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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only December 05, 2014


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Defense Department:
NDAA deal hits troops' pay, housing allowances
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Leo Shane III
Troops will see a 1 percent pay raise, slowed growth in their housing allowance and a $3 increase in most prescription co-pays as part of a military budget deal expected to be finalized this week.


Conferees reach agreement on Defense Act: Here are the Items Impacting Military Resale:
House and Senate conferees on the fiscal year 2015 Defense Authorization Act have reached an agreement. The conference report contains a number of provisions relating to commissaries and exchanges.

Commissaries cut $100 million:
This past spring, the Defense Department announced its intention to cut commissary funding by $200 million in fiscal year 2015, $600 million in fiscal year 2016 and $1 billion in 2017. Therefore, for fiscal year 2015, the budget request was $1.115 billion; $200 million short of what was required to sustain operations for the year ending October 1, 2014. The Senate bill had restored the entire $200 million of the reduction to the requirement identified to fully sustain existing levels of commissary services for fiscal year 2015. The House bill restored $100 million. The conferees accepted the House funding levels, restoring $100 million, $100 million short of the requirement identified by DeCA to sustain operations. The funding reduction was contrary to earlier press statements and reports stating that conferees had rejected the reduced funding levels for commissaries.

The press release from the House Armed Services Committee (Democrats) stated that the conferees: "Reject DoD's requested budget cut to the commissary program and requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a review utilizing the services of an independent organization experienced in retail grocery analysis of the defense commissary system to help determine the best way forward while still providing significant savings to patrons." A statement issued by the full committee stated: "While the NDAA rejects cuts to compensation programs that result in increased out of pocket costs for military families, as a former retail entrepreneur Chairman McKeon understands that efficiencies can be made that reduce the cost of the program without increasing prices. The NDAA requires the Department of Defense to consult with outside experts in retail grocery sales to find efficiencies in the commissary system."



Sale of generic items in commissaries:
Title 10, the law governing commissaries and exchanges, was amended to allow the sale of generic items in commissaries. The language stated: The Secretary of Defense may use the exception provided in section 2304(c)(5) of this title for the procurement of any commercial item (including brand-name and generic items) for resale in, at, or by commissary stores."

Report on commissaries required by Sept. 1, 2015
Conferees combined report requirements that were in both the Senate and House bills. The report required to be submitted by DoD by Sept. 1, 2014, asked for the following:
  • "The impact of changes to the operation of the defense commissary system on commissary patrons, in particular, junior enlisted members and junior officers and their dependents, that would result from displacing current value and name-brand products with private-label products; and reducing or eliminating financial subsidies to the commissary system."
  • "The sensitivity of commissary patrons, in particular, junior enlisted members and junior officers and their dependents, to pricing changes that may result in reduced overall cost savings for patrons."
  • "The feasibility of generating net revenue from pricing and stock assortment changes."
  • "The relationship of higher prices and reduced patron savings to patron usage and accompanying sales, both on a national and regional basis."
  • "The impact of changes to the operation of the defense commissary system on industry support; such as vendor stocking, promotions, discounts, and merchandising activities and programs."
  • "The ability of the current commissary management and information technology systems to accommodate changes to the existing pricing and management structure."
  • "The product category management systems and expertise of the Defense Commissary Agency."
  • "The impact of changes to the operation of the defense commissary system on military exchanges and other morale, welfare and recreation programs for members of the Armed Forces."
  • "The identification of management and legislative changes that would be required in connection with changes to the defense commissary system."
  • "An estimate of the time required to implement recommended changes to the current pricing and management model of the defense commissary system."

Prohibition on banning tobacco sales on military bases:
The House had included a provision in its bill that would have prohibited the DoD from removing any product category that was for sale as of Jan. 1, 2014. The Senate bill did not address this. The House/Senate conferees amended the House bill to prohibit the removal of only tobacco products and not removal of other products as provided for in the House bill. The conferees also called for tobacco prices to be the same on base as off base.

Base closures:
The House/Senate conferees expressed their intention to reject any effort to have another round of base closures and realignments (BRAC) in 2017.

Exempting commissaries, exchanges and MWR programs from stringent information technology requirements:
The conferees provided needed relief to commissaries, exchanges and MWR programs that were faced with overly stringent requirements for their information technology systems even when they don't interface with the overall IT architecture of the DoD. Specifically, the language exempted "an information system used exclusively by and within the defense commissary system or the exchange system or other instrumentality of the Department of Defense conducted for the morale, welfare and recreation of members of the armed forces using nonappropriated funds."


