ALA Executive Briefing
Feb. 8, 2013

Carter on sequestration tightrope at DoD
Politico via Early Bird
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter would be exempt from Pentagon furloughs if they happened under sequestration, but recently he said he'd be willing to give back a fifth of his pay each month as a gesture of solidarity with his department's 800,000 civilian workers. His willingness to admit he's considering such a thing reflects the change in mood at the Pentagon. More

Budget pains could hit Marines
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Much deeper cutbacks on top of already curtailed spending are in store for the sea services if Congress can't resolve looming budget crises, the top officers of the Navy and Marine Corps said. More

Congress passes debt bill as a $1 trillion ax looms
The New York Times
The Senate recently gave final approval to legislation suspending the statutory debt ceiling until May, officially turning Congress's attention to the next budget showdown: $1 trillion in across-the-board military and domestic spending cuts set to begin on March 1. More

Cardboard recycling program big part of commissary's efforts
Ventura County Star
The commissary at Naval Base Ventura County recycles 42,000 pounds of cardboard each month — part of the 63,000 tons recycled each year by commissaries Navywide in an effort to save the environment and generate funds to build new stores. "Personally, I feel a moral sense of doing the right thing for the environment and for our future," said Velma Siler, director of the Port Hueneme Commissary. "Keeping waste out the landfills and maintaining the planet for our grandchildren — taking responsibility is always a good thing." More

DeCA's finances meet highest accountability standards
For the 11th consecutive year, the Defense Commissary Agency has earned an unqualified opinion for its financial statements, as certified by independent auditors. In accounting language, "unqualified opinion" means that DeCA's financial statements are fairly represented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Ultimately, this means that every dollar appropriated to deliver the commissary benefit and every dollar generated in sales is accounted for, said agency Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. More

Federal contracts awarded to companies in California
Targeted News Service via Equities
The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies as having been awarded to companies operating in California.More

Federal contracts awarded by federal agencies in Virginia (Jan. 31)
Targeted News Service via Equities
The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies based in Virginia.More

Federal contracts awarded by federal agencies in Virginia (Feb. 2)
Targeted News Service via Equities
The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies based in Virginia.More

Meat, poultry companies need new products
There are few "breakthrough" new food products, especially new beef, pork and poultry products in the meat case, with new food product launches recovering from the recession in 2010 to a record high but since then staying flat, according to Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel Research in Chicago, Ill. More

Deli and bakery updated performance work statement
Federal Business Opportunities
This notice is a Request for Information in accordance FAR 15.201(e) and is not a Request for Proposals. The government will not award a contract on the basis of this notice. No funds are available to pay for preparation or responses to this RFI and no entitlement or payment of direct and/or indirect costs or charges by the government will arise as a result of a vendor's submission of a response to this RFI or the Government's use of such information. This RFI is for planning purposes only and any information submitted by respondents to this RFI is strictly voluntary. The government wants to secure information regarding the capabilities of industry to meet agency requirements as stated herein.More

Grocers must differentiate prepared meal solutions
Progressive Grocer
At the height of the economic downturn, many consumers flocked to supermarkets, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs and other retailers looking for a deal on prepared foods. Now that the economy is recovering from the recession, however, some consumers are purchasing retailer meal solutions less often than they did just two years ago.More

10 ways to cut your grocery bill while eating healthier
The Huffington Post
Grocery shopping can be overwhelming. Many of us are trying to eat at home these days, but we want to know how to enjoy effective grocery shopping to create wonderful, home-cooked meals. The simple chore of buying food involves many variables — where to shop, seasonal options, recipe ingredients, family favorites ... the decisions seem endless, especially if you aim to optimize your budget and your health. However, there is a sweet spot to grocery shopping where wellbeing meets frugality; here's how to find it. More

Floral, fresh are venturing off the beaten path
Supermarket News
It's no secret that shoppers look for stores with great fresh departments. When customers talk about their favorite supermarket, they usually point out how fresh the meat or vegetables are. No one wants soggy carrots, even if they are cheap. In response, chains have been carefully fostering bigger and better perimeter departments. And, some retailers have gone the unconventional route and cross-merchandised fresh products in center store areas.More

Why food prices are heading to new highs
ETF Daily News
Last year's drought drove up prices of grains such as corn, wheat and soybeans. Soybean prices jumped 40 percent earlier in 2012 while wheat prices soared about 50 percent. If you thought your grocery tab was high in 2012, brace yourself because this year will be even worse.More

Save money grocery shopping by using a cash system
Mother Nature Network
Sometimes, saving money while eating healthy is as simple as figuring out a budget and sticking to it. But once you have set a budget, how do you stay within it? One of the most effective things people do for their budget is to use cash. More

Congratulations Budweiser!

