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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Aug. 10, 2012
 
Executive Briefing
 
 

President's Message


Email blast targets 1.5 million military:

Dear Patrick,

Your military commissary and exchange bills could increase by nearly $7,000.

Many military benefits are being considered for reductions, including your shopping privilege. Your voice is needed now to help preserve this benefit for all of us.

Military families currently save 20-50 percent off their purchases by using the commissary and exchange — up to $7,000 a year for a family of four. Besides great savings, income from these operations helps build new stores and support vital on-base MWR programs.

In these tough budget times, it is essential that we work together and protect our commissary and exchange privileges.

Visit SaveOurBenefit.org for more information and to let Washington know how important these benefits are to you and your family.

Once this important benefit is lost, it will be too late.

Join us today. We also urge you to "like us" on Facebook.



EMAIL TO MILITARY
Over 100,000 have signed up! Email is the way to reach out. Don't hope that a few people will visit a website and click on your banner. Deliver your message directly into their inboxes. Contests, Events, Special Promotions, Commissary and Exchange Sales and more. Everybody on this email list has visited the MilitaryShoppers.com website and signed up to receive your email message of interest to the military community.
Contact info@militarymedia.com or (845) 454-7900. More

It is time to reach a solution NOW!:

With the passage of the Sequestration Transparency legislation, we will know the detail of the impact on the U.S. economy in about 30 days. Unfortunately for most of that time Congress will be out of session. I imagine when they are home they are going to get an ear full. It is time to address this issue now and find a solution before we go over the cliff. The analysis that follows comes from Jim Schweiter, an expert on this topic and an individual that understands the implications for government contracts and military resale. This is a MUST READ!

(Henry J. "Jim" Schweiter is a partner in the government contracts and government affairs departments of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, an international law firm. Schweiter specializes in representing government contractors with legislative or policy issues before Congress or who have contract disputes with the federal Government, including those involving nonappropriated fund activities.)


Gold Medal Products Co.

Gold Medal has more than 350 employees committed to fueling our product lines with sales-generating concessions, as well as specialty foods machines and supplies. In addition to the network of dealers world-wide, Gold Medal has 11 branches throughout the nation to serve you. MORE

The Budget Control Act of 2011, sequestration and NAF activities
Last August, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 ("BCA")(Pub. L. 112-25). This law authorized raising the debt ceiling, established caps on discretionary spending and put a process in place to reduce the federal deficit. The provisions to raise the debt ceiling have been triggered, so that the federal borrowing limit now stands at $16.4 trillion. In brief, the BCA:
  • Imposed caps on discretionary spending beginning in October 2011 that will generate $917 billion in savings over the next ten years. The Department of Defense ("DOD") portion of these savings is approximately $487 billion.
  • Created a bipartisan, bicameral committee to identify up to $1.5 trillion of additional deficit reduction (the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction). This "Supercommittee" failed to reach agreement.
  • Required Congress to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment failed in both houses.
  • Imposed a budgetary process known as sequestration to implement a total of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts through fiscal year 2021 which will begin Jan. 2, 2013, unless Congress passes a bill which the president signs to avert such a result.
Senior Executive Branch officials, members of Congress and industry leaders all predict catastrophe if sequestration is implemented. For companies doing business with the federal government, it is therefore important to understand what sequestration is and how it would operate. Congress recently passed and President Barack Obama recently signed the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012.1 Although this law requires the Administration to report to Congress within 30 days about how sequestration will be implemented by federal agencies, few expect this report to provide much useful detail.


Budget sequestration
Sequestration is a process of automatic, largely across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently canceled to enforce certain budget policy goals.2 This process was first established in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (BBEDCA).3 Sequestration involves the permanent cancellation of budgetary resources by a uniform percentage, which is applied to all non-exempt programs, projects and activities within a budget account4 in order to achieve required savings.