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Additional budget items:
Shutdown: Avoiding 'cromnibus' emerges in House, with Reid's endorsement
Read the Full Story
Defense News, John T. Bennett
A plan is emerging on Capitol Hill to avoid a government shutdown while also passing a full 2015 Pentagon spending measure, and a key senator is on board.


Republicans move forward with yearlong funding bill; for most agencies
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Daniel Newhauser and Lauren Fox
GOP proposal would fund all of the government through September except Homeland Security, which would be on a shorter leash.


Can commissaries withstand the cuts?:
Lawmakers agree to $100 million reduction in commissary funding
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Karen Jowers
Lawmakers have agreed to cut commissary funding by $100 million next year compared with this year, according to a new agreement on a compromise defense authorization bill.


Commissary agency presses innovations
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via Albuquerque Journal, Journal Staff
The Defense Commissary Agency faced a tough operating environment in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, as sales fell by 4.3 percent.


Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE

The next SECDEF:


Obama expected to name Ashton Carter as defense chief
Government Executive
The White House is expected to name Ashton Carter to become the Pentagon's next chief, replacing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who resigned under pressure recenlty, according to media reports.
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Ex-DoD official Carter leads list of SECDEF candidates
Military Times
Within an hour of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's resignation announcement, defense watchers began looking to potential nominees to replace him. Within two days, two of the top contenders removed themselves from that list.
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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

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

Date Event
Dec. 12 2014 DFW Chapter Holiday Meeting
Dec. 17 Northern California Chapter Holiday 2014
March 17-18, 2015 2015 ALA Exchange Impact Workshop
April 30 - May 1, 2015 2015 Commissary Roundtable
Oct. 26-28, 2015 68th Annual Convention


COALITION UPDATE


Veteran, quality of life and health advocates net top awards
ALA News Release
Citing their work on behalf of Veterans, military family quality of life, and promoting healthy lifestyles, the American Logistics Association (ALA) presented its most prestigious award to Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Mr. Charles E. Milam, Principal Director for Military Community and Family Policy for the Department of Defense at its annual convention in Washington, D.C. "ALA applauds Chairwoman Mikulski and Mr. Milam for all of their years of National Service, particularly for their leadership in improving health and wellness on military bases and for their unwavering support of the vital on-base network of support programs including MWR, commissary and exchange activities that are at the foundation of the military’s effort to care for its people," said ALA President Patrick Nixon.
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Joining Forces yields 65,000 military spouse hires since 2011
U.S. Deparment of Defense News, Defense Media Activity
The second lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, made a surprise appearance at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial to honor the Military Spouse Employment Partnership's expansion and commend companies who have hired more than 65,000 military spouses since Joining Forces launched in 2011. ALA member companies were cited by the White House and Congress during a Capitol Hill ceremony in July of this year for reaching and exceeding a goal of hiring 25,000 Veterans and family members set in October 2011. ALA was one of the first private-sector associations to answer the President's call to hire more than 100,000 veterans.
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Why the military has a budget message problem
National Defense
President Barack Obama's fourth secretary of defense soon will be taking the reins at the Pentagon where discontent has been brewing over spending cuts, expanding missions and the growing realization that the generals' stop-the-sequester campaign has been politically ineffective. Defense officials have built the bulk of their case against the sequester on the premise that abrupt and steep cuts threaten military "readiness." The problem is that few people outside the military understand what that means and, therefore, do not take it seriously.
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Veterans and troops lament losing advocate in Hagel
Defense One
Chuck Hagel arrived in the Pentagon as a soldier's defense secretary, a former Army sergeant and Vietnam vet with the shrapnel still in his chest to prove it. And even if Hagel had problems articulating the White House's elusive strategic goals on a world stage, he was most comfortable talking to the troops for whom he worked quietly to advocate. And now after his recent resignation, veterans groups and military service organizations said they worry his departure could leave some of their issues in limbo.
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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 a.m., Nov. 25 and 10 a.m., Dec. 4:

PROMOTIONS:
2015 DP #2, Update #1 and Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
2015 DP #3, Far East Shipper & Promotion Quantities.
2015 DP #5, Worldwide Promotion Package, Frozen Food Month and National Nutrition Month.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
None Received.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-48 and 14-49.
DeCA Sales Team Directory, Dec. 1, 2014.
CONUS Guard/Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule as of Nov. 26, 2014.
CRV Values, Nov. 30, 2014.
Commissary Open/Closure/Project List, Nov. 4, 2014.



FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES


Dry Ice Services
FedBizOpps.gov
Solicitation No: HDEC05-15-T-0001. Office Code: HDEC05. Brief Description: Dry Ice Delivery to Charleston AFB. Classification Code: 8135 - Containers Packaging and Packing Supplies. NAICS Code: 325120. Closing Date: Dec. 22, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Set Aside: Unrestricted.
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DeCA Facility and Equipment Maintenance
FedBizOpps.gov
Solicitation Number: ID08140013. Agency: General Services Administration. Office: Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). Location: Federal Acquisition Service, Region 8 (8Q).
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Looking for more federal business opportunities? Search here.


COMMISSARY NEWS


Lawmakers agree to $100 million reduction in commissary funding
Army Times
Lawmakers have agreed to cut commissary funding by $100 million next year compared with this year, according to a new agreement on a compromise defense authorization bill.
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Commissaries could soon carry generic items
Military.com
In a rule reversal, commissaries will soon be permitted to sell generic products thanks to a measure included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, expected to be approved by Congress before Christmas.
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Which retailers have the most social influence?
Social Times
Klout has long fancied itself the definitive measure of social media influence. While in more recent years, the validity and value of the Klout score has been called into question, the company continues trying to prove naysayers wrong.
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Unilever buys Talenti Gelato to bolster ice cream business
Bloomberg
Unilever, the world's biggest maker of ice cream, acquired Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto to expand its frozen offerings and counter sluggish growth among its mainstream food brands.
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Emerging flavors for 2015: McCormick & Company's annual forecast
The Baltimore Sun
Move over chile peppers. Make way for Shichimi Togarashi and Shawarma spice blends, highlighted in McCormick & Company's annual list of the coming year's top food trends and flavors.
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Coca-Cola's latest gambit: A new kind of milk
CBS News
Americans have been cutting back on soda for years, and that's dealt a blow to sales and profit at Coca-Cola. Now, the company is making a bold move into a completely different beverage: milk.
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Pepsi has a plan to boost its beverage business with innovation
TheStreet
PepsiCo is reaching beyond craft sodas with new products, such as protein drinks and low-calorie sparkling beverages, to counter the slow growth of the U.S. carbonated beverage industry.
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From Bulgarian yogurt and 'other bean hummus' to coffee leaf tea
FoodNavigator.com USA
They're selling everything from coffee leaf tea to maple water, banana-based snacks and hummus. Here's FoodNavigator-USA's latest pick of entrepreneurs to watch in the U.S. food and beverage market.
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Popcorn sales bursting with new organic, gourmet, prepopped snacks
Los Angeles Times
Popcorn is smokin' hot. According to the Popcorn Board, Americans consume 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually. That's 51 quarts each in a year. And while most of the popcorn we buy is for home use — sales of unpopped popcorn have risen 300 percent since 1970 — about 30 percent is eaten in theaters, stadiums, schools and the like.
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EXCHANGE NEWS


Exchange Holiday Weekend Sales
ALA
Exchange Holiday Weekend Sales are still not audited and final but the flash estimates look good for AAFES and NEXCOM so far. More to come this week in a midweek update!
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Exchange extends holiday return policy
Military.com
To make gift giving easier, the Army & Air Force Exchange service is extending its return policy for items purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Black Friday weekend shopping down, but season sales may still soar
NBC News
Black Friday weekend shopping isn't what it used to be, but the decline in money spent Thursday through Sunday doesn't necessarily indicate weak holiday spending — actually it's the opposite, analysts say.
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CEOs of Target, Macy's and others, weigh in on Black Friday sales
Fortune
Fortune speaks with leading figures in the world of retail to get their take.
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Creating a 'door-buster': The $5 toaster
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Before the lights had dimmed on Black Friday last year, executives at Kohl's Corp. were already at work on the deal they would use to pull shoppers into their stores this time around: A $5 toaster.
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4 reasons Nike's business will explode
Business Insider
Nike is about to get even bigger thanks to the habits of millennial shoppers. Athletic apparel and footwear is set to outperform the industry for the next five years, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley.
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Nordstrom taps eBay's tech to build fitting room of the future
Fortune
Nordstrom is testing out full-length dressing room mirrors that double as websites as tech invades yet another sphere of shopping.
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Wal-Mart's chief merchant leaves
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s chief merchandising officer is leaving the retailer just days before the annual Thanksgiving shopping frenzy known as Black Friday, causing a broader shake-up in the company's namesake U.S. division.
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The end of the impulse shopper
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Elisabeth Hoffman and fiance Josh Loeser paused by a display of artfully decorated cakes and pastries while shopping recently at a Pick 'n Save grocery store. But after a split second of interest, their expressions faded. "They're not on the list," said Hoffman.
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Millennials shape the new holiday shopping experience
Detroit Free Press
Angela Hernandez, who is 26, works as a social media specialist and has a lifetime of shopping ahead of her, is just the sort of person retailers want in their stores this holiday season. And to pique her interest and that of her peers, retailers are updating the way they do business. They're embracing social media, stocking merchandise made by small and local companies, featuring work from independent artists, selling hip items that give back to charitable causes and trying to turn a trip to the store into a real experience, in a good way.
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Fashion chains chase faster supplies to counter volatile weather
Reuters
Increasingly erratic weather is driving European clothing retailers to buy goods more often and closer to home, rather than relying on seasonal collections sourced months in advance.
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Amazon's pricing strategy makes life miserable for the competition
Forbes
During the Christmas shopping season we will see Amazon change prices on as many as 80 million products during a single day. That is amazing since companies, like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Toys "R" Us have already announced that they will not be undersold and will match any competitors' prices in a printed flyer or website. That is going to create a competitive environment that will make shopping more challenging for savvy customers.
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C-STORE NEWS