The Budweiser team is proud to announce that its Budweiser Clydesdale Super Bowl XLVII spot, "Brotherhood," recently ranked at the top of the USA Today Ad Meter with a score of 7.76!

The 60-second spot first debuted via Budweiser's Facebook and Twitter channels, and chronicles the bond a Clydesdale foal shares with his trainer. Partially shot at Warm Springs Ranch, "Brotherhood" took the Clydesdales advertising into new territory by providing a new level of access to their early years. The creative agency for this ad is Anomaly, and this was the 23rd Super Bowl spot for the Clydesdales since 1986.

New today: View an extended 90-second version of the spot online! Click here.

Not only were the Clydesdales the winner of the Ad Meter, but they were also named ABC World News' "Person of the Week" by Diane Sawyer, followed by an in-depth look at the Clydesdales operations on ABC Nightline! Meanwhile, the archived "Team Clydesdale" spot from 2008 was voted by CBS viewers as the "greatest Super Bowl commercial of all time." More

How to target the 7 types of Valentine's Day shoppers
MultiChannel Merchant
With consumers spending nearly $18 billion last year on Valentine's Day, according to National Retail Federation figures, now is the time for marketers to refine their retargeting efforts to ensure they make the most of this short, albeit lucrative, shopping season. Chad Blodgett, vice president of Business Development at Rakuten MediaForge, says one of the best ways to influence this wide and varied audience is to identify the seven most common types of Valentine's Day shoppers outlined below and then develop your content to effectively target and engage them. More

Samsung doubles tablet PC market share amid Apple's lead
Bloomberg Businessweek
Samsung Electronics Co. more than doubled its share of the tablet computer market in the fourth quarter, gaining on segment leader Apple Inc. as total unit shipments jumped 75 percent, researcher IDC said. More

Mobile spurs digital coupon user growth
As consumers increasingly turn to their smartphones, tablets and PCs to shop online, they are using digital coupons to find new ways to stretch their dollars. The U.S. recession helped boost the popularity of digital coupons in recent years. Yet even as the economy recuperates, digital couponing remains a widespread activity among shoppers. More

Amazon building 3 fulfillment centers in Texas
The Dallas Morning News
Online shopping behemoth recently confirmed that it's heading back to Texas with three fulfillment centers that will employ more than 1,000 people. The centers are under construction in Coppell, Haslet and Schertz, near San Antonio. Seattle-based Amazon didn't say when the shipping facilities will open, but they will probably be ready for the holiday shopping season. Last year, Amazon hired 50,000 seasonal employees.More

Shoppers' smartphone use not all bad for brick-and-mortar stores
The Washington Post
Online sales are rising at a brisk pace, but brick-and-mortar retailers' efforts to keep even the most Web-savvy shoppers in stores is having some early success, according to a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project report.More

Amazon back online after outage
United Press International
Online retail giant recently experienced a significant amount of downtime, with many U.S. users unable to access the site, Web watchers reported. More

Indiana House lawmakers reject online sales tax delay
The Associated Press via WFPL-FM
The Indiana House has rejected an attempt to delay when and other online-only retailers might have to start collecting the state's sales tax from customers.More

Outstanding civilians receive recognition
Fort Drum
Members of the Fort Drum community recently gathered to recognize outstanding employees from across the installation during the Civilian of the Quarter luncheon for the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year. More

NRF forecasts 3.4 percent increase in retail sales for 2013
National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation recently released its 2013 economic forecast, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) will increase 3.4 percent, slightly less than the preliminary 4.2 percent growth seen in 2012. More

Penney brings back big discounts recently ditched to woo back shoppers
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
J.C. Penney is bringing back sales. The struggling department store chain this week will begin adding back some of the hundreds of sales it ditched last year in hopes of luring shoppers who were turned off when the discounts disappeared, CEO Ron Johnson told The Associated Press.More

Wal-Mart's sustainability push
Women's Wear Daily via SGN Group
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s senior director of sustainability, Jeffrey Rice, is practical enough to know that sustainability is unsupportable unless it ultimately has a positive impact on the bottom line. "Sustainability will only be successful if you can figure out how to make it fit within your own corporate mission," said Rice, the featured speaker at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Business Civic Leadership Center's Environmental Innovation Network.More

Overcoming the challenges of retail Wi-Fi
The Wall Street Journal
It sounds like a simple proposition for retailers: provide Wi-Fi for customers and employees to use with their smartphones and tablets inside their stores. Shoppers are coming to expect it: In a recent survey by SapientNitro and GfK Roper, 63 percent said free Wi-Fi would enhance their shopping experience. And even though some will use the service to compare prices online, more and more retail chains are offering Wi-Fi service to customers. More

