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AAFES marks 119 years of serving Airmen
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Today, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) celebrates 119 years of proudly serving Airmen, Soldiers and their families. AAFES is the 43rd largest retail organization in the U.S., with annual revenue of more than $10 billion and employing 40,622 civilian and military personnel. The Exchange is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense (DOD). The Exchange is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.
Senate's top Republican appropriator doubts 2015 defense bill reaches floor
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Defense News, John T. Bennett
Can the U.S. Senate put aside a years-long procedural impasse and pass a Pentagon spending bill? The top Republican on the Appropriations Committee has his doubts. "If [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] wants it to come to the floor after recess and after the elections, it'll come to the floor," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the panel's ranking member. "He has that prerogative." But what if the 27-year veteran had to bet on whether or not his committee's $547.9 billion will get to the floor? "If I had to guess, I'd say no," said Shelby.
Smaller BAH raises, higher drug co-pays gain steam
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Starts and Stripes, Tom Philpott
The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a fiscal 2015 defense money bill that fully supports the Senate Armed Services Committee's earlier embrace of key military compensation curbs sought by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both committees have rejected proposals to restructure Tricare dramatically by consolidating plan options and by raising fees. They also reject a $200 million hit to the annual subsidy for commissaries would could force some commissaries to cut hours of operation and a few even to close.
On 3rd anniversary of Budget Control Act, fallout still unclear
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National Defense Magazine, Sandra I. Erwin
No sooner had President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act than Washington began speculating on when Congress would repeal it. Three years since the law was enacted on August 2, 2011, it is fair to say that Washington has officially given up hope. The law — which brought to an end a debt-ceiling showdown that had threatened to lead the United States into default and set strict limits to discretionary domestic and military spending through 2021 — is here to stay, at least through the end of the Obama administration.
Military personnel costs need a hard look
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The Washington Post, Walter Pincus
In our troubled world, would you prefer that the United States had six more F-16 squadrons over the next year or pay the 1 percent annual cost-of-living adjustment for military retirees under age 62? Last year the Obama administration proposed eliminating that 1 percent COLA raise — meant for retirees still able to work and before their Social Security kicks in — as a way to cut defense spending. It was approved in December as part of a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit. In February, however, the House and Senate, pressured by veterans' groups, reinstated the initial 1 percent increase for retirees.
Military Times honors 2014 Service Members of the Year
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Military Times, Charlsy Panzino
They've done extraordinary things in service to their country. But recently, a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coast Guardsman were recognized not just for their military exploits, but as "everyday heroes" who routinely go the extra mile for their fellow service members and their communities. In a Capitol Hill ceremony attended by members of Congress, top brass, friends and family, the five were honored as the Military Times 2014 Service Members of the Year: Army Sgt. Thomas Block, Marine Master Sgt. Orlando D. Reyes, Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Jeremy T. Crandall, Coast Guard Operations Specialist 2nd Class Lindsey Neumann and Air Force Master Sgt. David Keirns. They were nominated by their peers, who recounted how each goes above and beyond the call of duty in both the military and their communities.
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
2014 Board Elections
The ALA Board of Directors has approved the following slate of candidates to run for the 2014 Board of Directors: Directors Marcia Doyle, Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc.; Kurt Hall, Unilever; Executive Committee – Joe Campagna (Chair), Kellogg; Rick Page (Vice-Chair), Coastal Pacific Food Dist.; Carla Williams (Secretary), Procter & Gamble; and Leah Gardner (Treasurer), Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
Ballots will be mailed to all ALA voting members in early August. Any ALA member who wishes to be considered for inclusion on the ballot may do so by petition. Write-in candidates appear on the ballot when no fewer than 25 voting members of the Association subscribe to the candidacy. This petition for candidacy must be provided to the Secretary and Chairman of the Nominating Committee, JD Fenessy, no later than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting of Members. The Annual Meeting of Members will be held at the 67th Annual Convention in Washington, DC on October 29, 2014.