Under the BCA, there are two situations in which sequestration could occur:
  • If Congress appropriates more money in any year than is allowed under the annual discretionary spending limits established in the BCA, the automatic process of sequestration would result in the cancellation of the excess amount. The president would issue an order canceling any excess budget authority.
  • Because Congress failed to enact legislation developed by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion by Jan. 15, 2012, the BCA provides for a series of automatic spending reductions in both discretionary and direct (mandatory) spending5 to make up for the shortfall in savings.
Sequestration is thus a budget enforcement mechanism that is intended to prevent enactment of legislation that would increase the federal deficit. Under the BCA, the automatic sequestration procedures will affect both mandatory and discretionary spending programs, and the reductions will affect defense and non-defense spending categories equally in each of fiscal years 2013 through 2021.

Under the BCA, the Department of Defense would have to absorb half the cuts required by sequestration, a total of $492 billion. Non-defense accounts would absorb an equal share. Because the cut would be spread over nine years (2013-2021), both the defense and non-defense portions of the federal budget would be subject to annual reductions of about $54.7 billion.6 Although the BCA only speaks to projects, programs and activities that rely on appropriated funds, sequestration portends several significant indirect impacts upon nonappropriated fund instrumentalities and their activities.


Implementation of sequestration
The process by which sequestration would be implemented is different in 2013 than in 2014 and the out years. In 2013, there would be across-the-board, proportional reductions in programs, projects and activities funded by annual appropriations and in non-exempt mandatory programs.7 In 2014 through 2021, the required sequestration cuts would be achieved by reducing the statutory spending limit specified in the law for each year. How this "top line" cut would be implemented at the agency level would be governed by the appropriations process. The Office of Management and Budget would direct agencies to implement cuts to available appropriations based on apportionment guidance issued pursuant to OMB Circular A-11.8

Sequestration would not begin until Jan. 2, 2013, so the funding reductions would be spread over only three quarters of that fiscal year. Appropriated funds that have been obligated to contracts are not subject to the sequestration process. Appropriated fund balances that remain unobligated as of Jan. 2, 2013 may be subject to sequestration. If, as now appears likely, the federal government will be funded by continuing appropriations resolution (a "CR")9 during the first half of fiscal year 2013,10 the ability of agencies to enter into new contracts, issue new task orders on existing multiple award contracts or exercise contract options that would obligate funds before sequestration begins will be constrained. Guidance from OMB also could limit agency spending in advance of sequestration. Because the baseline for fiscal year 2013 funding has not been established, and because there are so many variables that may affect how sequestration would be implemented, contractors of all stripes must closely examine their contracts and funding status in making judgments about how to prepare for sequestration.


Sequestration and nonappropriated fund activities
Many companies may believe that because they have government contracts with a nonappropriated fund instrumentality or are performing contracts paid with nonappropriated funds the effects of budget sequestration are likely to be minimal. Although in individual cases that may be true, it is also likely that the effects of sequestration on the military resale community would be far reaching. First, unlike military personnel accounts, which have been exempted from the effects of sequestration, civilian personnel accounts are not exempt. These accounts are likely to suffer approximately a 10 percent reduction in fiscal year 2013, resulting in furloughs and perhaps employee terminations in the civilian workforce. The prospect is that there would be fewer civilians performing acquisition functions such as awarding and administering government contracts, even those involving nonappropriated funds. The result would likely be delays in contract award, reductions in the number of contracts awarded, and delays in contract actions such as processing of invoices, audits and contract close out.

Second, the sequestration-driven funding reductions to appropriated accounts across-the-board would only increase the pressure to convert appropriated fund activities to nonappropriated fund status. A case in point is the proposal developed by the Congressional Budget Office in 2011 to make the Defense Commissary Agency (DECA) a nonappropriated fund instrumentality. Contractors should consider what the loss of $1.3 billion in annual appropriated fund support would mean for DECA operations. Proposals to consolidate DECA and the military exchange services may also gain renewed traction if sequestration occurs.

Similarly, existing NAFIs that rely on appropriated fund support may have to consider new options to pay for supported activities. For instance, the military exchange services receive appropriated fund support for second destination transportation to cover overseas shipping costs so that patrons there pay prices comparable to those paid stateside. These organizations may be asked to use nonappropriated funds to pay for some or all of these costs if sequestration occurs, reducing the size of the dividend and/or causing an increase in the retail price of goods sold. DECA may be forced to consider an increase in the surcharge amount.

