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AAFES asks DoD to expand online exchange store to veterans
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Military Times, Karen Jowers
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials have submitted a formal proposal to defense officials asking for authority to expand exchange online shopping privileges to all honorably-discharged veterans, according to AAFES director Tom Shull. AAFES contends that the plan would require only a "modest change" to DoD policy, and would not require a change in law, said Shull.
NDAA conference clash to come: SASC says 'readiness,' HASC says 'hope'
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Breaking Defense, Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
"We do emphasize readiness," said Sen. Carl Levin. "I for one would rather have a smaller force that is ready than a bigger force that is less ready. With those words, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee drew a clear battle line with the Republican-controlled House, which cut "operations and maintenance" funds by $1.2 billion to fund a larger force with more generous personnel benefits.
Teamsters stand up in support of commissary funding:
In a letter addressed to all Senators, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters urged the Senate to support the Senate Bill 2075, the Military Commissary Sustainment Act, prohibiting cuts in 2015 to the commissary budget.
Read letter here.
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
Senate, House panels reject many Pentagon budget proposals
The Senate Armed Services Committee wasn't fond of the Pentagon fiscal 2015 budget proposal, but its members liked it more than their House colleagues did. In their draft of the annual defense authorization bill, Senate committee members rejected Defense Department plans to retire the Air Force's A-10 fleet, drop the aircraft carrier fleet below 11, overhaul the Tricare system and reduce the commissary benefit. The moves are in step with House opposition to those ideas, proposed in the name of long-term cost savings for DoD.
Senate committee: $320 million from personnel cuts could keep A-10 flying
Air Force Times
The Senate Armed Services committee wants to put $320 million saved from cutting personnel to pay for flying the A-10 another year, according to the committee's chairman. Members of Congress have been scouring the Defense Department budget to find money for the A-10 in fiscal 2015, instead of retiring the fleet as the Air Force has planned.
Budget proposes pay freeze for higher-ranking officers
The Pentagon brass has spent months urging lawmakers to support pay and benefits changes that could hurt troops' wallets. But those same top brass are also in line to take a hit to the wallet. Congress included several cuts to flag and general officers' perks in its annual authorization bill, in recognition of the sacrifices being proposed for the rest of the force.
Military Media Inc.
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Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...
Thanks to the generous donation of Alder Foods, Save Our Benefit was a day sponsor at the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR races during Memorial Day weekend. The Save Our Benefit logo was prominently displayed on the 20 foot race tower at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, promoted for 24 hours by the broadcast announcer, included in all media releases, social media, and T-shirts. In addition, 4000 Save Our Benefit flyers were distributed in special packaging handouts.
The race was part of the 7 Days for the Troops event, which is a fund raising program for Purple Heart Homes. The concept was created and developed by disabled marine, disc jockey Scott Burns, who is devoted and committed to helping other disabled veterans. For seven years Burns camped out for seven days, 24/7, in shopping malls across America, raising thousands of dollars for disabled veterans. This year, Burns camped out at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on top of a 20 foot tower with a goal of raising $125,000 to help Purple Heart Homes provide more housing solutions for disabled veterans.
Save Our Benefit and the ALA would like to thank Michelle Keating and her entire team at Alder Foods for their generous support and efforts to promote and protect military families' earned resale benefits, and to support our wounded veterans.
On Memorial Day, May 26, our Nation honored our service members who "gave all" in defense of our country. For many of us this is a personal day of reflection, honoring and celebrating the lives of those we knew and loved. As members of the military resale community, you all honor our service members, past and present, and their families through your dedication to serving those who serve. On behalf of our military community, we thank you.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Commissary Web Posts
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, May 22, 2014 and 10 AM, May 29, 2014:
2014 Holiday Seasonal WW Promotion Package, Football Season (Super Bowl)
2014 Christmas Gift Packs WW Promotion Package.
2014 WW Promotion, Thanksgiving/Christmas – Dry Grocery.
NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
14-52, Promotional Calendar – 2015.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-22.
DeCA April Sales Data.
CRV Values, May 25, 2014.
Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission
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:
- Ft Bragg, NC, 25-26 June 2014
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
ALA Congressional Caucus, June 24, 2014, Washington, DC REGISTRATION OPEN
ALA Hawaii Conference & Exhibition, 19-21 August 2014, Pacific Beach Hotel, Honolulu. REGISTRATION OPEN
ALA Washington Chapter Jim Griffin Memorial Golf Outing, September 17, 2014, Ft. Belvoir Golf Course.
