ALA Executive Briefing
Jan. 10, 2014

CBO suggests tough defense spending cuts
Military Times
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has proposed six ways to reduce defense spending ranging from deep cuts to the military services to controversial reductions in pay and benefits.More

It's time to cut military health and pension benefits
Defense One
The time has come: Military health and pension benefits, which have more than doubled in the past decade, should be reduced as the defense budget comes down, said a whopping 90 percent majority of National Journal's National Security Insiders.More

Issa backs repeal of military pension cuts
The Hill
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is the latest lawmaker to introduce legislation that would repeal cuts to military pensions. Issa's bill would repeal the $6 billion saved through cutting military retirement benefits that was included in last month's budget deal by limiting the U.S. Postal Service's Saturday mail delivery.More

Budget crunch time: The devil is in the details
National Defense Magazine
In the wake of a bruising, and mostly unsuccessful, fight to avert steep spending cuts, the iron triangle of Pentagon leaders, congressional appropriators and industry groups now must buckle down and make unpalatable tradeoffs if they hope to have a budget in place before temporary funding runs out Jan. 15.More

New price study validates commissary's 30 percent savings
Defense Commissary Agency
Commissary savings are now being measured against a wider range of retailers that sell groceries, and the comparison confirms the value of the benefit, according to the Defense Commissary Agency's 2013 price comparison study.More

Kroger buys 'large quantity' of Bengals tickets
Cincinnati Business Journal
Kroger Co.'s Cincinnati/Dayton division purchased a large quantity of tickets to the Bengals playoff game in an effort help the team reach a sellout for local television coverage. Kroger joins Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati Insurance Co., Cintas Corp., United Dairy Farmers, Liberty Mutual/Safeco, WCPO-TV/E.W. Scripps Co. and Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse as local businesses that bought blocks of tickets and will donate them to military families.More

The future of snacks: Health halos, pouch formats and semi-liquid treats
Snacking as we know it will evolve, driven by an unruly consumer desire to try new and exciting concepts and companies must buck up and innovate to profit, says a healthy foods analyst. The "snackificationa of everything" will be an important global trend shaping 2014's food landscape.More

Meet the Wal-Mart of ethnic grocers
Canadian Grocers
It's Saturday afternoon and K-pop blares from the speakers. A group of teens enjoys a seafood pancake while a couple explore the high-tech rice cookers on display. Among the hustle and bustle of mini shop-in-shops, a delectable smell of Korean barbecue wafts through the air, eliciting a throng of eager taste testers. The whole affair feels like an outdoor Korean market, but it's actually a supermarket: H-Mart, in suburban Richmond Hill, Ont. It's exactly this type of excitement and one-stop shopping that U.S.-based H-Mart hopes to provide its Canadian shoppers.More

Sandwich, sushi prep tables and grab-n-go merchandisers
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as a 100 percent set-aside for small business for sandwich prep and sushi prep tables and grab-n-go merchandisers. An Individual Waiver of the Non-manufacturer Rule was granted for this procurement only that allows small businesses to offer the product of a large business manufacturer. This equipment will be used by Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the continental United States and overseas locations, excluding 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. More

Pest control services
Federal Business Opportunities
Pest Management Services for Fort Meade, Fort Polk, Fort Sill, Jacksonville, March AFB, North Island, San Diego, Albany, and Lackland AFB Commissaries. The Period of Performance will be for a base period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014, and will include four 1-year option periods that may extend performance through Dec. 31, 2018. This Request for Quotation was be issued on or about Oct. 11, 2013 with a closing date of Nov. 11, 2013. This acquisition was issued as a 100 percent Small Business Set-Aside. More

Lot cleaning and sweeping
Federal Business Opportunities
Lot cleaning and power sweeping service, McClellan Commissary. The Period of Performance will be for a base period of March 1, 2014 through Feb. 28, 2015, and will include four 1-year option periods that may extend performance through Feb. 28, 2019. This Request for Quotation was issued on or about Jan. 9, with a tentative closing date of Jan. 30. This acquisition is being issued as a 100 percent Small Business Set-Aside.More

In-store bakery goods market exceeds $13 billion
Grocery Headquarters
Despite comprising a relatively small percentage of perishable dollar sales at most retail stores, in-house bakeries are a thriving part of the U.S. food landscape. Retail dollar sales of in-store bakery goods reached $13.4 billion in 2013, up from $12.8 billion in 2012, according to In-Store Bakeries: U.S. Market Trends, a recently released report by market research publisher Packaged Facts.More