Budget pressures also are likely to be passed on to suppliers and vendors, and product margins may decline. Moreover, higher retail prices may drive customers out of the military retail system altogether, leading to fewer sales overall for the commissaries, exchanges and the concessions that operate in close proximity to them. For companies operating in the resale business sector, any reduction in appropriated fund support is likely to mean that the Government will seek to have contractors make up at least some of that loss, whether through tighter margins for name brand suppliers, increased reliance on private label brands, or increased concession fees. Ultimately, if sequestration persists for more than a year, some store closures and a degradation in the value of the overall resale benefit to patrons is almost certain to result.

What can contractors do to prepare?
Before budget sequestration actually comes to pass, there are several steps that contractors can take to prepare, regardless of whether the contract involves appropriated or nonappropriated funds. First, contractors should inventory their portfolio of government contracts to determine which ones are funded with appropriated and nonappropriated funds. A vulnerability assessment should be conducted to determine which contracts may be susceptible to government scrutiny because of performance problems, cost overruns or because the Government may be moving to sell different products or services. It may often be necessary to develop and implement a procurement advocacy strategy aimed at advising key decision makers about the value of a company's products or services relative to competitors' and the value of certain products and sales performance relative to agency sales goals.

Contractors should also review their contracts to determine what authority the government has to make budget-driven changes to the contract or to terminate the contract in whole or in part, and the type of monetary recovery available to compensate the contractor for these events. Because most government contracts, even those not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, may be unilaterally terminated by the government either for convenience or default, it is important for businesses with government contracts to contemplate potential termination because of budget sequestration and to calculate projected termination liability. Be aware that government contracts, even some nonappropriated funds contracts, may contain provisions limiting the government's liability in the event of a termination, such as Limitation of Cost or Limitation of Funds clauses, or clauses capping recovery of certain costs after a termination. Contractors should also develop a "claims mentality," documenting any changes to contract performance requirements caused by sequestration so that a claim may be submitted to the Government for any increased costs to the company that result. Contractors pursuing new business opportunities with the government should consider whether to factor in the risk of adverse impact from sequestration in establishing their offered prices or should propose other special contract terms to provide for recovery of certain costs in the event of an early termination.

The uncertainty associated with budget sequestration should also give companies doing business with the Government pause with respect to major business decisions, such as investments requiring major capital expenditures, work force sizing decisions and the use of subcontractors. Companies employing at least 100 employees should understand the obligations under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.11 In brief, this law requires employers to provide at least 60 days advance written notice to employees who are impacted by a "plant closing" or "mass layoff" in which 50 or more employees could lose employment at a site of employment within a 90 day period. Contractors also should be aware that several states have their own plant closing laws, some of which are more stringent that federal law.