2014 Worldwide Directory – CORRECTION
On page 44 of the 2014 ALA Worldwide Directory, a few member companies were inadvertently omitted. Under "Brokers & Manufacturers Representatives", Acosta Sales & Marketing should be added. Under "Media", D&R Communications, Eating Well Media Group, Exchange & Commissary News and Family & Salute Magazines should be added. We apologize for any inconvenience the omissions may have caused.
Levin: Senate-House NDAA 'fallback' talks will continue during August recess
U.S. House and Senate staffers will meet throughout August to hammer out a compromise Pentagon policy bill as a fallback plan should the latter chamber fail to pass its version. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., recently told reporters that he has met with his house counterpart, Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., about readying a conference report that could quickly pass both chambers late this year. That might be necessary if the Senate, for the second consecutive year, fails to pass its own version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Civilians offered buyouts under HQ reduction plan
Air Force Times
The Air Force is encouraging civilians to apply for voluntary early retirement or separation to help the service achieve planned headquarters staff reductions. This first round of voluntary early retirements and separations is focused on Headquarters Air Force-assigned civilians, mostly in the National Capital Region. The service plans to cut 522 positions in this area, the most in one location. Employees at Air Force Materiel Command headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are also urged to apply at this time. AFMC must reduce its staff by 372 personnel at Wright-Patterson. Employees must apply by Aug. 1. Applicants approved must separate by Sept. 30, according to the Air Force.
Uniweb continually pushes the limits in creativity and potential of every product they create, providing cost-effective solutions to upgrade existing shelving and increase product facings in the same footprint, thereby enhancing sales volumes! Uniweb also engineers modular spaces which include cash or manager’s offices, secure rooms, and back offices.
Advisers to DoD: Help private-sector innovators help you
It's well past time for the Pentagon to revamp its acquisition processes so the private sector can boost its role in technology development, according to a key Pentagon advisory panel. At a Pentagon meeting, the Defense Business Board unanimously approved far-reaching recommendations meant to improve DoD's business dealings with the private sector, particularly companies that have not traditionally sought defense contracts.
Marine Corps force integration
Marine Corps Association & Foundation
Throughout our Corps' proud 238-year history, Marines have earned their place among the world's elite ground combat forces. Direct ground combat remains indispensable to the security of our Nation in chaotic and dangerous times. Even as military technology advances, physical strength, speed, and endurance still matter for those who seek out, close with, and destroy the enemies of the American people. At the same time, moral and mental factors such as honor, courage, judgment, speed of decision, resilience, and coup d'oeil are as equally important in this ultimate crucible of war. For these reasons, Marines have placed the rifleman at the core of our institutional focus. The Corps' mandate is to make our riflemen as ready as possible when they go forward to meet the enemy; we will accept nothing less.
Military Media Inc.
Help for Military Families Comes in the Mail.
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
Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...
As we mentioned in last week's update, Coalition valued associate members have worked tirelessly alongside the ALA to defeat the Pentagon's proposed 2015 budget cuts to military compensation and benefits. These military and veterans organizations are continuing to pay close attention to the budget process and are working to keep their members informed and engaged. Below are a few examples:
NAUS Weekly Update: Senate Appropriations Committee
National Association for Uniformed Services
The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a fiscal 2015 defense money bill that fully supports the Senate Armed Services Committee’s earlier embrace of key military compensation curbs sought by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Senate Committee bill rejects administration proposals that would restructure and dramatically consolidate TRICARE plans and steeply raise fees. The Senate measure also rejects the Pentagon's proposal to cut $200 million from the annual subsidy for commissaries. Committee action averts proposals that would have forced some commissaries to cut hours of operation and a few even to close…
Show Me the Money: Defense Appropriators Have Their Say
National Military Family Association
Over the past few months, we have been watching carefully as Congress goes through the long process of crafting the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the massive piece of legislation that will set budget levels for the Department of Defense (DoD) for the fiscal year starting October 1. It all started in March, when the Administration submitted its budget plan to Congress. Since then, the Armed Services committees of both the House and the Senate have passed their own versions of the bill, which differ significantly from the President's budget – and from each other.
