air-Space Banquet on April 8 at the Gaylord Convention Center at National Harbor, Md. Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, will deliver the keynote address that evening.
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ACAP equips Soldiers to find civilian jobs
U.S. Army
As Fort Sill's Army Career and Alumni Program entered the second week of evaluating the pilot curriculum of the Transition Assistance Program, they had a special visitor — the program's top director. Walter Herd serves as Director of the Army Transition Office, which is part of the Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky. Herd's program has developed new resources for the enhanced TAP pilot, which revised the 22-year old program in response to President Barack Obama's executive order issued Dec. 29 of last year mandating that Soldiers who are transitioning out of the Army begin the pre-separation counseling at least 12 months prior to their separation date.
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Are you a Wounded Warrior transitioning to civilian employment?
IMCOM wants YOU!

U.S. Army
There are vacant positions throughout the U.S. Army Installation Management Command which need to be filled so IMCOM can provide world-class customer service and deliver programs and services to soldiers, civilians, and families. Throughout the command, about 40 percent of civilian employees have served in uniform. Use the resources below and join the team today!
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