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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

You can not transfer cost to the patron and call it efficiencies:
Over the course of the last several months we have continually seen actions in DoD and by the Senate Armed Services Committee as well that misrepresent actions as "efficiencies" that are clearly passing costs on to the military patron. The elimination of Second Destination Transportation funding seems like a minor move when you amortize the cost of transportation of goods overseas across the entire business base but it is a nuanced way of passing costs on to the military patron and thereby reducing the value of resale benefits. The introduction of variable pricing in the commissary as a method to better approximate the pricing strategies found in the private sector is just a Trojan horse to raise prices and pass them on to the patron. The underlying formula for the commissary benefit is simple and understood by the patron. It is goods at cost.

No one would argue that a drive for efficiencies is a continuous and necessary process. Passing cost onto the patrons is not an efficiency! The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits is currently engaging key Congressional decision makers on this issue as they meet to conference out the differences in the HASC and SASC versions of the 2016 NDAA. I urge you to engage in the discussion by going to www.saveourbenefit.org and take action by communicating your thoughts to your elected officials. Time is of the essence and your voice is important!


High stakes played with troop cuts:

The Army is set to lose another 40,000 troops and 17,000 civilians in response to congressionally mandated budget caps, and few stateside are particularly sanguine about it — not that either side in the Pentagon's budget wars are budging an inch, The Hill reports after USA Today's Tom Vanden Brook initially broke the story.
  • "Planned reductions in Army force levels have been public for some time," House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said recently.
  • "I want to be very clear about why this is happening," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said. "Even though the Republican budget added money for the military, they did it through a gimmick [and] the military cannot pay for ground strength through a contingency fund."
  • Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called it "another dangerous consequence of budget-driven strategy" pursued by President Barack Obama.
  • What's really going on here: "I think the Army is making it news because they want to get people worked up," Todd Harrison, everybody's favorite defense budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C., told BloombergBusiness.
  • "The hardest hit bases include Fort Benning, Georgia, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska," Reuters reports: "Army officials planned to convert a 4,000-member brigade combat team at each base into a 1,050-member battalion task force, a loss of nearly 3,000 soldiers apiece, according to an Army document seen by Reuters."


Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE


Army troop cuts could grow if budget impasse persists
The Associated Press via ABC News
Members of Congress generally oppose shrinking the size of the military, especially if the cuts might affect bases in their states or districts. But they also have opposed other forms of savings proposed by the Pentagon, including reforming the military health care or retirement systems, eliminating older weapons systems or closing bases.
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Congress OKs new ID cards for all veterans
Military Times
Congress approved plans to offer new veteran ID cards to honorably discharged service members, in an effort to more easily prove their military service.
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Lawmakers blast US Army Force cuts
Defense News
Lawmakers are lining up to decry an U.S. Army plan to cut 40,000 and shrink the size of the force from 490,000 to 450,000 by 2017.
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Heck won't drop personnel chairmanship amid Senate run
Military Times
The House Armed Services Committee's point person on personnel issues won't give up his subcommittee during gavel his newly announced run for the Senate.
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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

