ALA Executive Briefing
Jan. 8, 2010

Battleship Missouri set to leave drydock
Philadelphia Inquirer
The battleship Missouri is scheduled to return to Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor after three months of maintenance and preservation work.More

State Closes New program will assist recently discharged troops
San Diego Union-Tribune
Touched by troops fighting wars overseas and convinced that the state should do more when they return, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will launch the Operation Welcome Home outreach campaign.More

For-profit colleges target the military
Business Week
Online universities are raking in millions by signing up soldiers as students. But how valuable is the education they're delivering?More

Million-dollar man
The current cost to station 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan: just over $65 billion - or, to quote a figure politicians have extrapolated, about $1 million a soldier.More

Grocery giants wrestle over territory in global market
The Times
It is one of those curious differences that you notice on foreign holidays. The supermarket shelves will be bulging with the wares of the giant consumer goods companies - Nestle, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Kraft - alongside the local tastes, such as horsemeat and snails in France, or varieties of fermented cabbage in Germany.More

Grocers, liquor stores face off for third year over wine sales
NACS Online
Once again, liquor store owners and grocery stores are gearing up for battle over a bill that would let supermarkets sell wine, the Memphis Daily News reports. Last month, grocery stores put up signs directing consumers to an online petition to support the measure, while liquor store owners have a competing online petition.More

Bigger Bottle Bill problem?
Now the Bigger Better Bottle Bill is about a month old, grocers have had to deal with a few challenges. Significantly more bottles coming in because there's now a five cent return for bottled water.More

Cold snap raising costs for Va. poultry farmers
Richmond Times-Dispatch
A prolonged freeze in Florida is endangering crop production that could have an effect in Virginia.More

Strawberry season plus long freeze equals tight supplies at grocers
Tampa Bay Online
Strawberry lovers should get to grocery stores early in the day if they want their berry fix.More

District Bag Tax hits raw nerve
The Washington Informer
The District's user fee on plastic and paper bags - expected to produce more than $3.6 million in revenue – was rolled out New Year's Day to the utter shock and dismay of District residents. Far from being the "green consumer" solution to cleaning the Anacostia River, stores selling food and or alcohol found their customers annoyed and adamant about not paying it.More

Staple food prices trend down for fifth straight quarter
The Voice of Agriculture
Retail food prices at the supermarket decreased for the fifth consecutive quarter and are significantly lower than one year ago, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.More

Extra flavor
Star Tribune
From the eternally flowing river of slight innovation at the Nabisco part of Kraft comes a flavor of Wheat Thins that Mr. Tidbit doesn't believe he's ever seen before in a cracker: cream cheese and chives - artificially flavored, as indicated by small type on the front of the package.More

Unified expands credit line by $25 million to increase capacity for future opportunities
Unified Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the western United States, announced that it has exercised a provision in its current revolving credit agreement that increases the total committed funds available to the Company from $250 million to $275 million. More

Grocers continue push for wine sales
The Memphis Daily News
Signs went up in grocery stores in December, directing shoppers to a Web site where they can sign petitions in support of the legislation. Liquor store owners have also put up a Web site with a competing petition, but the president of the Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association says his organization is being outspent in the battle for public opinion.More

Low carb Velvet Crunch
Talking Retail
Velvet Crunch, the "new low carb snack" that boasts around 80 calories per pack, is already established in Ireland and is now looking to break into the mainland UK market.More

The meat recall's keep on happening
Meat Trade News
Associated Grocers of Maine, importing firm, a Gardiner, Maine, establishment, is recalling approximately 312 pounds of ham products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.More

Change to Fresh Market stores takes hold
The Salt Lake Tribune
The changeover at the 34 former Albertsons supermarkets to Fresh Market stores is nearly complete. More

Internet poised to become bigger force in retail
Chicago Tribune
The battle for the shrinking American budget is moving online this year with a vengeance.More

December retail sales seen up, tough spring ahead
The retailers will report sales at stores open at least a year, data that may also shed light on their positions heading into the spring season. Wall Street is predicting a tougher environment as consumers return to saving money.More

Top retail stocks performers were FDO, NDN, DLTR, TUES
Global Press Release & Newswire
Shares of retail discount stores had performed strong after Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (Public, NYSE:FDO) reported better than expected fiscal first-quarter earnings.More

ICSC sees 2010 U.S. retail sales rebound
U.S. retail chain store sales notched their worst performance on record in 2009, but ended the year on a strong note and should rebound this year, the International Council of Shopping Centers Inc said.More

U.S. retail stocks higher; Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond boost outlooks
The Wall Street Journal
Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD) and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) led retail stocks higher early Thursday after both retailers raised their profit forecastsMore

Holiday shopping surge propels US retail sales
The Sydney Morning Herald
A late holiday shopping surge helped US retailers beat analysts' sales estimates for December, but industry experts see the momentum fading early in 2010 as consumers return to saving their money.More

Retailers did somewhat better this holiday season, figures show
Los Angeles Times
Even as shoppers struggled with a tough economy, many loosened their purse strings during the crucial holiday season, bringing some stability to the battered retail industry.More

U.S. retail gasoline +5.8c/Gal to $2.665 in week
The Wall Street Journal
The national average retail price of regular gasoline rose 5.8 cents a gallon to $2.665 a gallon in the week ended Monday, the Energy Information Administration said.More

Retail space opens up as big chains shrink
Los Angeles Times
Surges of large-scale retail bankruptcies such as Circuit City electronics and Mervyns department stores altered the shopping landscape in 2009 - and experts say 2010 is likely to bring even more changes.More