While the House has passed its version of the NDAA, we are still waiting for the full Senate to vote on the legislation. Once the Senate has passed the bill, a conference committee will meet to resolve any differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill. Once that happens, the revised bill will be voted on again by the House and Senate, and the final bill will go to the President for his signature.
Complicated, right? Yes – and that's not the whole picture. The Armed Services Committees role is to authorize DoD to spend funds on programs and services up to a certain level. For example, the committees can authorize (or not authorize) DoD to spend funds on the commissary, military housing allowances, and personnel compensation up to a given level. However, the Armed Services committee doesn't actually control any money. That's the job of the House and Senate Appropriations committees. The Appropriations committees look at the amount of money that has been budgeted for the federal government and allocate it to the various government agencies. They set the level of funding available for each agency and for programs within each agency. Each Appropriations Committee has a Defense subcommittee charged with appropriating funds to DoD and its many programs and line items.
So what does this mean for military families? There are four main areas of concern to families that we have been following: pay increases, housing allowances, commissary funding, and TRICARE costs. The bills that have been passed by the Armed Services and Appropriations committees show agreement in some respects, but there are still differences that need to be resolved.
Based on what has already been passed by Congress, it seems certain that there will be no major cuts or changes to the commissary or to TRICARE in the coming fiscal year. However, legislators still need to come to agreement on whether military pay will increase by 1% or 1.8%, whether BAH will continue to cover 100% of rental costs or if it will decrease, and whether beneficiaries will be charged higher pharmacy co-pays.
We will continue to update military families as the legislation moves through Congress. Remember, it's not too late to make your voice heard! Contact your Representatives or Senators and let them know how you feel about proposed cuts to compensation.
Commissary Web Posts
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, July 24, 2014 and 10 AM, July 31, 2014:
DP #17, Update #1.
DP #19, Far East Quantities.
DP #20, WW Promotion Package, Support Your Veteran Day Sale.
2014 Fall Club Pack (1 October – 31 December 2014) Program.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Candy Program, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Baking Program, Update #1.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Dry Grocery, Update #1.
Thanksgiving/Christmas – Non-Food, Update #1.
NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 14-31.
CRV Values, July 27, 2014.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
ALA Commissary Council Golf Tournament, August 18, 2014, Country Club of Petersburg, Petersburg, VA.
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 Hampton Roads Chapter Oyster Roast & Golf Tournament, October 2, 2014.
ALA National Convention, October 27 - 29, 2014, Hyatt Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. REGISTRATION OPEN
Commissary Customer Appreciation
Defense Commissary Agency
Back by popular demand are the commissaries' case lot sales. This time they're called Commissary Customer Appreciation Sales, and they offer savings of 50 percent or more on club pack and full case items. Each stateside commissary – Alaska and Hawaii included – and Puerto Rico will have a two- or three-day case lot sale event during Aug. 14 to Sept. 30. Customers can go here to find out when their store is having the sale.
Federal contracts awarded by federal agencies in Virginia - July 30
The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies based in Virginia.
CLICK2GO expands to 2nd year
Fort Lee Treveller
Fans of the Defense Commissary Agency CLICK2GO initiative will be happy to learn that the online ordering and curbside pickup program has been extended a second year, through June 2015. The pilot program has been in operation at the Fort Lee Commissary since July 10, 2013, and is being tested also in commissaries at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, and Travis Air Force Base, California.