Growing fuel volumes, margins keep Couche-Tard in the black
CSP
With U.S. fuel margins continuing to run well over 20 cents per gallon and gasoline volumes on the rise, retailer Alimentation Couche-Tard, doing business as Circle K Convenience Stores, reported its net earnings of $286.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2015.
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The 2014 C-Store Products Hot 100: Nos. 30-21
CSP
Soon, Convenience Store Products will be revealing the 2014 Hot 100, the top retailer-requested products of the year. The list is derived from individual products listed in editorial and advertising in Convenience Store Products magazine, from the August/September 2013 issue through the July/August 2014 issue.
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Sheetz among best places to work in Virginia
CSP
Sheetz Inc. was recently named as one of the 2015 Best Places to Work in Virginia. The annual list of the Best Places to Work in Virginia was created by Virginia Business and Best Companies Group.
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New FDA rules will put calorie counts on menus
The Associated Press via ABC News
Counting your calories will become easier under new government rules requiring chain restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores — and even movie theaters, amusement parks and vending machines — to post the calorie content of food "clearly and conspicuously" on their menus.
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Anheuser-Busch: Beer's No. 1 underdog
CSP
David Almeida isn't shy about touting Anheuser-Busch's strengths and position as the largest brewer of beer in the United States and around the world. At the same time, he positions A-B as an underdog in the industry, as a company that needs to fight and scramble to maintain its market position.
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Making the case for breakfast
FoodService Director
Morning mealtime for consumers these days means more breakfasts on the run. Busier than ever, people are eating breakfast away from their homes, and they're looking for variety, value, convenience and taste — all in one place.
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Pabst Brewing completes sale to Blue Ribbon
CSP
Pabst Brewing Co., North America's largest privately held brewing company, said it has completed its sale to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings LLC, Los Angeles. Blue Ribbon is a partnership between American beer entrepreneur Eugene Kashper and San Francisco-based TSG Consumer Partners LLC, a leading investor in growth consumer brands.
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Top 10 'growth' foods and beverages in US diet
McLane
Americans are sourcing more meals from home than they have in years, according to the NPD Group, which just released its 29th annual Eating Patterns in America Report. The report finds that a decline in restaurant usage and an increase in meals from home is one of the single biggest changes in eating patterns in Americans in the last five years.
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Is Hostess for sale again?
Food Processing
The investment firms owning Hostess Brands LLC may be planning to put the iconic baker on the market in early 2015, potentially valuing it at more than $1.7 billion, a nice multiple of the $410 million they bought it for in 2013.
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Wal-Mart proceeding with 'express' rebrand
CSP
Earlier in November, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its 5,000 unit in the United States, a Neighborhood Market in Greenbriar, Arkansas, Carol Schumacher, vice president of global investor relations, said on the company's fiscal third-quarter 2015 earnings call.
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MWR NEWS


Family and MWR locations
U.S. Army MWR
Family and MWR Programs are delivered primarily through a local garrison or installation. Click "Read More" and then you can select your location link.
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Navy Lodge locations by state
Navy Lodge
Family and MWR Programs are delivered primarily through a local garrison or installation. Click "Read More" and then you can select your location link.
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MWR quick links by military service
Military OneSource
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation isn't just about fitness centers and sports. Whether you are going camping, looking for family night fun or developing a new hobby, MWR is the place to start. Lessons, facilities, tools and entertainment; your MWR program might just surprise you. Use these resources, tools and articles to learn about your recreation opportunities.
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