Jars of Prego Traditional Italian sauce recalled
Fox News
Some jars of the popular Italian sauce Prego are being recalled because of their potential to spoil. The Campbell Soup Company recently announced that it is recalling 300 cases of Prego Traditional Italian sauce in 24-ounce jars. The recalled sauce was shipped on Dec. 21 to retail distribution centers in seven states: Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico and Oklahoma, according to the Food and Drug Administration.More

Wal-Mart providing prescriptions at no upfront cost
Progressive Grocer
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will provide prescriptions at no upfront cost to enrollees in the public health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer described the Dec. 31 move as a proactive way to help customers who have bought policies through the exchanges but not yet received their insurance cards. More

Food retailers boost their images in 2013
Supermarket News
What keeps you up at night? Ask that question to food retailers, and you'll get a long list. One concern in particular is how their organizations are being perceived by consumers, especially in the wake of growing debates in the media about food safety, obesity, GMOs, etc. But retailers may be in danger of worrying too much about image, because there are lots of good stories to tell, some of which are already getting wider play. As it turns out, the grocery sector is increasingly viewed much as it wants to be on some fundamental attributes.More

Do online grocers beat supermarkets?
The Wall Street Journal
The idea of buying groceries online has been around as long as the Internet, but who would ever do it? Limited selection, high cost and inconvenient delivery timing has kept it a niche business in mostly urban areas. But now online groceries are starting to make sense for the rest of us and, thanks to growing competition, they can even save you money.More

Be a better manager in 2014
There's nothing at all wrong with, say, presentation skills that spellbind an audience of thousands, but when it comes to operational effectiveness, chances are that will be determined by how well you execute fundamentals day in and day out. More

New Year, new missions: 8 challenges awaiting the Pentagon in 2014
Defense One
The Pentagon was busy in 2013. A new defense secretary took the helm, the U.S. went to the brink of war with Syria, budget politics continued to frustrate military leaders, and the war in Afghanistan reached a critical moment before its finale. The following is a look at what's on the horizon for 2014.More

Younger military veterans angered by budget cuts to their pension benefits
The Washington Post
The plan to trim pension increases for working-age military retirees is by far the most controversial provision in a bipartisan budget deal recently approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama. The cut is small, but has provoked outrage among veterans.More

Hampton Roads ALA Golf Tourney

Join us for the Hampton Roads ALA Golf Tourney at Sewells Point Golf Course in Norfolk, Va., on March 5.

HOLE SPONSORSHIPS WELCOMED to benefit HRALA's Scholarship Program!

Click here to register!

Please sign up by Feb. 15, 2014. Field is limited to first 144 to register.More

Top 10 most read stories of 2013
Chain Store Age

  1. Macy's to close 6 locations, open 9 others
    Macy's announced what it described as "normal-course adjustments" to its portfolio of Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores.

  2. Dick's to open 40 stores in 2013; debut Field & Stream format
    Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. forecasted a full-year profit for the current fiscal year that was less than expected, and also revealed it will debut a new retail concept in fiscal 2013 under the Field & Stream banner.

  3. Wal-Mart in line to open 500 Neighborhood Market stores by fiscal 2016
    Wal-Mart will open as many as 115 small-format stores this year, according to Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S.

  4. Toys 'R' Us announces 2013 global expansion plans; 100-plus stores on tap
    Toys "R" Us unveiled its global growth for 2013, with the planned opening of more than 100 stores, including new locations, the relocation and conversion of 14 stores to its side-by-side format, and 22 new licensed stores.

  5. Five Below to open 60 stores in 2013 and expand into Texas
    Teen and tween retailer Five Below will open 60 stores this year, including its first-ever locations in Texas. The retailer said it will open four to five stores in Austin, Texas, and 10 to 12 stores in Dallas by late summer, with the potential for more.

  6. RadioShack debuts new concept store in Manhattan
    RadioShack Corp. unveiled its new concept store, opening a location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The store showcases an updated brand logo and a number of features that will be part of a new generation of RadioShack stores.

  7. Sneak Peak: J.C. Penney's Joe Fresh shop
    J.C. Penney set a launch date for the debut of its Joe Fresh in-store shop concept. The Joe Fresh collection will focus on modern basics for women, with everything priced under $70, according to J.C. Penney.

  8. Retail RoadTrip: Fall NYC
    Welcome to Chain Store Age's Retail RoadTrip, a semi-regular update on cool new stores around the country. For this first outing, here's a look at six stores creating buzz in the Big Apple.