Conclusion
"The president [and] the secretary of Defense said it would be catastrophic to our national defense, but we still haven't found a way through it," Arizona Sen. John McCain said recently about sequestration. "Everybody says it's not going to happen, but so far, it's going to happen."12 If the worst occurs, it is imperative to understand the magnitude of the funding cuts that would occur if sequestration as provided in the Budget Control Act is implemented. Equally important for NAF contractors is to understand the potential impact sequestration could have on the military resale system and what actions should be taken now in anticipation of that eventuality.
  1. H.R. 5872 was signed into law by President Obama on August 7, 2012.
  2. OMB Circular A-11, sec. 20, at 8 (Aug. 2011); see also 2 USC 900(c)(2).
  3. Title II of Pub. L. 99-177, sometimes referred to as the Gramm, Rudman, Hollings Act.
  4. See 2 USC 906(k)(2); Under the BCA, many mandatory spending programs would be exempt from sequestration cuts, including Social Security, other federal retirement programs, Medicaid and other programs benefiting low-income people. Medicare cuts would be limited to no more than two percent. See sections 255 and 256 of the BBEDCA (codified at 2 USC 905, 906).
  5. "Discretionary spending" refers to outlays from budget authority that is provided and controlled by appropriation acts. "Mandatory spending" refers to outlays from budget authority that is provided by laws other than appropriation acts. Congressional Budget Office, Estimated Impact of Automatic Budget Enforcement Procedures Specified in the Budget Control Act, n. 2, at 1 (Sept. 12, 2011).
  6. For the mechanics of the calculations, see BBEDCA sec. 251A(3), as added by BCA, Pub. L. 112-25, sec. 302(a), (Aug. 2, 2011).
  7. The Budget Control Act provides that certain programs are exempt from sequestration funding cuts. These include Social Security, Medicaid, certain Medicare payments, federal retired pay and VA programs. In addition, the White House recently announced that the president has decided to exempt the military personnel accounts from sequestration, although this will mean a proportional increase in the size of the cuts to other non-exempt defense accounts in order to achieve the required level of deficit reduction.
  8. See OMB Circular A-11, Part 4, sec. 120.1 et. seq. (Nov. 2011). As of this writing, OMB has not yet issued apportionment guidance to federal agencies regarding sequestration.
  9. A continuing resolution is "an appropriation act that provides budget authority for federal agencies to continue in operation when Congress and the President have not completed action on regular appropriation acts by the beginning of the fiscal year." Government Accountability Office (GAO), A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process, GAO-05-734SP, September 2005, pp. 35-36.
  10. See, Rosalind S. Helderman, John Boehner, Harry Reid Reach Early Deal to Avert Shutdown, Wash. Post, July 31, 2012, at www.washingtonpost.com/boehner-reid-reach-early-deal-to-avert-shutdown/2012/07/31/gJQAKVLENX_story.html
  11. Pub. L. 100-379, codified at 29 USC 2101 et. seq.
  12. Nancy Cook, High Anxiety, National Journal, June 30, 2012.
Our view: Reach deficit reduction deal
Read the Full Story
Defense News
Pentagon and defense industry leaders are doing their best to turn up the heat on lawmakers to avoid $500 billion in automatic cuts they say will devastate U.S. national security. Unless Congress averts sequestration by embracing a broader deficit reduction deal by Jan. 2, the Aerospace Industries Association claims as many as 2 million jobs would be lost.


On the wire:

Groups join push to save commissary benefits
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Adam Stone
July was a banner month for activists looking to maintain broad access to U.S. military commissaries and exchanges. The Coalition to Save our Military Shopping Benefits drew a slew of new partners, including the National Military Family Association, the Fleet Reserve Association, the National Industries for the Blind, the Military Officers Association of American and the Non-Commissions Officers Association.


Congress:

Political firestorm flares as looming budget cuts include defense reductions
Read the Full Story
PBS NewsHour, Margaret Warner
There's a familiar ring to this next story. Congress still has not agreed on how to balance the federal budget, and there's a deadline approaching.


Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association


Washington Update


'Married to the Army' delves into lives of military families
Chicago Tribune via Press Display    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A word of advice: Stock up on tissues before sitting down to watch OWN's new reality series "Married to the Army: Alaska," because it will probably make you cry your eyes out. It's hard not to get emotional when thinking of the sacrifices soldiers make when signing up to serve their country, but not as many people think about the sacrifices their spouses and children make too. More

Direct Mail Reaches Military Families Where They Live
The Military Shopper Insight Study reported that shoppers want information and coupons in advance to help them save money by planning at home. Active duty families living on post will receive Judy Johnson's Military Family Mailbox envelopes for Labor day and again for Veterans Day. Active duty families on post is the segment of the market with the most potential new commissary shoppers. Young active duty families are your core customers. Reach them at home! Get them into the store!
Contact: info@MilitaryMedia.com
MORE


Panetta says Pentagon will drop base closure plans for fiscal year 2013
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Defense Department is abandoning its push for wide-scale base closures in the continental United States, focusing instead on plans to draw down military installations overseas, Secretary Leon Panetta recently announced. More

Solar, wind power get Pentagon boost
San Francisco Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Defense Department will encourage companies to build solar power plants and wind farms on 16 million acres of open land surrounding military bases, making each base less dependent on the nation's aging electricity grid. The plan represents a partnership between Defense Department officials and the Interior Department. The land that will be developed was once controlled by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management but was withdrawn from public use at the request of the military. The bureau retains some oversight over the land. More