J. Lees Gourmet BBQ Sauce scores a perfect 100 at Fort Polk
The Sauce Team of Mr. James Lee, Founder; Mr. Ashante Vereen, Sales and Marketing Director; and Mr. Curtis Jennings, Public Relations Manager, introduced J. Lees Gourmet BBQ Sauce to the military community at Fort Polk, Louisiana. TST set up as vendors at the Post Exchange from July 17-19 and sold a team record 100 cases (600 bottles) of J. Lees Gourmet BBQ Sauce in less than 25 hours. TST barely finished setting up before curious customers lined up to taste the sauce that states A Taste That All Families Love and Put It On Anything. Patrons of all ages and backgrounds loved the sweet, tangy, and unique taste of J. Lees.
• One Credential – Access to Nearly 100 Military Installations
• One Program – RAPIDGate®
• One Call – (703) 836-2201
• Contact: Mike Campbell, GM, Alexandria, VA & VP Government Sales
Material handling equipment preventive maintenance and repair services
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as 100 percent set-aside for veteran-owned small businesses. The solicitation is for the performance of preventive maintenance and repair services on Government owned material handling equipment as required for the following Defense Commissary Agency commissaries: Charleston AFB, Charleston NWS, Fort Jackson, Parris Island, and Shaw AFB. The MHE consists of the following: Battery Chargers; Electric Pallet Jacks; Electric/Gas/Propane Forklifts, Walkie Riders, and Walkie Stackers.
2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award
The Freedom Award
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, recently announced 15 recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor DoD gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.
Large wire shopping carts
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as 100 percent Small Business Set-Aside for large wire shopping carts. This equipment will be used by Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the continental United States and overseas locations, including Europe. However, for overseas stores, except Alaska and Hawaii, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port. One firm-fixed price requirements contract(s) for a base plus four option years will be awarded.
Grocery stores adopt green globes certification
Whole Foods, Aldi's and Publix are among the grocery stores across the US adopting Green Globes for green building certification, according to the Green Building Initiative (GBI), which administers the program. The properties also include New Seasons Markets in Oregon, and Price Chopper, Harris Teeter and Wegmans stores across the country. New Seasons — the first B-Corp grocer in the world — says Green Globes certification helps validate the company's sustainability story.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Harris Poll names the best grocery store brands in the US
Retail Customer Experience
The 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend study, which measures brand equity for more than 1,500 brands across 170 categories, finds traditional grocery store brands rank highest overall in three of the four regions surveyed. According to the company, the EQ index examines three key factors of brand equity: familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.
Consumers clearly prefer shopping in stores
A key finding from the A.T. Kearney Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study is that although digital retailing is capturing headlines and inspiring spirited debate as retailers plan investments for the future, physical stores continue to be customers' preferred shopping channel and a place where the most significant consumer and retailer value is created. The A.T. Kearney Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study was based on a survey of 2,500 U.S. shoppers that asked respondents about their shopping preferences and behaviors. The survey covered all age segments — teens, millennials, generation X, baby boomers, and seniors.
Optimizing the grocery chain portfolio
During the recession, many brick-and-mortar retailers had to pull back and re-evaluate their portfolios to guard profit margins. Traditional grocery stores were no different. Store consolidation and the shift of customer traffic to nontraditional grocers, such as online grocers, created the need for traditional chains to evolve, adapt and, in many cases, reduce store counts. With modest economic growth, now is the time for grocers to refresh and reinvest in strong stores, as well as re-evaluate underperformers. Performing a strategic review focused on optimizing the real estate portfolio is necessary to reduce costs and provide the financial basis needed for reinvestment.
Orange juice drops to 5-month low on weak demand
The Wall Street Journal
Orange-juice futures slumped to a five-month low as weak demand for the beverage trumped fears of a hurricane damaging Florida's next crop. Frozen, concentrated orange juice for delivery in September fell 2.2 percent to $1.4475 a pound, the lowest closing price since Feb. 19 on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange. A disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean shows a 70 percent chance of tropical cyclone formation in the next 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service. Usually, that kind of news boosts the orange-juice market, as previous hurricanes that have hit top orange-producing state Florida have damaged groves and ripped fruit from the trees.