  9. Dunkin' Donuts to open 330 to 360 stores in 2013; expand into California
    Dunkin' Donuts announced that in 2013 it plans to open 330 to 360 net new restaurants in the United States with growth coming from both new and existing markets, for an increase of 4.5 to 5 percent.

  10. Dollar General to open 635 stores in 2013
    Dollar General Corp. will open 635 new stores in 2013, creating some 6,000 jobs. The chain will also relocate 550 stores this year.

Macy's, J.C. Penney failing to reach resolution on Martha Stewart dispute
Chain Store Age
On the heels of earlier reports that Macy's and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia were able to reach a settlement in their ongoing legal dispute over Martha Stewart sales at J.C. Penney, reports surfaced that Macy's and Penney were unable to find their own agreement.More

Telling the world it sells stethoscopes, too
The New York Times
Some items that were commonplace when Staples, the office products chain, opened in 1986 may seem like quaint artifacts today but are still, in fact, sold by the store, including typewriters, Rolodexes and daily planners. A new ad campaign by the retailer is not promoting basic office supplies of any era, however, but rather the increasingly vast array of other products it sells. More

Report: December in-store holiday sales up from 2012
Chain Store Age
In-store holiday sales during December 2013 are expected to come out ahead of in-store holiday sales during the same month in the previous year. Retail analytics provider Euclid analyzed nearly 25 million domestic shopping sessions during December, revealing that shopper traffic and window conversion improved as heavy promotions kept holiday shoppers coming. More

Leadership change at Sheetz
Chain Store Age
David Woodley, VP of sales and marketing for convenience store chain Sheetz, has moved into the executive VP spot vacated by Louie Sheetz. Woodley has led the Sheetz sales and marketing department since 2005. The transition, effective Ja. 1, as another part of the company's planned leadership changes.More

Scarred US consumers a hard sell for traditional retail
If there was one lesson from this year's holiday shopping season, it is that many traditional retailers are having to work a lot harder to persuade Americans to open their pocketbooks. A lot of stores had to discount heavily to eke out a modest increase in sales, likely squeezing profit margins in the process.More

Adult affluents are significant Amazon shoppers
According to The Shullman Luxury and Affluence Monthly Pulse reports on the expectations, behaviors and plans of adults among affluent consumers, the drivers of the luxury markets, Americans with lots of money are now shopping at Amazon. For example, 69 percent of the adults in the $250,000-plus household income segment have shopped there in the past 12 months.More

Virtual reality transforms real-life shopping in stores
The Oakland Tribune
In the not-too-distant future, grocery shoppers wearing Google Glass will see coupons for a new cereal flash before their eyes as they search for Cheerios, while others browsing the dairy section will have information about the health benefits of soy milk pop up automatically on their iPads. Dozens of big-name retailers — including Bloomingdale's, Victoria's Secret, Tesco, Wal-Mart and Target — already are experimenting with virtual reality.More

An attractive CEO a factor for investors?
Bloomberg TV
VideoBriefWhether it is retailers, banks, consumer products, etc., companies will tell you they are all trying to leverage a wealth of information that was never available to them before. How are they getting it? Big Data.More

Online shopping saved holiday retail
Bloomberg TV
VideoBriefAccording to IBM Worldwide's Jill Puleri, online retail was up 37 percent during thispast holiday season over the same period a year ago. More

Holiday sales look strong so far — but at what cost?
Advertising Age
On the heels of the brisk last-minute shopping frenzy right before Christmas, shoppers were once again out in full force during the post-holiday sales rush, clearing retailer inventories by stocking up on items such as appliances, apparel and electronics. Like much of the pre-Christmas season, retailers had to "pound the sales button" after the holiday to get those clear shelves, said Paul Swinand, equity analyst at Morningstar.More

Is your brand at risk of missing the social commerce revolution?
Business 2 Community
Establishing a business presence on social media has become a primary focus for companies large and small across practically every industry in existence. However for businesses that utilize eCommerce platforms to execute sales transactions online through their websites and affiliates, up until now there has always been a barrier preventing them from reaching their full sales potential on social media.More

EIA: Prices at the pump will decline this year
Convenience Store News
The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects retail regular gas prices to decrease 5 cents from the 2013 national average of $3.51 per gallon in 2014, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Previously, the agency forecast that the average would reach $3.43 in 2014, but adjusted its prediction to $3.46 in its latest monthly short-term energy outlook.More