Obama signs law giving health care to Lejeune tainted-water victims
Raleigh News & Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama recently signed into law legislation to provide health care to thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. More

Commissary News


Olympic gold boosts commissary shopping spree
Marine Corps Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As you cheer on the U.S. Olympic team, visit www.saveourbenefit.org to enter a contest for a commissary shopping spree that increases in value each time a U.S. athlete wins a gold medal. More

Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts
Our wide variety of gourmet sea salts, seasoning and BBQ rubs are the perfect gift for any home chef. Infused with tropical flavors, they are unlike anything you have ever experienced. Try our Guava Garlic, Mango Lava Java, Pineapple Poultry Seasoning, Lilikoi Chili Pepper, and our special Hawaiian Rub blend. www.saltywahine.com.


Malls make way for grocers
San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For many years, the mall was where you would go to browse through racks of clothes, see a blockbuster movie or stop by the food court for a snack. Now you can also pick up a bunch of bananas, a gallon of milk or even a cellophane-wrapped steak for dinner. More

Food Lion helps customers support local schools
Drug Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Food Lion customers can support their favorite schools when they participate in the MVP Classroom Rewards program. When customers shop with their MVP cards, a portion of their grocery bills spent only on qualified store-brand products is automatically credited to the shoppers' local school of choice. More



Tyson busts burger boredom with 'Serious Grilling' promo
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With retail prices of beef and pork up 10.4 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, since last year, Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. is running a "Serious Grilling" promotion for its Chairman's Reserve Premium Meats brand this summer. The "Serious Grilling" promotion is designed to appeal to avid grillers who are bored with burgers and want to take their grilling up a notch with premium beef steaks and pork loins. More

Nutritious grocery shopping
Pittsburg Morning Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"We're all watching our budgets these days," said Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian, mom and author of "Clean Eating for Busy Families." Dudash has outlined the following tips as a guide to learn how to save money while getting the nutritious foods you need, all within budget. More

Civilian Transitions Guidebook for FREE!
This book helps with transitioning to civilian life, and planning for life after the service.
  • Click here to download
  • InCharge Helps Support Yellow Ribbon
  • InCharge Provides Credit Counseling and Foreclosure Prevention Counseling
  • Order copies of the guidebook for your servicemembers for FREE
  • Contact Shawn Walsh, Director of Outreach Programs at swalsh@incharge.org


  • Avoiding the grocery store: A 30-day challenge
    Life Inc. via TODAY    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The grocery store is dead. Long live the grocery store! A shining example of post-war success and convenience, supermarkets once were practically the only place most Americans went to shop for groceries. Today, we're all still buying groceries. We're just not buying them at the supermarket anymore. Last year, Americans bought only 51 percent of our groceries at traditional supermarkets, down from 66 percent just 11 years earlier, according to the Wall Street Journal. So, where are shoppers filling their carts if not at the local Safeway or Kroger? More

    Package-free grocery store opens in East Austin
    KVUE-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    VideoBriefLooking from the outside, it's hard to believe, stashed inside a small green building are more than 400 types of foods, packing the aisles, coolers and bins. From produce to pasta, and even pet food. "We really want to help Austinites have a place to go that they can trust to have really good ingredients all the time," said Brian Nunnery co-owner of in.gredients, a grocery store looking to redefine shopping when it comes to food. More

    AMERICAN MADE FOR 40 YEARS

    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.
    more


    How to fight rising food prices at the grocery store
    The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Commodity food prices are expected to rise by 3 to 4 percent in the next year, and there is an expectation that these increases will have a ripple effect on prices of consumer packaged goods, which could result in even higher percentage increases for consumers. More

    Teach us, Trader Joe: Demanding socially responsible food
    The Atlantic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The latter half of the 20th century witnessed a change in the concept of food: American consumers have come to expect a great deal more from their food system — from nutrition and taste to the water in which it once swam. Since 2012, Trader Joe's has been on a steady mission to eradicate all non-sustainable products from its shelves, including genetically modified items. This combined with its boutique-like items and Hawaiian shirt-clad staff make it one of the most innovative grocery stores around. It offers exceptional products at an affordable rate. That said, though "green-friendly," its efforts fall short of being categorically "green." More

    Commissary Announcements


    Commissary Web Posts

    The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., August 9, 2012.

