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Outcome from Valued Associates meeting:
The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits held a meeting this week with our Valued Associate members who now total 16 organizations and represent 1.6 million service members, veterans and military families to brief them on the current and future threats facing military resale, garner their perspectives on preserving the benefit, discuss opportunities for partnering and collaboration, and to develop a shared Coalition engagement strategy for protecting the benefit. In the next few weeks the Coalition will draft and coordinate a letter to the Secretary of Defense, formulate a grass roots advocacy campaign, and create visual media to help better communicate our key messages to patrons.
House votes to block more DoD furloughs in 2014
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Rick Maze
The House recently added a whole new wrinkle to concerns about military readiness and budget cuts by passing legislation barring furloughs for civilian workers in fiscal 2014.
White House issues veto threat of defense funding bill
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Rick Maze
A veto of a $512.5 billion defense funding bill was recently threatened by the White House budget office, not so much because of complaints about the level of defense spending but because the Obama administration doesn't want military spending to rob money from other federal programs.
Pain of sequestration is real
Read the Full Story
The Baltimore Sun, Ben Cardin
Sequestration is hurting real people and real families. It's harming our national security readiness and local economies. It is irresponsible to dismiss these hardships as "better than they could have been."
Obama to nominate new DoD personnel chief
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Karen Jowers
President Barack Obama will nominate Jessica Wright to be the Pentagon's personnel chief, according to an announcement from the White House.
Pentagon chief can't offer hope in budget cuts
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via Yahoo News, Lara Jakes
The forecast recently delivered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calls for more furloughs that will continue into next year ... and it may get worse.
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
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Hagel: DoD must 'fundamentally reshape' itself
The Pentagon must "fundamentally reshape" itself to adapt for a future of strategic and budgetary challenges, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently said. Speaking at the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Louisville, Ky., Hagel laid out four principles "that will guide these efforts to realign and reshape our military": prioritizing DoD's missions and capabilities around the core responsibility of defending the U.S.; maximizing the military's combat power; and preserving and strengthening military readiness and honoring the service and sacrifice.
Risk of a budget impasse rises
The Wall Street Journal
The White House and congressional Republicans recently ratcheted up the chances of another down-to-the-wire budget showdown in the fall, with both sides digging in on their policy positions and offering little evidence that negotiations are under way.
Military Family Residents Mailing List: Active Duty families at home address on military bases
Judy Johnson's Military Family Mailbox: Co-op envelope
MilitaryShoppers.com Email: Opt-in email list of registered members
Contact: Military Media Inc. 845-454-7900.
Providing media to reach the military audience since 1974.
Changing the Korean tour
One-year individual tours to South Korea may soon be replaced by deployments of trained and equipped combat units that will go for upwards of nine months at a time. The Army is studying a plan that would rotate units in and out of South Korea — a plan that had the full support of Lt. Gen. Frank Wiercinski, who relinquished command of U.S. Army Pacific on July 2.
Report questions costs of villas and mansions for top military brass
Los Angeles Times
The perks for top military brass, a Pentagon tradition, are under increasing scrutiny in Congress at a time when budget reductions and the mandatory spending cuts known as the sequester have forced the Pentagon to cut services, close facilities, cancel training and missions, and furlough 680,000 civilian workers.
Doubts loom over Hagel's plan to cut staff
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's intention to slash Pentagon and combatant command personnel is being warmly embraced on Capitol Hill, but experts say the historic difficulty in cutting the civilian workforce may doom the effort.
Report: Strain on military families affects young children
The Washington Post
At a time when the U.S. military has the highest number of parents among its active-duty service members and is engaged in the longest sustained military conflict in history, in Iraq and Afghanistan, new research is showing that the strain on military families is being felt acutely by even its youngest members, children under the age of 6.
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 as of 10 a.m., July 25, 2013.
DP #20, WW Promotion Package, Red Robin Week and Veterans Day Holiday.
NOTICES TO TRADE
13-86, Cheese Category Review.
13-100, Store Reset Dates – Minot AFB.
13-102, Butter & Margarine Category Review.
13-108, Dinner Sausage Category Review.
13-110, Sales Directorate Re-organization & Status of Category Review for 2013.
13-111, Realignment of Sales Directorate.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 13-30.
DeCAF 40-273, Vendor Dead Stock Request form, June 2012.
DeCA did an update to correct one block but did not change the form date.