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

Date Event
Oct. 26-28 68th Annual Convention


COALITION UPDATE



Coalition sends letter to Senate and House conferees
Save Our Benefit
We strongly urge the Senate and House conferees to roll back provisions in the Senate version of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act, which transfers operating costs to patrons including provisions to: (1) allow the Secretary of Defense to increase prices of goods at commissaries; (2) allow domestic transportation costs to be factored into the cost of goods and prices charged to patrons; and, (3) have patrons pay with surcharge costs that have traditionally been paid with appropriations. These actions will destroy the commissary benefit.
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Protect military commissary funding. Please act now!
Air Force Sergeants Association
Please take a moment to send a letter to your elected officials calling for full commissary funding. The President and the Senate are looking to slash commissary funding by $322 million next year, then another $1 billion on top of that. Government analysis shows that commissaries save military beneficiaries about 30 percent on their annual grocery bills. The proposed cuts would amount to yet another significant hit on the purchasing power of service members, military retirees, their families and survivors.
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Save our full commissary benefit
United States Army Warrant Officers Association's Facebook
This is day three of our five-day, Five Calls For Legislative Action campaign on important legislative issues, regarding military benefits, currently being debated in Congress for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016. Today's issue is stopping crippling proposed cuts to the important commissary benefit for military service members and retirees. The Commissary has long been an important benefit, utilized by currently serving and retired service members alike. If you agree with USAWOA that they deserve to continue enjoying this traditional, staple military benefit, please send a note to your Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill.
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Reject military pay and benefits cuts
Military Officers Association of America
When Congress returns from the 4th of July holiday, lawmakers will tackle the FY 2016 defense bill. What's at stake: pay raises that fail to keep pace with the private sector, dramatic pharmacy fee increases, erosions to housing allowances, and continued cuts to commissaries. Fortunately, House lawmakers stopped these provisions dead in their tracks. However, the Senate plans to keep them alive. MOAA, and our partners in The Military Coalition, sent a letter to members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees highlighting our concerns as the conferees aim to complete the defense bill before the end of July. With time running out, we need your help. Contact your legislators and support the House-passed version of the defense bill.
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After SCOTUS ruling, VA revises benefits policy
Military Officers Association of America
For the first time, same-sex couples will become eligible to receive survivors' benefits, home loans and other benefits from the VA. DoD began providing benefits to active duty same-sex couples in 2013. The VA's rule change now provides a continuum of benefits for all military families. "It makes little sense that a couple could be eligible for benefits on active duty, only to be denied earned benefits after taking off the uniform," said MOAA's Director of Government Relations, Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret).
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Capitalizing on Veterans' STEM capabilities
U.S. News & World Report
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math are fundamental aspects of many jobs performed during military service. And yet, it is often very difficult for veterans returning to the civilian workforce to capitalize on their capabilities and training. An article in U.S. News and World Report takes a look at the need for a concerted effort on the part of employers to take advantage of this great potential employee pool source.
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, July 2, 2015 and 10 AM, July 9, 2015:

PROMOTIONS:
- DP #17, Far East Promotion & Shipper/Pallet/OTB Quantities.
- DP #18, WW Promotion Package, Customer Appreciation Sale (Case Lot Sale), National Hispanic Month and Breast Cancer Awareness.
- DP #19, WW Promotion Package, Columbus Day Sale and Dollar Days/2-Fer Sale.
- Winter Cocoa/Cider/Miscellaneous, Far East & Alaska Quantities #1.
- Summer Club Pack, Far East & Alaska Quantities #2.
- Non-Food Seasonal Package, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
- Gift Packs Seasonal Package, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
- Candy Seasonal Package, Far East & Alaska Quantities.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
None Received.

MISCELLANEOUS:
- Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 15-27.
- CRV Values as of July 5, 2015.
- Guard/Reserve CONUS On-Site Sale Schedule, July 2, 2015.




FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES


Laughlin AFB: Shelf Stocking, Receiving Storage Holding Area and Custodial Services
FedBizOpps.gov
Solicitation Number: HDEC08-15-R-0019. Agency: Other Defense Agencies. Office: Defense Commissary Agency. Location: Contracting Bus Unit/Commercial Activities (HDEC08).
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COMMISSARY NEWS