    PROMOTIONS
    DP #19, Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
    DP #21, WW Promotion Package, Support Your Veterans/Thanksgiving Dinner Festivities.
    Thanksgiving Christmas – Non-Food, Update #1.
    Thanksgiving/Christmas – Cookies/Crackers/Fruit Cake, Update #1.

    NOTICES TO TRADE
    12-114, Pickles, Peppers, Relish.
    12-115, Olives Mini Review.
    12-116, Paper Towel Review.
    12-117, Store Reset Dates – Little Rock.
    12-118, Store Reset Dates – Barksdale AFB.
    12-119, Store Reset Dates – Harrison Village.
    12-120, Store Reset Dates – Norfolk.
    12-121, Store Reset Dates – New River.
    12-122, Store Reset Dates – Andrews AFB.
    12-123, Store Reset Dates – Parris Island.
    12-127, Shelf Stable Juice.
    12-128, Kids Drinks.
    12-129, Juice Multi Pack.

    MISCELLANEOUS
    NEW updated DeCA Forms 40-15 and 40-16 with dates of 2 August 2012. These forms and all examples (all updated) have been posted under Doing Business with DeCA - Forms. All old forms have been removed from the website.
    New updated DeCAF 40-16, 40-15 with Worksheet, dated 7 August 2012.
    Store Class Listing WW (DODAAC, Area, Codes) Apr 10, 2012.
    Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 12-32.
    Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
    CRV Values.

    SAVE THE DATES
    August 21–23, 2012: Hawaii Conference & Food Show. Registration is now open on the ALA Website.
    Oct. 1–3, 2012: 65th Annual Convention, Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C. Registration available on the website.
    April 24–26, 2013: ALA Commissary Roundtable, Marriott Hotel, Richmond, Va.



    Exchange News


    Hawaii Conference and Food Show update
    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Sen. Dan Inouye is confirmed as our "Keynote" speaker on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 11–11:30 a.m., and following this, he will join us for lunch. Also joining us in the morning for welcome remarks are Congresswomen Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa. We will have a representative from Sen. Dan Akaka's office as well.



    Warranty leader to create 1,800 home-based jobs for veterans, military families
    Business Wire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, the nation's leading provider of extended service plans, recently announced it has launched a nationwide initiative to create 1,800 home-based customer care positions in military bases across the country over the next 12 months. More

    Military families cutting back-to-school costs
    News + Advice    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Many Americans have been affected by the recent economic downturn, and this is also true of military service members, a number of whom say they plan to significantly reduce the amount they spend for their children's back-to-school shopping. More

    Dollar Tree helps military families
    Minot Daily News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Operation Homefront Back-To-School Brigade is providing free school supplies to children of military members at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Minot. A nationwide program, this is the first time it has been held in Minot. More

    Defense vote haunts GOP incumbents
    The Daily Item    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    U.S. Reps. Lou Barletta, R-11 of Hazleton, and Tom Marino, R-10 of Cogan Station, recently voted for the $606 billion 2013 Defense Appropriation bill, and now they're taking heat from Democratic challengers for agreeing to cuts that would affect funding for the Tobyhanna Army Depot, one of the largest employers in northeast Pennsylvania. More

    Retailers beat expectations, helped by midpriced stores
    The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    In July, higher-than-expected sales at low- and midpriced stores helped push sales past analysts' estimates. That is a good sign as retailers head into the important back-to-school months of August and September, said Chris Donnelly, global industry managing director for retail at the consulting firm Accenture. More

    How to revive lifeless omni-channel retailing
    iMedia Connection    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Jeff Fagel writes, "We've gone too far with the "next best marketing craze" buzzwords, from SoLoMo (the convergence of social, local and mobile) to my new favorite, omni-channel retailing. While I am all for innovation, many retailers are getting distracted by these trends and failing to deliver on the fundamental tenants of good retail marketing." More