Bi-Weekly Performance Measures, 1 – 15 July 2013.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
SAVE THE DATES
Aug. 19, 2013: Commissary Council Consumer Awareness Golf Tournament, Country Club of Petersburg, Petersburg, Va. Registration open!
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2013: 66th ALA National Convention, Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, La. Registration open!
Oct. 15–17, 2013: 2013 Hawaii Food Show, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
Hanging scales and floor stands
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as 100 percent total set-aside for small businesses for hanging scales and floor stands to be delivered to Defense Commissary Agency commissaries, world-wide (to include Europe). A Firm-Fixed Price contract is contemplated.
Baby changing stations
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as 100 percent total small business set-aside. The solicitation is for baby changing stations to be delivered to Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and overseas locations including Europe. However, for overseas locations, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port. A Firm-Fixed Price contract is contemplated.
Federal contracts awarded to companies in Maryland
The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies as having been awarded to companies operating in Maryland.
New commissary and Marine Mart is welcome addition to Bridgeport
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest and Marine Corps Mountain Training Center observed a grand opening for commissary and Marine Mart facilities June 26 in Bridgeport. The project supports MCMWTC Command and was developed by NAVFAC Southwest in conjunction with Defense Commissary Agency, and Marine Corps Community Services.
• One Credential – Access to Nearly 100 Military Installations
• One Program – RAPIDGate®
• One Call – 877-727-4342
• Contact: Greg Hendricks, Vice President – Defense Programs firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Pennsylvania anticipates how Heinz owners will wield power
Change is afoot for H.J. Heinz Co., a global business with deep Pittsburgh roots that rests in the hands of outsiders. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, a Nebraska native, and Brazilian firm 3G took Heinz private in February when they bought the company for $28 billion, the biggest-ever global food industry buyout. Though officials promised the company's headquarters will stay in Pittsburgh, analysts and former employees question their commitment to the city.
House lawmakers seek to prevent defense civilian furloughs
Bipartisan amendments to the Defense spending bill would prohibit the department from furloughing civilian employees in fiscal 2014 because of sequestration. The two measures specifically would ban the department from using any budget funds to implement civilian furloughs during the next fiscal year.
Memorandum: Defense Commissary Agency vendors
Subject: Scholarships for Military Children Program
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information regarding the Scholarships for Military Children Program for school year 2014-2015. The Program is now in its 14th year. In its first 13 years, Fisher House Foundation has been honored to having been able to enrich the lives of 7,412 students by awarding scholarship grants totaling $11,316,000. These grants were possible primarily through the generosity of DeCA vendors whose donations sustain the
Report: 'Organic' one of the most confusing labels
Labels, labels everywhere. But what do they mean? The label "organic" is one of the most confusing for consumers, says a new report by the Natural Foods Merchandiser. The group's 2013 Market Overview found a 12 percent increase in sales of organic products, and reported that today, 8 in 10 parents now buy organic at least some of the time.
5 grocery shopping apps that can save you time and money
Shop Smart magazine from Consumer Reports took the time to test and try different programs and separated the good from the bad. Editor-in-chief Lisa Lee Freeman was so convinced that she says, "Download a few convenient apps that can help you save big on the things you need the most." The following are a few favorites from the magazine's recommendations.
Grocery shopping online: Can it replace trips to the store?
The Christian Science Monitor
While the realm of grocery shopping has always been ripe for money saving tactics like extreme couponing, it has largely been exempt from the trend towards price comparison; up until recently, if you wanted to know who had the best price on a particular item, you had to drive from store to store to find out, or at best manually check several sites online. Enter mySupermarket.com, a new site that compares the prices of online groceries across a variety of stores.
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Starbucks to sell Greek yogurt at cafes, supermarkets
Coming soon to a Starbucks near you: Greek yogurt. In a partnership with Danone SA (BN), the world's largest coffee shop operator will start selling the dairy product in its cafes next year and in food retailers in 2015. The plan helps address two of Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz's key concerns: offering healthier fare and helping Starbucks Corp. colonize the grocery store.
A food fight over US sugar program
High Plains Public Radio
Americans consume a lot of sweets. Even discounting all the high fructose corn syrup you find in soft drinks, the average consumer takes in about 40 pounds of refined sugar in a year, according to the USDA. That means food companies from Nestle to Hostess and small neighborhood candy stores have to buy sugar lots of it. And those bakers and snack food makers say the government gives too much support to sugar growers and consumers are footing the bill.