Commissary Value Brands offer nearly 500 items
Defense Commissary Agency
Six months into the start of the Commissary Value Brands program, patrons now have nearly 500 products available at savings comparable to low-cost private label items in commercial stores. Since the emergence of the Value Brands' signature orange label in December, the Defense Commissary Agency has elevated the savings program from about 100 products in 33 categories to almost 500 items in 54 categories.
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What it's like inside Wal-Mart's new marketplace that's a threat to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's
Business Insider
Wal-Mart is expanding its fleet of smaller-format stores, called Neighborhood Markets. The Markets, which are one-fifth of the size of Wal-Mart Supercenters, pose a major threat to traditional supermarkets, like Whole Foods, Kroger and Trader Joe's, according to Moody's analysts.
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Doritos takes mobile-only promotion into 3rd dimension
Mobile Marketing
Frito-Lay's Doritos snack brand is rolling out its first mobile-only campaign to promote its new Doritos Jacked 3-D Bacon Cheddar Ranch snacks, partnering with social media figures to offer consumers exclusive mobile video content.
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Innova: Clean label has become industry standard
FoodNavigator.com
Clean label' is no longer a niche trend — it is now standard across the food industry, according to a report from Innova Market Insights.
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McCormick benefitting from acquisitions, innovation
Food Business News
Special charges to operating income and unfavorable currency translation weighed on second-quarter results for McCormick & Co. Inc., but the flavor company is reaping benefits of recent acquisitions, innovation, marketing support and cost-savings initiatives.
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General Mills plans gluten-free Lucky Charms to boost cereal sales
MarketWatch
In the face of declining cereal sales, General Mills is tapping a growing diet trend with plans to offer gluten-free Lucky Charms later this summer, the company said.
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Unilever's bold move makes click fraud a very public discussion
MediaPost
It's one thing for researchers and journalists to band around click-fraud statistics, and quite another for Unilever's CMO to come out with the startling statement that he believes that nearly one-third — or 29 percent — of traffic to the average site comes from bots.
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General Mills CEO: Retailers want cereal innovation — think gluten-free, protein, granola
BakeryAndSnacks.com
U.S. cereal sales continue to decline, but retailers know the category is still important and want innovation around prevalent consumer trends, says the CEO of General Mills.
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Amid 'premiumization' push, orange juice prices up even as demand falls
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
When demand for a product slumps, prices usually fall. Not so for the orange juice market. Americans are drinking the least amount of orange juice in 13 years and forking over more for it than ever before as orange juice makers compete for a limited amount of fruit.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Top 100 retailers 2015
NRF
It's no longer bricks-and-mortar versus e-commerce — omnichannel is the path to success Consumers have myriad ways to shop, and retailers are scrambling to keep up with them.
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Macy's cuts ties with Donald Trump after anti-immigrant remarks
Advertising Age
Macy's is severing ties with long-time partner Donald Trump following public backlash over the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful's controversial anti-immigrant remarks. The retail chain will stop carrying the Trump menswear collection, and has ended its business relationship with the real-estate mogul.
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Power Players 2015
NRF
What constitutes a segment Power Player? Any retailer with 2014 U.S. sales equal to or greater than 10 percent of the sales of the category leader.
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King of Prussia Mall expansion taking form
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The final steel beam for the shell of a massive new corridor housing dozens of new stores and restaurants and connecting the Plaza and the Court at King of Prussia Mall in Philadelphia will be erected soon.
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Let the games begin: Retail places holiday wagers
CNBC
With incomes on the rise, more jobs being filled and shopper confidence trending higher, it seems like a pretty safe bet that retailers will benefit from a stronger consumer during the winter holidays.
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Best Buy rolls out minishops for Samsung appliances
Star Tribune
Best Buy's alliance with Samsung is getting even deeper. The Richfield, Minnesota-based electronics retailer already has two store-within-a-store spaces dedicated to Samsung products — one for TVs and the other for smartphones and mobile devices. Now, in some stores, it will add a Samsung branded space for appliances.
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Obama to expand overtime pay to nearly 5 million workers
NBC News
President Barack Obama will announce a sweeping change to the nation's overtime pay law, dramatically expanding the number of people who will qualify for increased pay after working more than 40 hours in a week.
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Bigger is better for this furniture retailer
Chain Store Age
At least one retailer is bucking the current smaller store trend by opening its biggest location to date. Art Van Furniture will open a two-story, 112,000-sq.-ft. store showroom in Downers Grove, Illinois, on July 30. It will not only be the largest Art Van Furniture store among the company's 90 Midwest locations, but also and the largest furniture store in Chicagoland.
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Another brand is going brick-and-mortar
Chain Store Age
Put your dukes up: Everlast Worldwide is going to open physical stores. Everlast Worldwide, a global leader in the design, manufacturing, licensing and marketing of authentic boxing equipment and apparel, will open its first-ever U.S. stores this summer.
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New Sears store dedicated to 'connected' home solutions
Chain Store Age
Sears has opened a store in the heart of the Silicon Valley dedicated to smart technology products for the home. The retailer's new "Connected Solutions" flagship is located at The Shops at Tanforan shopping center, in San Bruno, California. The 4,000-sq.-ft. store features a living room, kitchen, nursery, workout room, garage and outdoor area where consumers can experience the benefits of smart technology firsthand.
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Kohl's opens new concept
Chain Store Age
Kohl's has thrown its hat in the growing off-price market. The company has officially debuted its new off-price format, Off Aisle by Kohl's, with a test store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    The new chiefs in town (War On The Rocks)
Top cities for veterans in 2015 (NerdWallet)
Holographic ads will soon be the norm in supermarkets (Ecumenical News)
Senate votes to end hide-the-food-stamps-game stateside (Special to Stars and Stripes (tiered subscription model))
Whole Foods and the old thumb on the scale (Bloomberg View)