    Mobile checkouts will be game-changer for retailers
    Mobile Commerce Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The recent announcement that JCPenney will replace its cash registers with mobile checkout devices by 2013 is further proof that the growing medium will change the shopping experience for the better. By ditching traditional checkouts and replacing them with mobile checkout devices, retailers can not only create a more seamless experience for customers, but make the overall shopping process a whole lot simpler. More

    Running man: Foot Locker chief leading rare retail turnaround
    Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    When Ken Hicks strides into the Foot Locker under his 34th Street office in Manhattan, he's easy to ­ignore. Nondescript in a gray Foley's suit and black Nike shoes, he's just another guy wandering the aisles, examining the marquee. Customers pay little attention, but employees are another story. Wandering up to referee-jersey-clad salesmen, a store trademark, the company's CEO greets them by name, asking, "You good?" Foot Locker is in turnaround, a rare big-retail success story, on track to $6 billion in sales in 2013, up nearly 19 percent over 2010, with double-digit profit growth each year since 2009 and expected again in 2012. More

    GORE BIKE WEAR® and GORE RUNNING WEAR® launch 1st consumer sites utilizing PFSweb's End2End eCommerce® Platform
    Business Wire via TMCNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    PFSweb Inc., an international provider of end-to-end eCommerce solutions, recently announced it has signed an agreement with W. L. Gore & Associates Inc. GORE BIKE WEAR® and GORE RUNNING WEAR® lines, which are known for high-tech functionality and durable premium quality, to develop customized direct-to-consumer eCommerce solutions for the United States and Europe. More

    Customer service: Getting back to basics
    Women's Wear Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    No more lip service. Consumers are fed up with the quality of service in many stores, at the same time as retailers face ever-growing competition from online and mobile commerce. (Subscription required.) More

    Founder moves on Best Buy
    The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    In revealing an informal proposal to take Best Buy Co. private, founder and former chairman Richard Schulze recently put the board of the struggling retailer in an awkward position: How does it deal with a man who no longer calls the shots but still has considerable sway over its future? (Subscription required.) More

    Study: 45 million Americans used their phones to shop in June
    Mashable    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Shopping on your mobile device is becoming simpler. As app developers continue to make the mobile shopping experience more seamless, consumers are eager to test out new apps and mobile shopping experiences. More

    Amazon's new secret weapon: Delivery lockers
    The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Amazon.com Inc. is doubling down to combat a problem that has long bedeviled online retailers: failed package delivery. The Web giant has quietly installed large metal cabinets — or Amazon Lockers — in grocery, convenience and drugstore outlets that function like virtual doormen, accepting packages for customers for a later pickup. Amazon began putting lockers in Seattle, New York state and near Washington, D.C., about a year ago. (Subscription required.) More

    Clearances, heat lured shoppers to spend in July
    The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Americans shoppers proved resilient in July, driving a key sales figure up at retailers across the country, despite persistent worry about jobs and the global economy. Results came in better than expected for many retailers, helped by hot weather and summer clearance sales, an encouraging sign as the back-to-school season, the second-biggest shopping season behind the holidays, kicks off. More

    6 key tech trends driving retail CIOs in 2012
    Retail's BIG Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    As technology evolves and becomes more complex, so do the demands on retail CIOs. Ian Rawlins, product marketing manager at Epicor, which provides software solutions for Build-A-Bear Workshop, Carter’s and Tumi, shares some insights and observations about the hot topics in retail IT, the importance of anytime, anywhere transactions and why retailers' understanding of customer centricity needs to go deeper. More

    Exchange Announcements
    Correction to last week's MCX logistics instruction:
    SUBJECT: MCX AVAILABILITY DATE and CARRIER APPOINTMENTS


    Business email correction: OMBMCXLOGISTICS@USMC-MCCS.ORG



    Hospital construction at Camp Pendleton affects base traffic
    KPBS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    VideoBriefOfficials at Camp Pendleton are testing out new traffic patterns to help the construction crew building the base's new hospital. The traffic patterns test is a way to help the crew figure out the best way to avoid traffic headaches when they begin construction on the road nearest the new hospital at the end of August, according to Camp Pendleton public affairs. More