ALA National Convention, October 27 - 29, 2014, Hyatt Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Supporting healthy choices
Defense Commissary Agency
What does it take to make commissary shopping easier for today's health-conscious shoppers, who welcome any relief from the arduous task of reading product label after product label trying to make healthy selections? They're about to find out at the Fort Meade Commissary, Maryland, where the Defense Commissary Agency is helping its patrons stay fit and healthy a big part of military life through the food choices they make.
June means summertime savings at commissary
Whether it is fruit and veggies at farmers markets, meat for outdoor grilling, ingredients for graduation dinners or food for the family road trip, military commissaries have it with plenty of savings through promotional discounts. "No matter what it is — Father's Day, graduations, vacations, children out of school and more - commissaries have you covered," said Randy Chandler, DeCA's director of sales. And there's something new: Your Healthy Lifestyle Festivals. Commissaries worldwide have partnered with installation exchanges, MWR programs, health clinics and local produce growers to make possible community farmers markets, sidewalk sales, health and wellness screenings and fitness activities for the whole family in June and July. Go to www.commissaries.com/healthy-lifestyle-festival.cfm for local dates.
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New technologies promise no-register checkout and smartphone coupons
Despite e-commerce's surge, some 90 percent of what people buy still comes out of brick-and-mortar stores. And when it comes to consumer-packaged goods, that figure is even higher. A recent study by Kantar Worldpanel predicted it may take another decade before online purchasing grabs even 10 percent of grocery purchases. But there's a convergence point: the marketing that goes on inside the store itself. Shopper marketing — historically little more than cardboard displays and coupon dispensers — has undergone a digital makeover.
Grocery study reveals consumer favorites
Trader Joe's continues to deliver a grocery experience that leaves shoppers wanting more. A study of more than 6,200 consumers by Market Force Information, found that Trader Joe's is North America's favorite grocery retailer based on satisfaction. Publix and ALDI were ranked second and third. All three were lauded for their courteous and fast service, as well as the quality of their private-label brands. The study was designed to uncover the grocers that shoppers frequent most often, which chains excel in customer satisfaction, and why they prefer one to another.
A Healthy Body • A Healthy Mind • A Healthy Life
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Is this the world's best microwave-mix cake?
Microwave cake mixes don’t always deliver the pleasurable, convenient experience consumers hope for. Now, food manufacturers can take advantage of the latest research results to develop an entirely new level of cake quality with comparatively few ingredients.
Computing cost-effective solutions for the supermarket
If you oversee multiple supermarkets — or even a single establishment — you are well informed about some lingering facts: our workforce is aging, musculoskeletal injuries continue to increase, complaints of overexertion are common and lifting, pushing, reaching and carrying are responsible for a greater percent of your employees' time. The bottom line is that each of these factors contributes to increasing costs, and retailers are looking for solutions. More training and new administrative guidelines have been tried. Despite these efforts, the cost of material handling continues to increase as well as the associated lost-time injuries and growing workers' compensation payouts.
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US retail market up 2 percent in the 1st quarter of 2014
Retail Customer Experience
The U.S. retail market increased 2.28 percent year over year in Q1 2014, totaling $1.08 trillion for the quarter, according to projections from eMarketer. For all of 2014, U.S. retail sales will rise 4.4 percent to reach $4.74 trillion in 2014, eMarketer estimates, while retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. will total $304.1 billion this year, accounting for 6.4 percent of total U.S. retail sales.
DeCA announces Best Commissary Awards winners
Defense Commissary Agency
Each year, the Defense Commissary Agency honors select military commissaries worldwide for exceptional service and dedication in delivering the commissary benefit. Known as the DeCA Best Commissary Awards, the honors continue at least a 50-year tradition, dating back long before DeCA's inception, to recognize overall excellence in commissary operations and service.
Expanded online sales to all veterans being discussed
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials want to expand shopping privileges at the online exchange store to all honorably discharged veterans, sources said. That would open the online store to about 20 million veterans, according to a source familiar with the discussions. AAFES officials contend the move would have no negative impact on current eligible shoppers, and would be a boon to revenues and profits that support MWR programs on installations.
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.
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Army selects new camo pattern
The Army has decided on a new camo to replace the unpopular Universal Camouflage Pattern on your ACUs — and the selection is very similar to MultiCam. Sources, on condition of anonymity, recently confirmed that the service has selected Scorpion W2 as its next Army combat uniform camo, a pattern born out of Army Natick labs.
Fast Food locations closing on military bases
Daily Kos Labor
Employees of fast food restaurants on military bases fall under President Barack Obama's recent executive order increasing minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. The response by the concessionaires? They are closing up shop on military bases across the world. Now military base fast food operations likely make up less than one percent of fast food company profits.