Deloitte: June Consumer Spending Index shows promise
Chain Store Age
U.S. consumers are positioned to spend more in the coming months based on several favorable economic indicators seen in June. The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index for June 2013, which comprises four components of tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, increased to 4.3 from a reading of 4.2 the previous month.
NRF: Back-to-school spending will drop
Chain Store Age
Compared to a record-breaking back-to-school shopping season in 2012, this year's back-to-school season will not be as impressive. New figures from the NRF and Prosper Insights show that families with school-age children will spend an average $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, down about 8 percent from $688.62 last year. Total spending on back-to-school is expected to reach $26.7 billion.
Shoppers Drug Mart Q2 earnings, sales increase
Chain Store Age
Shoppers Drug Mart enjoyed a successful second quarter of fiscal 2013, reporting increases in net earnings, sales and same-store sales. Net earnings totaled up $141.8 million USD, up about 1 percent from $139.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales were about $2.45 billion, a 3.3 percent boost from the previous year. Same-store sales rose 2 percent during the quarter.
Men's Wearhouse to buy Joseph Abboud for $97.5 million
Men's Wearhouse Inc., the menswear retailer that ousted its founder last month, agreed to buy the Joseph Abboud clothing brand for $97.5 million in cash as the chain seeks to offer exclusive brands. The purchase of JA Holding Inc. from funds affiliated with J.W. Childs Associates LP is expected to close in the third quarter, Houston-based Men's Wearhouse recently said in a statement.
Luxury brands must maintain status when opening outlet stores
Luxury brands that open outlet stores must maintain the brand's status and prevent outlet items from overshadowing core products to avoid diluting the brand. Outlet stores can benefit luxury brands in a number of ways such as getting more brand exposure and helping to create new brand enthusiasts. However, if the outlet is not managed properly, it could drastically hurt a luxury brand's reputation.
Battle for back-to-school market share intensifies
Women's Wear Daily
In less than two weeks, the back-to-school season begins in what's seen as a pressure cooker for such chains as J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Aéropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch, as they each seek a reversal of fortune.
DC retailers join forces on minimum wage bill
The Washington Times
Representatives from six national businesses recently sent a letter to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray urging him to veto "misguided" legislation that would raise minimum hourly wages at large retail stores. The letter submitted by Home Depot Inc., Target Corp., AutoZone Inc., Lowe's Cos. Inc., Walgreen Co. and Macy's Inc. sought the veto on the grounds that the Large Retailer Accountability Act is unfairly discriminatory.
RadioShack CEO says he was hired to expand the chain, not sell it
The Dallas Morning News
RadioShack Corp. CEO Joe Magnacca recently put a big "not for sale" sign on the Fort Worth-based company. Magnacca was in New York showing off RadioShack's new concept store that's filled with interactive displays and organized in new ways to make it easier to shop. He's going after a younger customer who "doesn't even know who we are," and he’s narrowed the merchandise mix.
RadioShack unveils 1st college bookstore location
Fort Worth, Texas-based RadioShack Corp. has debuted its college bookstore concept at the University of Texas at Austin. Located within the University Co-op, the RadioShack in-store shop is the first of many campus bookstore locations that the electronics retailer plans to open in 2013.
At only 1 year young, Poppin makes waves in multichannel retail
Where do brands like J.Crew, Fab, Chanel, Bravo, Google, Kate Spade, Target, Apple, Pandora and LinkedIn shop when they're looking to set the right work style for their company culture? They turn to new "work style" retailer, Poppin. In a recent opening keynote at Shop.org's Online Merchandising Workshop, Kevin Ranford, chief marketing officer for Poppin, shared one year of e-commerce lessons learned by the company that celebrates its one-year anniversary in September.
Study: Millennials opt for Walmart over Amazon
Chain Store Age
A new study of the millennial generation shows that many 25- to 34-year-old shoppers change their purchasing habits and behaviors after they start their families. According to the "Millennials as New Parents" study, fielded by Vision Critical and conducted and analyzed by Barkley, when given the choice to shop at one store for the rest of their lives, millennial parents chose Walmart over Amazon.com and Target.
Books-A-Million to install Espresso Book Machines in-store
Chain Store Age
Books-A-Million has teamed with On Demand Books to put Espresso Book Machines in BAM's Portland, Maine, store; a second store is slated for installation at a later date. The Espresso Book Machine is a digital-to-print retail solution that produces a bookstore-quality paperback with color cover, in any standard trim size, at point of sale.