Retail tech: What's next?
Women's Wear Daily
Omnichannel was one of last year's biggest buzzwords — and now retailers are racing to implement ambitious and costly new tech-driven initiatives to stay ahead of the competition. (Subscription required.)More

Barnes & Noble aims to whittle its stores for years
The Wall Street Journal
Barnes & Noble Inc. expects to close as many as a third of its retail stores over the next decade, the bookseller's top store executive said, offering the most detailed picture yet of the company's plans for the outletsMore

Time spent in retailers' mobile apps grows more than 5-fold in a year
Consumers spent six times as much time in retailer apps in December compared to a year earlier, showing that shopping and commerce is finally beginning to take off on mobile platforms. Flurry, the mobile analytics startup, looked at about 1,800 iOS and Android apps from December 2011 to December of last year. They also broke it down into five other categories including Retailer Apps, Price Comparison, Purchase Assistant, Online Marketplace and Daily Deals. More

Retail group expects sales to rise 3.4 percent from 2012
USA Today
Retail spending in 2013 will rise by less than it did in 2012 as consumers continue to experience economic uncertainty and slow growth in employment and income, says the National Retail Federation.More

Ready, set ... will you be ready for the Affordable Care Act?
National Retail Federation
Key provisions of the health care reform law (Affordable Care Act) will become effective in 2013 and 2014. NRF's Vice President and Employee Benefits Policy Council Neil Trautwein talks about the basics you need to know and how the law could shape your future workforce decisions.More

OfficeMax plans smaller stores
Crain's Chicago Business
OfficeMax Inc. is joining other big box chains like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. in jumping on the smaller-store bandwagon. In a recent interview with Crain's, CEO Ravi Saligram said the Naperville-based company will debut a new, smaller urban store format in April. The new stores will range between 5,000 and 15,000 square feet, compared to current stores that can run as large as 30,000 square feet. The first new stores will not be in Chicago, he said, but the format will arrive here sometime in 2013. More

Tesco says Fresh & Easy seeking to reassure shoppers over stores
Bloomberg Businessweek
Tesco Plc, the U.K.'s largest grocer, said a message to customers of its unprofitable U.S. Fresh & Easy unit was to reassure them about the future of the business rather than a response to a defection of shoppers to rivals. More

'Made in USA' sees an uptick
Crain's New York Business
The Made in USA movement is gaining steam, as retailers from Brooks Brothers to Wal-Mart push to manufacture their wares in the United States to appeal to patriotic consumers and avoid costly overproduction as overseas labor and shipping costs rise. Surprisingly, the trend is playing out on a smaller scale in the city.More

Apparel retailers add jobs in January
Women's Wear Daily
Apparel specialty retailers added jobs in January, while department stores and discounters trimmed payrolls, a recent Labor Department report showed. (Subscription required.)More

Pizza Hut to roll out tiny new pies after the Super Bowl, aims to tap into 'sliders' craze
The Washington Post
Sick of pizza after the Super Bowl? Pizza Hut is hoping to tempt you with tiny new pies. The chain is introducing "pizza sliders," which are smaller than its personal pies and can be ordered in batches for families that want to customize their orders with different toppings. The sliders will be available in either a $10 box of nine or a $5 box of three.More

Cautious consumers keep Cupid at bay this year
National Retail Federation
Love is in the air this Valentine's Day but consumers aren't quite ready to shell out the big bucks for their loved ones as much as they were last year. The 2013 Valentine's Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight shows only a slight increase in expected sales this year with the average person planning to spend $130.97 on candy, cards, gifts and more, up from $126.03 last year. Total spending will reach $18.6 billion. More

Swipe fee settlement appeal delayed until Fall
Convenience Store News
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Court ruled that an appeal of the proposed class-action swipe fee settlement with Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and other financial institutions should wait until objections to the settlement are filed and heard in September, reported NACS, the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing. This allows settlement notices to continue to be distributed to retailers across the U.S. More

Wal-Mart prescribes green packaging, concentrated Clorox
Environmental Leader
Wal-Mart has launched greener packaging for select prescriptions and is now carrying a concentrated version of Clorox bleach. The new packaging extends Wal-Mart's existing program aimed at environmental pharmaceuticals. In 2011, the retail giant became part of the SMARxT Disposal program, which educates consumers about the safe disposal of medicine to protect the environment, human health and wildlife.More