Stayin' alive: The shoppers driving Sears' sales
Sears' profits tumbled farther down the rabbit hole in the first quarter, as the struggling department store's sales took a hit from operating fewer stores, the spinoff of its Lands' End apparel unit and a resistant consumer. But there was a silver lining in the retailer's report — people who remain loyal to Sears are shopping there a lot.
Hess to sell retail arm to Marathon for $2.6 billion
The New York Times
The Hess Corporation recently said it would sell its retail arm, including its familiar green-and-white gas stations, to Marathon Petroleum for $2.6 billion as it focuses on exploring and drilling for oil. The sale will conclude a yearlong effort by Hess to slim down its operations and improve shareholder value. Other oil producers, like Marathon and ConocoPhillips, have made similar moves.
Customers can now use Web to reserve clothes at every Gap, Banana Republic store
As Americans visit the mall less and spend more time online, retailers are under intense pressure to close sales when they finally do get those valuable moments of face-time. More and more, that means closing the gap between merchandise displayed online and what’s carried in stores — a relatively simple idea that’s a big challenge to implement.
Wal-Mart builds e-receipts platform for better mobile in-store experiences
Mobile Commerce Daily
The pedestrian store receipt gets a significant mobile makeover in Wal-Mart's hands thanks to a new platform currently rolling out in stores that is designed to help customers store digital receipts on their Wal-Mart applications and interact with the content in a variety of ways, including to build shopping lists. While many retailers offer e-receipts, these are often simply emailed to customers but they typically offer no value beyond being a digital alternative to a print receipt.
American Eagle looking overseas for growth
Women's Wear Daily
Firm's plan to close 150 more stores and its 86.2 percent drop in first-quarter net income shows there's no end in sight to the struggles teen retailers face. (Subscription required.)
EBay asks users to change password after breach
South Bend Tribune
E-commerce site eBay is asking users to change their password after a recent cyberattack compromised a database containing encrypted passwords. The company says there is no evidence of any unauthorized activity and no evidence any financial or credit card information was stolen. EBay says its investigation is active and it can't comment on the specific number of accounts affected, but says the number could be large, so it is asking all users to change their passwords.
Company that owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls is now almost bigger than Macy's
If you want to get a sense of how Americans shop, take a look at the meteoric rise of TJX. The company, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, has quietly grown to be larger than almost every department-store and specialty-retail chain in the U.S., including J.C. Penney, Sears, Kmart, Nordstrom and Gap. TJX's $27.4 billion in annual sales is just shy of the $27.9 billion collected last year by Macy's, despite the fact that Macy's has almost 40 percent more square footage.
Google Beats Apple in list of world's most valuable brands
Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft are the companies that rank the highest in terms of brand value, according to a new study commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown. McDonald's is the only non-tech brand within the top five, highlighting the growth of the digital vertical in recent years and more trust among consumers.
4-5-4 calendar: An explanation of the 53-week year
National Retail Federation
Dividing the retail calendar into 52 weeks of seven days each, or 364 days, leaves an extra day each year to be accounted for. As a result, every five to six years a week is added to the fiscal calendar. This anomaly has most recently occurred in FY'00, FY'06 and FY'12, and will occur in FY'17.
Sears could cash in on private-label brands
The Globe and Mail
Sears Holdings Corp. recently put its ailing Canadian arm up for sale, but the retailer's crown jewel may lie in a more unlikely place: its appliance and tools aisles. Edward Lampert, the U.S. hedge fund manager who heads Sears Holdings, parent of Sears Canada Inc., has been struggling with a decline in business on both sides of the border, and has been spinning off real estate and other assets. He could sell the private-label brands for $2-billion (U.S.) or more, industry insiders say a move that could reduce the appeal of Sears Canada since it would no longer be able to rely on the popular brands to draw in customers.
5 ways companies can leverage pop-up stores
Walk through any major shopping district, and you're likely to stumble upon a number of pop-up shops. From online brands testing the waters for a physical presence to major retailers testing out new products, the pop-up concept has become a major tool for businesses regardless of size.
Apple celebrates 13 years in retail 424 stores and counting
Chain Store Age
Apple is celebrating its 13th year as a brick-and-mortar retailer. The tech giant opened its first retail store on the morning of May 19, 2001, at Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Virginia. A second Apple store, at Glendale Galleria, Glendale, California, opened a few hours later.
Terry Lundgren praises leased shops at Macy's
Women's Wear Daily
The retailer's CEO said that licensed shops from Finish Line and Lids have brought significant new traffic and sales. (Subscription required.)