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


C-STORE NEWS


Smaller-format grocery stores aim to tap into convenience
The Post and Courier
Kristina Smith popped into the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Goose Creek, South Carolina, looking to pick up a few items. "I feel like you can get in and out pretty quickly," said Smith, who lives on the nearby Naval Weapons Station.
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New leadership at Diageo North America
CSP
"Change" is in the air for beer, wine and spirits producer Diageo as it announced several executive appointments to its leadership. Diageo recently announced that Larry Schwartz, president of Diageo North America would retire by the end of this calendar year.
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Pennsylvania beer sales bill in governor's hands
CSP
Many convenience stores in Pennsylvania still face an uphill battle to gain permission to sell beer wine and spirits even if Gov. Tom Wolf signs an historic bill that would do away with the state's long commitment to beer stores.
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7-Eleven, Sour Patch Kids partner on new Slurpee flavor
CSP
The Sour Patch Watermelon-flavored Slurpee is the newest flavor to hit the 7-Eleven Slurpee machine this summer. This new flavor, inspired by social media from fans already asking for and enjoying these products together, will be exclusively available at participating 7-Eleven stores throughout its 100 Days of Summer, beginning July 1.
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Kraft Heinz announces new senior leadership
CSP
The Kraft Heinz Co. has announced its senior leadership team, effective upon the close of the merger transaction.
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Pilot Flying J launches 2015 Road Warrior Program
CSP
Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, has announced a July launch for the 2015 Road Warrior program. The celebratory contest honors professional drivers who demonstrate hard work, generosity and bravery. And this year, it's kicking the action up a notch by rewarding more drivers and beginning the campaign with an unforgettable event.
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MWR NEWS


ACS Relocation Readiness Program makes moving easy
The Fort Campbell Courier
Soldiers, Families and civilians come and go from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, but moving can become overwhelming. The ACS Relocation Readiness Program exists to help reduce that stress by helping plan moves and ensuring soldiers, families and civilians know what benefits and assistance they're entitled to, including temporary lodging expenses and basic allowance for housing.
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Study: Consolidate stores, use limited 'variable pricing'
Army Times
Allowing commissaries to use "variable pricing" doesn't necessarily mean that the stores would increase prices — or at least, not a lot, according to a draft of a congressionally mandated study on ways to save money in the commissary and exchange systems.
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