Walmart leads an increasingly promotional retail pack
Chain Store Age
Retailer promotion activity continued to grow with a 21.6 percent increase to more than 11.3 billion pages in the first half of 2013, with Walmart leading in retailer activity, according to Kantar Media's Marx report. Following on Walmart's heels were Walgreens, Target and Family Dollar.
CVS reveals via Facebook it won't sell Boston Bomber edition of Rolling Stone
Chain Store Age
Forbes reported that CVS has opted not to sell the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine, which features a photo of "Boston Bomber" Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover.
Walmart unveils back-to-school plans
Walmart has free shipping for school uniforms and supplies purchased on its website and is bringing back an online school supply and uniform list database for the second straight back-to-school season, the company said. The world's largest retailer will also have a new "Teacher's Corner" that puts school supplies in one location in all of its U.S. stores.
Why outlet stores are the hottest thing in high-end retail
High-end department stores are slumming ... sort of. At pricey apparel retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales, outlet stores may soon outnumber traditional locations, according to a new report by Bloomberg Industries. In fact, they already do at Saks and Nordstrom.
Apparel prices higher in June
Women's Wear Daily
Retail apparel prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent in June, primarily driven by gains in girls', men's and boys' prices, according to the Consumer Price Index, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increase in June apparel prices followed a slight bump in May preceded by three months of declines.
Stores sharpen focus on mobile email, paid search
Retailers are scampering to catch up with smartphones-wielding shoppers, investing larger amounts into both email and paid search. A new study from Forrester and Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Federation, finds that 87 percent of the retailers it included in its research either already have or are planning to implement mobile email optimization this year, with 71 percent planning to optimize paid search for both tablets and smartphones.
Why the DC 'job killer act' is bad for America
Retail's BIG Blog
As our nation's capital, those who live outside Washington, D.C., might think the District is a prime attraction for private investment. But legislation like the Large Retailer Accountability Act passed by the D.C. city council promulgates the notion why the District is consistently ranked as one of the worst places in the nation to do business.
Gap same-store sales beat expectations
Chain Store Age
Gap Inc. substantially improved upon its June 2012 same-store sales performance and beat analyst expectation with a 7 percent increase in same-store sales last month. In comparison, the retailer's same-store sales were flat in June of last year and were only expected to rise 4.7 percent in June of this year, according to estimates from Retail Metrics.
Modest rise in retail sales offers cautionary economic note
Retail sales rose less than expected in June, the latest sign of a slowdown in economic growth that offers a cautionary note to the Federal Reserve as it mulls scaling back its monetary stimulus.
Retail sales up 6 percent from last year
Chain Store Age
U.S. retail and food services sales totaled $422.8 billion last month, according to new advance estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. This represents a 0.4 percent increase from $421.2 billion in the prior month, and a more substantial 5.7 percent increase from $399.9 billion in the same month last year.
Refiners and ethanol companies spar over US biofuels mandate
The oil industry and ethanol companies are arguing about whether the U.S. should maintain consumption targets as lawmakers prepare to hold hearings on its impact on gasoline prices.
How do retail shoppers feel about surveillance?
Retail Customer Experience
The headlines are replete with stories about "showrooming" and the migration of shoppers from bricks and mortar to the Web. Traditional store-based retailers have seen traffic decline, so they are increasingly concerned about creating a store experience that will convert a sale. The paradox is that e-commerce tracks your "cookies" and knows every page you visit.
The future of mobile payments and what it means for retail
The Huffington Post
According to market analysis and fellow mobile blogger, Horace Dediu, smartphones are the fastest and most ubiquitous consumer devices in the history of consumption. Well beyond the staggering consumption is the ubiquity of these devices. Where keys, purses and wallets are left at home, in the car or in gym lockers, our mobile devices remain closely tethered to us nearly all the time.
Facebook Graph search for small businesses
By Mayur Kisani
In January, Facebook started rolling out a highly anticipated beta version of a new search feature, Graph Search. It was initially thought to be Facebook's answer to traditional search engines like Google, but has turned out to be a much more specific and better search functionality within Facebook. Graph Search enables users to search for anything specific — what their friends like, which restaurants they have been to in a location — or something more personal like their photos from a specified time. So how can small businesses benefit from Graph Search?
Industry Pulse: Has your organization used Facebook Graph Search?
Previous Industry Pulse: Do you make sincere efforts to stay in touch with past clients?