Poultry ruling the roost at the meat counter
High demand and tight supplies are painting a bullish picture for the poultry industry. Nutrition, taste and cost are pushing more Americans to put poultry on their plates. According to a survey commissioned by the National Chicken Council, the 1,000 respondents ate an average of 6.1 chicken meals or snacks within a two-week period.
Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar for $8.5 billion
Discount store chain Dollar Tree Inc said it would buy rival Family Dollar Stores Inc for about $8.5 billion, creating North America's biggest discount retailer. Shares of Family Dollar, which has been under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn to sell itself, rose almost 25 percent to $75.50 in premarket trading on Monday. Dollar Tree shares were up 8.8 percent at $59.
Walmart US CEO Bill Simon steps down to be replaced by CEO of Walmart Asia
Chain Store Age
Wal-Mart Stores announced that Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. since June 2010, is leaving the company. He will be replaced by Greg Foran, 53, president and CEO of Walmart Asia, who will take up the post on Aug. 9, reporting directly Wal-Mart president and CEO, Doug McMillon. Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition.
New kid Foran pushes out old guard at Walmart US
Chain Store Age
It's no shock Bill Simon is leaving after not getting the lead role when Mike Duke stepped down as Walmart CEO last year. Simon did a lot of things well during his tenure at Walmart U.S., but we view it as having been difficult for him to have filled Duke's shoes to become CEO of the largest global retailer without relevant international experience.
A.T. Kearney: Stores drive most sales, online and off
Chain Store Age
Physical stores continue to be customers' preferred shopping channel and a place where the most significant consumer and retailer value is created, according to a new report by A.T. Kearney. The firm's "Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study" found that stores play a crucial role in online purchases, as two-thirds of customers purchasing online use a physical store before or after the transaction.
Study: Top retail websites getting slower
Chain Store Age
Retail websites are getting slower ... fast, according to a report by Radware, a provider of application delivery and application security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers. In just one year, median time to interact (TTI) has slowed down by 27 percent (from 4.9 seconds to 6.2 seconds), and median load time has suffered a 49 percent increase (from 7.2 seconds to 10.7 seconds).
TargetExpress test takes aim at Gen Y
Target, struggling to attract customers, has taken the wraps off its first TargetExpress, a small concept it hopes will be a big hit with Gen Y. At just 15 percent of the size of its typical store, the company says it hopes the merchandise sold in the Dinkytown test site — heavy on beauty, electronics and convenience food — will appeal to nearby University of Minnesota students, as well as urban shoppers.
Macy's reveals 2015 sustainability initiatives
Macy's, one of the nation's premier retailers, announced the company's sustainability initiatives to take place over the next year, including installation of more vehicle charging stations, continued implementation of LED and solar lighting, increasing the issuance of digital receipts, and incorporating recycled products to further reduce packaging materials.
National Retail Federation cuts 2014 retail sales forecast
The National Retail Federation on Wednesday lowered its retail sales forecast for 2014, citing slow growth during the first half of the year. The trade organization said it now expects retail sales to grow 3.6 percent this year, down from its 4.1 percent forecast in January. It attributed some of the industry's sluggishness to the severe weather that kept consumers out of stores at the beginning of the year, and said it expects sales to grow "significantly faster" over the next five months.
Volatile brew: Price-matching and social media
The Wall Street Journal
Dollar General Corp. offered a discount on diapers earlier this summer that ended up clogging checkouts at rivals Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., which were swarmed by shoppers trying to use the promotion to get an even better deal. Call it diaper arbitrage.
Survey: Teens, young adults like shopping at malls better than online
Chain Store Age
Shopping ranks as a favorite activity among nearly half of all teens and young adults ages 13 to 24, according to a new survey by Forest City in partnership with Alexander Babbage. Shopping at malls ranked above a virtual shopping experience among the entire group, with the 13-to-17-year-old age group showing the strongest preference for a bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.