    Patient parking available on base
    DC Military    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Parking is available for patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., according to base officials. "Patients are only eligible to park within the designated patient parking areas. If a patient wishes to visit the temporary Navy Exchange, it has its own gravel parking lot in front of it, the QuickMart/McDonald also has its own parking and the Bowling Alley has parking adjacent to the building," stated Jeff Miller, Naval Support Activity Bethesda's transportation program manager. More



    ALA Exchange E-Blast week 8/10/12

    ALA Executive Briefing July 27, 2012
    MCX Sales Summary June 2012
    Read the Exchange Post Magazine

    AAFES Sales Flyers — to view click below: Hawaii Conference and Food Show update:
    Sen. Dan Inouye is confirmed as our "Keynote" speaker on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 11–11:30 a.m., and following this, he will join us for lunch. Also joining us in the morning for welcome remarks are Congresswomen Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa. We will have a representative from Sen. Dan Akaka's office as well.

    Save the dates:

    August 21–23, 2012 (See update above)Hawaii Conference & Food Show, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu

    Oct. 1-3, 2012 — 65th Annual Convention, OMNI Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

    Go to: www.ALA-National.org, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.





    Washington Update


    New Dunkin' Donuts restaurant opens at Fort Bliss US Army Base
    Profit Quotes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Dunkin' Donuts, America's favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, recently announced the opening of a new restaurant at the Fort Bliss U.S. Army base in Fort Bliss, Texas, operated by the Army and Airforce Exchange Service. With this opening at Fort Bliss, Dunkin' Donuts reinforces its commitment to keeping America's service men and women running by providing delicious and satisfying food and beverages at any time of day. More

    Military families sought for home makeover
    The Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The producers of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" are seeking people involved in the military whose home deserves an extreme makeover. The producers are looking for people with "amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others," a press release said. "Whether it's a soldier, a mom, a teacher or a fireman, we think deserving families are families who inspire those around them." More

    How to make moving easier for military families
    The Pinson News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Military families frequently relocate from base to base all over the United States. Even though these moves aren't unusual, they can cause some stress for all members of the family, especially if the relocation happens without a lot of warning. More

    Japan, US plan joint landing drill in Pacific
    House of Japan    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Japan and the United States will conduct a joint military exercise in the western Pacific later this month on the scenario that Japan's remote islands are under attack. The Defense Ministry says 40 Ground Self-Defense Force personnel will take part in the exercise with U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa. More

    MWR Highlights
    DC Military    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Dahlgren
    Liberty Center
    Liberty Tug of War Game
    Aug. 10, 5 p.m.

    Come out and play tug of war against your fellow sailors. Cotton candy will be provided to give you that sugar rush you need to win. For more information please contact the Liberty Center at 540-653-7277.

    Read on for more MWR events.
    More

    Tim McGraw giving homes to military families
    WDRM 102.1    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    VideoBriefTim McGraw is launched HomeFront, a national program that will award mortgage-free homes to wounded military vets in the 25 cities on McGraw's summer tour. Partnering with Chase and Operation Homefront, McGraw will give away one house to a military family in need in each of the stops on his tour. More

    Free admission for military families
    The Salt Lake Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Through the end of 2012, active-duty military personnel and as many as three of their direct dependents can get free one-day admission to an Anheuser-Busch park, including SeaWorld, as part of the "Here's to the Heroes" program. The offer extends to active members of a Reserve or National Guard unit. More

    Military families enjoy a day at Norfolk Botanical Garden
    The Flagship    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Try this: Using nothing but a six-by-six inch piece of aluminum foil, construct a boat that floats in water, and then see how many marbles it will hold before sinking. With the assistance of Hampton Roads Naval Museum staff members and volunteers, more than 650 children and family members had the opportunity to do this and a number of other fun and free activities at the Set Sail with Kids' Crew event at Norfolk Botanical Garden, July 28. "Building these boats encourages children to apply STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)," noted Lee Duckworth, HRNM's director of education. More
     
     

    Executive Briefing
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