5 big stores that are moving online
To no one's surprise, online sales in the U.S. are continuing to steal a larger and larger share of the consumer market, and expected to hit $370 billion by 2017. Even though the overwhelming majority of stuff is sold offline, where you shouldn't shop for the latest Game of Thrones novel in your underwear, brick-and-mortar retailers are still doing everything they can to move into that still growing market.
Subway to open 3,000 stores in 2014
Chain Store Age
The Subway restaurant chain is poised to open about 3,000 new locations worldwide this year. Subway currently has more than 41,000 stores in 105 countries worldwide.
Targeting convenience: 'Easy play'?
"Convenience, convenience, convenience may soon replace location, location, location as the retail mantra," said Sandy Skrovan, U.S. research director for Planet Retail and author of U.S. Convenience: Changing Face of Small-Box Grocery Retailing. "Small-box convenience stores will be among the fastest-growing banners through 2018 with the likes of Walmart Express and Dollar General Market leading the charge." In a five-year span, the average store size across grocery formats is set to shrink from 25,500 square feet today to less than 24,000-square-foot by 2018, according to Planet Retail research.
Speedway's acquisition of Hess convenience stores 'fits like a glove'
When Hess Corp. filed for a tax-free spinoff of its retail business in January, could deal makers ever have imagined that the convenience store brand as they knew it would completely cease to exist in just three short years? The iconic bold green and white logo will soon make way for another icon, albeit a Midwestern one: Speedway's red and white logo.
Did Speedway make sale best option for Hess?
When Hess Corp. filed the paperwork for the spinoff of its convenience retailing arm in January, the deal would have distributed all shares in newly formed Hess Retail Corp. to holders of Hess Corp. Despite the fact that the company continued to look for buyers, recent news that Marathon Petroleum's Corp.'s Speedway LLC subsidiary has acquired Hess's convenience store network for $2.87 billion still caught some off guard.
Kwik Trip adds fresh meats
Kwik Trip Inc. has added fresh meats to its mix, the Wisconsin-based convenience store retailer announced in a series of social media posts this month. The move is in part designed to provide the last ingredient meat for the summer grilling grocery list.
Opinion: BP's 'to go' concept a step back in time
Do you remember when oil companies disdained convenience stores? No, I'm not talking about now (although it seems they do once again). I'm talking about 40 years ago, when a Big Oil company's sales vice president told me that convenience stores at Shell sites would be added "over my dead body." At that time, Shell had over 100 convenience stores at their dealer-operated sites that their regional managers had quietly authorized and financed using their expense accounts because they knew that their dealers could not stay in business just pumping gas. They needed a second revenue stream.
More than 100 arrested as protesters bring wage fight to McDonald's HQ
An estimated 300 to 400 McDonald's workers and other protesters, many arriving on a fleet of a dozen or more buses, recently descended on the McDonald's campus near its headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, the right to unionize.
Reynolds American, Lorillard merger talks advance
Reynolds American Inc. is in active discussions to buy Lorillard Inc. in a complicated, three-way transaction that could see British American Tobacco PLC take a major role to back a potential merger, according to Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter. The proposed deal, which is in its late stages of talks, would combine the second and third-largest U.S. tobacco companies, putting brands such as Reynolds' Camel and Lorillard's Newport under one roof.
What's next step in Wal-Mart's small-format rollout strategy?
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is entering the third phase of it Walmart Express small-format pilot process. "We're exploring tethering this format to our larger supercenters," said Bill Simon, president and executive vice president of Walmart U.S., during the company's first-quarter earnings call.
Military fighting to protect trademarks by suing veterans
The Pentagon is busy fighting a new battle — this time on the homefront, where its attorneys are busy sending cease-and-desist letters to former veterans and companies hoping to cash in on a wave of patriotism by using military terms and symbols. As more of the country's armed services forces return home as the war winds down in Afghanistan, many of the more business-minded veterans are starting businesses and hope to attract customers through showing their affiliation with the military, reports The New York Times.
Air Force offers potential model for future MWR programs
U.S. Department of Defense
For a glimpse into how the military services might provide quality morale, welfare and recreation services and programs despite continuing budget pressures, the transformation program the Air Force Services directorate has been rolling out for the past two and a half years is worth a look. Each service administers its own quality-of-life programs, and the offerings vary widely even within a service's installations, depending on the location and the size and demographic of the population served, explained Ed Miles, DOD's MWR policy director. So even as the entire military suffers the effects of budget cuts and sequestration, each service is looking for new efficiencies and innovations to minimize reductions to their programs and services.
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