Kangaroo Express offering free Red Hots to military
The Pantry Inc., which operates the Kangaroo Express convenience stores, has announced that it will celebrate National Hot Dog Day on July 23. As a token of appreciation for the U.S. armed services, Kangaroo Express will offer a free hot dog to any customer with a military ID that stops by its nearly 1,200 grill-ready Kangaroo Express convenience stores between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Also, customers who present the Kangaroo Express mobile app on their phone will receive a coupon voucher for a free hot dog.
Dick's lays off more than 400 PGA golf instructors
The Wall Street Journal
Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. is cutting hundreds of jobs in its golf division as fewer Americans hit the links. A spokeswoman for the PGA of America said more than 400 of its members who were employed as golf instructors at Dick's were notified Tuesday that they would be laid off. The organization, which counts more than 28,000 members overall, said it would offer career counseling and employment services to its affected members.
5 ways people kill good analysis
National Retail Federation
If the amount of data you're analyzing is overwhelming, you're not alone. In the digital age there's no shortage of data, but the sheer volume of it can make getting clear, focused insights a bit of a challenge. And as Kevin Ertell, SVP of Digital at Sur La Table Inc., pointed out at NRFtech Retail Technology Leadership Summit, there are many ways for good analysis to go bad.
2014 Retail Sales Update
National Retail Federation
Retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) are expected to advance at a stronger pace for the balance of this year than the previous six months, and should equal or exceed 3.9 percent, compared with the 2.9 percent reported for the first half of 2014. That said, in the aftermath of a cold start for retailers and a major downshift in overall U.S. economic growth earlier this year, NRF is revising its current 4.1 percent forecast for annual retail sales growth to 3.6 percent. The revised NRF estimate also reflects downward revisions to final annual retail sales back through 2012 that were made by the U.S. Census Bureau in April. NRF is still expecting non-store sales to increase between 9 and 12 percent.
Crocs to shutter stores, cut workforce
Chain Store Age
Footwear maker Crocs Inc., best known for its colorful plastic clogs, announced a major restructuring that includes closing stores and job cutbacks. The plan comes on the heels of the company's disappointing second-quarter earnings results. Earlier this month, Crocs reported that second-quarter profit fell 44 percent to $19.7 million.
Wal-Mart cuts prices more aggressively for back-to-school
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending. Wal-Mart will reduce prices on 10 percent more items this year, said Steve Bratspies, the company's executive vice president for U.S. general merchandise. The number of back-to-school items Wal-Mart sells online will grow 30 percent to 75,000, he said.
First year of the Alliance makes a difference in Bangladesh, more work is needed
National retail Federation
This week the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety released its first annual report. This is an important milestone in the ongoing work to improve worker safety in the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. In its first year the Alliance achieved many of its key objectives, including the development and implementation of the country's first harmonized Fire Safety and Structural Integrity Standard; the inspection of all 587 factories from which Alliance members source; and fire safety training for more than 1 million workers and managers employed in these factories.
Kate Spade's Mary Beech talks brand storytelling
Women's Wear Daily
"We learned very early on that if you can't tell your story digitally, you might as well not tell it," said Mary Beech, chief marketing officer at Kate Spade.
The evolution of the Internet and its impact on retail spaces
Online and offline were once two very separate worlds. But with the rise of e-commerce and in particular mobile e-commerce, the distinction between online and offline is blurring rapidly. One of the Internet's early effects was to foster a much greater proliferation of specialty retailers than ever before retailers with a unique point of view but not necessarily a need for a tremendous amount of floor space. The Internet has allowed retailers to connect with potential customers and express their brand in entirely new ways, and physical stores have become a part of their communication and sales strategy instead of being their only or primary way to reach consumers.
Family Dollar: Please come again (for beer and wine)
The U.S. economy remains brutal on Family Dollar's core, low-income customers, who have been making fewer trips there and spending less money. The dollar-store chain has been stocking up on grocery items to spur more business, which, in turn, is expected to boost the overall average sales ticket per trip as people tend to grab a few extra items. The latest permutation of this strategy is a staple many of us won't live without: beer and wine.