Keep your customers shopping ... with chocolate
What does a bookstore smell like? In big-box bookstores like Barnes & Noble, the predominant aroma is often a pleasant espresso smell from the coffee bar. But all of these retailers need to rethink their scent environment. A new study to appear in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows that infusing a chocolate scent into a bookstore kept shoppers browsing longer and inspecting more merchandise.
More Exchange re-alignments announced
Folks – there was a change this morning that impacted MD and I wanted to make you all aware of it. To better align our organizational structure (and mirror Industry) the Merchandising Directorate now falls directly under the CEO, Mr. Tom Shull.
Currently, MD resides under the COO, along with LG, Services & Food and the Regions – the reporting change will not impact any operational processes or working relationships.
The Exchange is taking the following steps to restructure the organization consistent with the retail industry and keep the organization moving forward. Here is a summary of recent changes:
Realignment of the Procurement Support and Policy Directorate (PZ): The Procurement Support and Policy Directorate was realigned from the HQ Executive Group, Deputy Director, to Strategic Plans and Partnership Directorate, Chief Strategy Officer.
Realignment of the Loss Prevention Directorate (LP): The Loss Prevention Directorate was realigned from the HQ Executive Group, Deputy Director, to HQ Executive Group, Chief Operating Officer.
Realignment of the Merchandising Directorate (MD): The Merchandising Directorate, formerly SD, was realigned from the HQ Executive Group, Chief Operating Officer to HQ Executive Group, Director/Chief Executive Officer.
AAFES Sales/Earnings June 2013
ALA Executive Briefing (archive link)
AAFES Press release Archive 2010-2012
AAFES sales flyers (to view click below)
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Save the dates:
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2013: 66th ALA National Convention, Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, La.
Click here to register and for more info!
Oct. 15-17, 2013: 2013 Hawaii Trade and Food Show, Hawaii Prince Hotel Honolulu, Hawaii
Dec. 5, 2013: ALA NY Chapter Annual Holiday Luncheon, New York City.
Dec. 13, 2013: ALA DFW Chapter holiday luncheon
Join the ALA DFW Chapter for a festive holiday luncheon and auction at the Las Colinas Country Club, 4400 N. O'Connor Blvd., Irving, Texas. Guest speakers include: CEO Tom Shull and CMO Ana Middleton
Click here to view flier.
Go to: www.ALA-National.org, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.
ALA to boost DoD's drive for healthy bases
The association that represents consumer product companies serving military commissaries and exchanges is throwing its support behind Department of Defense initiatives to promote a healthy force. The American Logistics Association will work with the military commissary and exchange systems to promote events that highlight healthy products and a healthy lifestyle for military personnel, particularly at the 13 bases that DoD has identified to prototype the initiative.
Body Mechanics pampers soldiers, families
Being in and working for the Army can be a vigorous and stressful life, but Fort Rucker wants all of its workers, and Family members, to know that they deserve a chance to be pampered and indulged.
Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation A to Z R is for recreation
Family and MWR provides a variety of programs and services that create an environment where soldiers and families can thrive. The Family and MWR programs are proof of the Army's commitment to support and care for all that defend the nation and their Family members.
Kawamura Arts and Crafts Center to close
Following exhaustive efforts to avoid it, the Fort Belvoir Garrison and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation have made the difficult but necessary decision to discontinue services at the Kawamura Arts and Crafts Center's wood and main shops. The auto hobby shop will not be affected by this closure and will continue normal operations.
Sports and recreation briefs
Check out the following activities and events coming up!
Exchange celebrates 118 years of service with deals at Burger King, Express
Edwards Air Force Base
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service celebrates a past, present and future of savings and service on July 25, the organization's 118th anniversary. In recognition of this historic milestone, the Exchange is offering two fantastic dining deals for authorized patrons to enjoy.
Letter: Veterans and spouses fully appreciate earned benefits
The Westerly Sun
This letter is in response to Elizabeth Crumb's letter printed in the Sun on Sunday, July 14: I was not referring to the heterosexual "community" in my comments. Amazingly, I had to use the word "Community" because when I tried "Same Sex" and "Gays" and a few others, the Sun rejected those words as "Sexually Offensive" and yet that same day they had an article with "Same Sex" in the title but I wasn't allowed to use it in my response! My point is that we must realize what this decision to recognize Same Sex marriage is going to have on all of us, the military benefits just being a small example of what is to come.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063