Why gas prices are rising
It's happening again. It's not even close to the summer driving season — in fact, it's not even springtime — but as surely as February gives way to March, gas prices have begun their annual ascent.More

What's hot in retail — January 2013
Retail's BIG Blog
The first edition of "what's hot" in 2013 comes on the heels of another record-breaking Retail's BIG Show. Some 27,600 retail professionals from around the world flocked to the Javits Convention Center in New York to jump start the New Year. From a jam-packed EXPO showcasing the next great innovations to impassioned speeches from the likes of Kofi Annan and Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon, Retail's BIG Show 2013 had just about everything. Also unveiled was NRF's 2012 Annual Report, a month-by-month recap of the biggest policy and industry stories from past year.More

2013 Hampton Road's ALA Jerry Jared GALA

Greetings to all vendors & brokers to the U.S. Military Resale System:

My name is Marc Michals. As Co-Chair and on behalf of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the ALA, we personally want to invite you to the 2013 Hampton Road's ALA Jerry Jared GALA, which this year is in memory and honor of our dear friend, Mr. Ollie Bates III.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 2, from 5:30-10 p.m., in the beautiful Rose Garden Hall of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

We are pleased to confirm that our featured guest will be NEXCOM CEO Mr. Robert J. Bianchi, Rear Adm, SC USN (Ret).

All net proceeds will go to the HR ALA Military Resale System Scholarship and charities funds. The HR ALA annual scholarships are awarded to deserving students who are dependents of Military Families or employees of the Military Resale System. This community consists of military personnel (active, retired or reserve), civilian employees or retirees of the Navy Exchange System, civilian employees or retirees of the Defense Commissary Agency, civilian employees or retirees of the Army Air Force Exchange System, civilian employees or retirees of the Marine Corps Exchange System and civilian employees or retirees of the Coast Guard Exchange System.

In 2012, we broke all records in raising contributions for the HR ALA scholarship and charity funds. Please help us break a new record for 2013 with your pledge today.

Corporate sponsorships are available as follows:

We are actively soliciting silent and live auction items. Last year, we auctioned items such high value items as an original Eli Manning/New York Giants autographed Helmet, COBY HDTV and assorted electronics, Taylor-Made golf set, gift baskets, Jimmy Buffett signed prints and guitar, everything golf (ALA staple), etc.

Please feel free to reply back with any questions, sponsor, pledges, auction items, etc. We are honored to help.

Any questions on auction donations may be directed either to me or to Nick Cohen:; (757-340-4000, Ext. 331).

Tickets are available for purchase through Paul Wehner, MDV email:

A special thanks to this year's committee for helping create an elegant event: Tommie Draper (OSC), Nick Cohen (U.S. Sales), Stacey Cartwright (OSC), Heather Snowa (U.S. Sales), J.D. Fenessy (Del Monte), Hank Sheffer (S&K), and Diane Maxwell (S&K).

Thank you for being a part of the Military Resale community.


"Providing Our Resale Partners Effective Outreach Platforms To Enhance Military Consumer Purchasing Decisions."More

Super job 'Exchange'
Did you know:

More than a quarter of the Exchange workforce is from the hiring of veterans and military spouses. They currently employ 6,555 military spouses which represents 16 percent of workforce. Exchange HR offices are rewarded for supporting spouse employment to include transferring from one installation to another when the military member PCSs. They also currently employ 4,245 veterans, representing 10 percent of workforce. An Advanced Retail Management Program strives to place more veterans into management positions.

Navy fleet readiness exercise:

Wanted to make you aware that beginning Feb. 25 through March 1, many Navy installations will be participating in a fleet readiness exercise known as "Exercise Solid Curtain - Citadel Shield 2013". As a result, there is a potential for base access delays and traffic issues at installation gates.

Recommend that any of your vendor reps who need to visit a location during that week contact the local exchange management to see if there are any delays or closures.

Eileen Andrews
Executive Assistant
Navy Exchange Service Command
Phone: 757-631-3801
Fax: 757-631-3998
Email: Eileen.Andrews@nexweb.orgMore

About the Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House Foundation
Click here to see some great videos from our friends over at the Fisher House.More

FSS meets Airmen's needs through Services Transformation Initiative
Peninsula Warrior
In an effort to deliver better services to Airmen and the Joint Base Langley-Eustis populace, the 633rd Force Support Squadron is transforming the way it manages morale, welfare and recreation services by repurposing facilities and modifying existing amenities.More

NEX Redbox machines to vend MWR event tickets
The Navy Exchange Service Command announced Jan. 29 that it is piloting a program with RedBox, its DVD rental business partner, to sell local tickets to sporting events, music, arts, theater, family and various other live events through its vending kiosks.More