ALA Executive Briefing
Feb. 25, 2011

NORAD, Northern Command cutting 79 positions
Air Force Times
Commanders at NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command say they're reducing staffing by 79 positions amid Defense Department budget cuts. The command recently said 40 of the positions will be military and 39 civilian. Offices most directly affected include chaplains, history, surgeon general and control systems.More

House set to approve cuts: Time short to stop shutdown
The New York Times
House Republicans recently marched confidently toward approving the largest spending cuts in modern history, setting the stage for a standoff with Senate Democrats and the White House. With just two weeks to go before the stopgap measure now financing the government expires, and Congress in recess this week, party leaders conceded that there was not enough time to forge a deal and that a short-term extension would be needed to avert a shutdown.More

Grocers aim to help shoppers eat healthier
HeraldNet
To help shoppers intent on eating healthier but are strapped for time, grocery retailers are spotlighting more items with boosted nutritional value on their shelves. Most recently, Safeway launched the in-store program SimpleNutrition earlier this month. Green shelf tags, posted throughout stores, highlight 22 different nutrition benefits plus healthful ingredients contained in select products, including those that are gluten free, organic, low in sodium or made with whole grains.More

Target's Connecticut stores taking aim at grocers
Hartford Business
Discounter Target Stores Inc. is under way with a remodel of the first batch of its Connecticut stores as part of an expanded national rollout of fresh produce, meat and other foods to its merchandise lineup. The Minneapolis retailer says it will make available by spring its fresh-food layout at seven existing stores in South Windsor, New Britain, Enfield, Waterford, North Haven, Orange and Milford.More

Study: Bringing health to the meat case a challenge
Refresh
The meat department might not be associated with health the same way produce is, but retailers constantly are trying to include the department more in their health and wellness marketing. Many have begun playing up beneficial nutrients like protein in their roasts, rounds and tips. They alos are marketing the benefits of lean meat, and increasing their selection of natural and organic cuts.More

Freezer burn
Supermarket News
In the past year, low-priced entrees have heated up the frozen-food section, but now a different measure of value may cause the temperature to rise as manufacturers switch to whole grain pastas, add sides of grilled vegetables and shake the salt — in a healthy way. More

Spicing up sales
Progressive Grocer
Close attention to authenticity, heritage and specific taste preferences is critical to winning over the increasingly influential base of Hispanic consumers. The Shoppers Food and Pharmacy in New Carrolton, Md., and the Giant Food supermarket in Silver Spring have one important factor in common: they understand the need to serve a diverse customer base, including a large mix of customers of Hispanic heritage. More

Kraft to boost spending on core brands, new products
Advertising Age
Declaring that "great marketing is back at Kraft," the food giant recently said it will boost spending on key brands and new products as it seeks grocery profits in the face of commodity inflation and sluggish economic trends. And if its latest moves are any indication, the marketer will be taking an unconventional approach.More

How to stretch your dollar while grocery shopping
WTOV-TV
It's a problem many people struggle with: it's dinner time and you don't know what to make. Going out to eat likely will blow your budget, and fast food isn't as healthy as a good home-cooked meal. But there is a solution for those on a shoestring budget.More

Best Buy opens local mobile stores
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The electronics retailer Best Buy is opening three outlets specializing in mobile technology in local shopping malls. Best Buy Mobile, an offshoot of the larger, full-service store, sells cell phones, laptops, tablets and other portable devices and offers a choice of carriers.More

Could gas prices derail the recovery
STORES
As gas prices climb, consumer anxiety seems to rise — and when shoppers worry about how they'll pay for gas, it's fair to say that they begin to assess other purchases more closely. BIGresearch has been measuring consumer sentiment toward fluctuating gas prices monthly for several years now, asking survey respondents how the ups and downs at the pump have affected spending and what steps they are taking as a result.More

Military's prized 'challenge coins' become copycat fad among agencies, politicians, companies
The Washington Post
In the hospital, after her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in a fireball, L. Tammy Duckworth's fellow soldiers made sure four of her personal items made the trip home from Iraq with her: her wedding ring, her dog tags, her unit patch and a coin she always kept in the breast pocket of her flight suit. To an outsider, the coin might have seemed like little more than a curious, poker chip-size trinket, designed with the emblem of her Illinois National Guard unit. To Duckworth, now an assistant secretary of veterans affairs, it was sacred: "That's my identity." More

7-Eleven success secrets
CSP Net
"We must be open to change to remain successful," 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto said at the conclusion of his recent keynote address at the International Franchise Association 2011 Annual Convention in Las Vegas. DePinto said he and his team at 7-Eleven realized it was time to make a change in 2005 when they noticed the company's financial performance faltering.More

Report shows retailers are refocusing for 2011
National Retail Federation
After two to three years of belt tightening, expansion is back on the agenda and retailers are ready to begin experimenting again with new brick-and-mortar concepts, hoping to appeal to shoppers interested in buying for "wants" instead of "needs." Gain the latest insights on how retailers have adapted to this new consumer — and what they're planning in 2011 — from the just-released Retail Horizons report, the most authoritative source for retail benchmarks and trends. Order the full report by Feb. 28 and save up to $135.More