Retail trends in customer experience for 2014
Retail Customer Experience
Customer experiences are more important than ever in retail. Motivated by an increasingly sophisticated range of online and offline shopping opportunities, consumers are eager to be delighted by retailers in ways that improve the quality of shopping events and their relationships with their favorite retail brands.More

In the fast-moving world of retail marketing, agility is key
Retail's BIG Blog
As marketing becomes more sophisticated, consumers are beginning to expect personalized communications. But successfully executing targeted offers that connect with a customer individually or as a well-defined market segment takes quite a bit of coordination. Not only do you need to understand the customer, but you've got to get your marketing, merchandising and the store teams who execute the deals working in sync. More

Dear Vendor Partner,

The Exchange is opening a new facility this year and wanted to inform you of the necessary information to update your systems to prevent any delay of processing orders.

The following information can be found on our website:
Click on the tab: Facility Listing Reports
Click on: Facilities Listing Report File

Grand Opening: 16 July 2014
NEW Ft Meade
FRC: 7326234
7 digit: 1040712
EDI code: 611Z
D&B Number: 001695568

FT GEORGE G. MEADE, MD 20755-0000

The Purchase Orders you will be receiving are for the floor set and Grand Opening. We are asking you to please ship these orders 100 percent and notify us immediately of any problems or short ships.

Thank you,

Ashley Pugh
Replenishment & Inventory Analyst
Merchandising Directorate
Army & Air Force Exchange Service
Phone: 214-312-2578
Visit our online store! More

Night life: Mark your calendar for FMWR events
My Guidon
It's true that 2013 is now over a week in the past, but Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation have plenty of events planned in 2014. You can mark your calendar now and make plans to take part in the following activities. More

US Patriot to open store at Fort Jackson
Columbia Regional Business Report
Columbia-headquartered U.S. Patriot Tactical, a retail supplier to military and law enforcement personnel, has been granted permission to open three new retail stores on U.S. Army posts, including one at Fort Jackson. "We are excited to have the opportunity to serve our heroes in uniform," said Paul Yoo, president of U.S. Patriot and an Army veteran. "Being within arm's reach of more servicemen and women allows us to do just that."More

Wells Fargo & Co.: Sources Sought Notice - V — armored car service
The Department of Veterans Affairs in Augusta, Ga., is conducting a Market Survey to obtain information regarding: the availability and capability of qualified small business sources; whether they are Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, Veteran-Owned, Small Business, HUB Zone 8(a), Women-Owned, or small disadvantaged business concerns; and their size classification relative to the North American Industry Classification System code for the proposed acquisition. More

Reflections: Tester looks back at events of 2013
From starting the year staring down cutbacks and a government shutdown, to nearly sweeping the Region in the Community Service Program of the Year Awards, Naval Air Station Patuxent River weathered its share of ebbs and flows in 2013. The following are some highlights through the year.More

Reflecting on 2013 while ushering in 2014
Fort Hood Sentinel
Col. Matthew Elledge, Fort Hood Garrison Commander, writes, "Let me start off by wishing all of you a Happy New Year. On behalf of myself and the entire garrison Family, I hope your holidays were what you wanted them to be. Fort Hood garrison has been busy again this year with lots of changes and lots of things to be thankful for. If I may begin by thanking all of those who came out and supported the Celebration of Love, hundreds of military children and Families received gifts as well as food baskets due to the kindness of so many. Thanks to our chaplains and the staff at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation offices who worked to put that together."More

Living section reviews top Hood features from 2013
Fort Hood Sentinel
During 2013, the biggest stories dealt with construction projects aimed to enhance the quality of life of Fort Hood, a first-ever symposium to examine sexual harassment and assault on the installation, the effects on services during an 11-week furlough of civilian employees, justice for the families of victims and those wounded during the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting and the honoring of a notable Central Texas civic leader. More

Training sessions to begin Jan. 21
Fort Meade SoundOff
Starting at the end of January, Gaffney Fitness Center gym-goers can get guidance from trained fitness professionals. Body Spirit, the contractor that leads the center's aerobics programs, will provide personal trainers at Gaffney beginning Jan. 21. The paid service includes one-on-one or two-on-one sessions.More

Xentris Wireless launches US Army® branded mobile cases with sales benefiting Army family programs
PRNewswire via EIN News
The U.S. Army is a traditional and classic brand that exemplifies honor, courage and loyalty. The brand possesses a heritage of leadership and quality. As a dedicated leader in designing, manufacturing and distributing wireless accessories, Xentris Wireless is proud to work with an established brand that represents such qualities.More