7-Eleven doubles franchisee discount to lure veterans
The Buffalo News
7-Eleven wants more of its stores to be operated by veterans. The Dallas-based convenience store chain is now offering a 20 percent discount to qualifying franchisee candidates who have served in the military in the last five years. That's up from the 10 percent discount 7-Eleven has offered to veterans since 2009, which will still apply without a five-year restriction.
Top 101 chains reshuffling
Six months after CSP launched its inaugural Convenience Top 101, nearly a dozen entries in the list of the largest convenience-store chains in the United States and Canada have seen major acquisition activity, ensuring a major shakeup to next year's list.
Let's do a back-of-the-napkin calculation. Gasoline consumption peaked in 2007. It's estimated to bottom out in 2035. By that time, the United States could consume about 2 million fewer barrels per day (BPD), or 84 million fewer gallons per day, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The government agency predicts that gasoline demand will plummet 24 percent from 2012 to 2040. What is causing this plunge in projected forecourt demand?
Bright days ahead for blu
Standing on the outside of a robust party, Imperial Tobacco not only knocked, it barged through the front door and in one swoop, took over the party the e-cig party. In just one piece of a dramatic sea-change that will transform the entire U.S. tobacco landscape, the British tobacconist acquired blu, the trendy Lorillard e-cig brand that owns 45 percent of the total U.S. electronic cigarette market, as an offshoot of Reynolds American Inc.'s acquisition of Lorillard Inc.
7-Eleven denies franchisee group's allegations
7-Eleven Inc. is denying allegations of racial discrimination, invasion of privacy and illegal surveillance, retaliation against franchisees and misclassification of employment relationship with franchisees leveled against the convenience store company by the 7-Eleven Franchise Owner's Association of Greater Los Angeles (FOAGLA) and several franchisees.
First look inside TargetExpress
Across the street from where 80-year-old independent convenience store House of Hanson once stood, before being razed for a six-story student apartment building last year, Target Corp. has opened the doors of its first ever TargetExpress store on the University of Minnesota campus.
Insider's view: M&A market just beginning to pick up
The second quarter of the year is historically the slowest period in terms of merger-and-acquisition activity in the convenience-store industry. However, such was not the case in the second quarter of 2014.
2014 Soldier Show set for August 9
Bayonet & Saber
Army Entertainment will present the 2014 U.S. Army Soldier Show Aug. 9 at Wetherby Field. This year's production, titled "Stand Strong," explores the foundational elements of what instills the strength and character of Soldiers and the Army. The Broadway-style variety performance is free and open to the public, said Shannon Beck, chief of marketing for Fort Benning's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Win a 2014 Harley-Davidson!
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and Harley-Davidson of Washington, DC are gearing up this summer to give away a brand new 2014 Sportster 1200 Custom! Yes, it's true and it's free! Enter now through Sept. 12. The Harley-Davidson will be given away on stage, Sept. 20 at the Freedom Live Concert featuring Little Big Town.
Jack Daniel's lounge opens on Army base
A handful of Jack Daniel's-branded gathering places draw whiskey drinkers and other patrons in sports arenas, stadiums like Wrigley Field, even in Dubai International Airport. You might not expect to see such an establishment inside the gates of an Army base. As of Friday, July 25, you'd be wrong. The Jack Daniels' Lounge opened that afternoon at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, taking the place of the Lanyard, a bar last renovated during the Reagan administration.
Luke Bryan partners with Miller Lite to bring servicemen and women to Chicago show
Great American Country
Luke Bryan has teamed up with Miller Lite to bring 45 Army and Air Force servicemen and women to the Chicago stop on his That's My Kind of Night Tour on August 31 at Soldier Field, all expenses paid. The text-to-win promotion will only be available in Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) stores from May through August.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063