Forecast: Group sees 2011 retail sales up 4 percent
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times
The nation's largest retail trade group says it expects retail sales to rise 4 percent this year, the biggest increase since 2006, but shoppers are likely to remain cautious as they cope with slow job growth and rising prices. The National Retail Federation recently said it expects retail sales to reach $2.47 trillion in 2011, up from $2.37 trillion in 2010, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants.More

Retailers beware! Tinker with fabric at your risk
Reuters
Blame the high price of cotton for T-shirts that might feel just a bit scratchier this spring, or pants that seem to stretch out after one washing. As manufacturers tinker with fabrics to limit the use of pricey cotton, they risk compromising quality. Synthetics are less expensive than natural fibers, but associated with cheap clothing in the minds of consumers.More

Banks, retailers to face off over Fed's debit card rule
The Wall Street Journal
Financial firms, at a recent Capitol Hill hearing, urged lawmakers to block the Federal Reserve from moving forward on a plan to limit the debit card processing fees banks charge retailers, the latest move in their persistent battle against the nation's merchants. Retailers, meanwhile, are poised to vigorously defend the legislation as a much-needed intervention in a flawed pricing system.More

Subway releases 2010 tally: 2,147 new units
QSR Web
Subway released its 2010 development numbers, which included the opening of 2,147 new locations in 67 countries, seven Canadian provinces and all 50 U.S. states. The year lifted Subway's system-wide restaurant count to a total of 33,959. The chain reached its record of 33,000 worldwide stores in June.More

2011 Exchange Roundtable

March 28 to 30
Omni Mandalay
Irving, Texas

Online registration is now open! Click here to register now!

Agenda highlights
We have an exciting agenda planned that you will not want to miss! One of our guest speakers will be Denise Austin! Denise is a pioneer in the exercise and sports industry. A 5-foot-4-inch dynamo, she has sold more than 20 million exercise videos and DVDs, authored more than 10 books on fitness and starred in the longest running fitness show in the history of television. Denise's trademark zest for life, positive outlook and can-do attitude have endeared her to millions of fans across the country — and around the world — and earned her the reputation as "America's favorite fitness expert." A multimedia talent, Denise is a top-selling author and a highly sought-after speaker and TV personality. Her upbeat energy and unique ability to make people feel that she's right there with them, cheering them on, have inspired the millions who watch her on television, read her books, or follow her videos and DVDs.

Industry hotel reservations
The Omni Mandalay, 221 East Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, Texas, 75039, is the headquarters hotel for this meeting. The Omni Mandalay is offering a discounted group rate of $149, plus tax. To receive the discounted group rate, contact the hotel at 800-843-6664 and identify yourself with the American Logistics Association 2011 Exchange Roundtable. Reserve your room by March 5 to secure a reservation at the discounted group rate. Hotel rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, and attendees are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible for best availability.

Government/Military hotel reservations
The headquarters hotel for this meeting is the Omni Mandalay Hotel, 221 E. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, Texas, 75039. The prevailing government per diem rate is $107, plus taxes. Instructions on reserving a government/military hotel room will be provided when your registration is received by ALA. GPD rooms are available only to those persons who work in a government agency involved in the military resale system, and you will be asked to present proper ID upon checking in. All GPD reservations must be completed by March 5.

Cancellation policy
Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. Cancellations received by Feb. 28 will receive a 100 percent refund. Cancellations received after Feb. 28 but before March 14 will be subject to a $150 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after March 14 or for "no-shows." Cancelled registrations may be transferred to individuals within the same company, upon written request. Cancelled registrations may not be transferred to another ALA meeting. Any cancellations because of a family or medical emergency must be submitted in writing by March 18 to receive a refund. Cancellation refunds will be processed post-meeting by original method of payment.More

2011 Exchange Roundtable golf tournament

The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the American Logistics Association will be hosting a golf tournament in conjunction with the Exchange Roundtable on March 28.

Spend a day of fun with more than 100 golf enthusiasts from industry and government at the Hackberry Creek Country Club on March 28. Registration starts at 10 a.m. with a noon shotgun start. Space is limited to the first 144 golfers that register and pay.

Hackberry Creek Country Club is an 18-hole private country club designed by the legendary Byron Nelson. It recently celebrated its 25th year of providing a beautiful setting for family fun and upscale business entertaining. Hackberry Creek has enjoyed critical acclaim with Avid Golfer magazine's "Best of Private Clubs." Visit www.hackberrycreekcc.com for directions and more information about the club.

Special guest golf pro Scotty Robertson will be on the longest hole to hit a drive for each team. Robertson's unorthodox style of play has led NBC's "Dateline Show" to describe his particular golf game as "Lightning in a Bottle." For more information, go to www.scottyrobertson.com.

The tournament will be a best ball/scramble format with first and second place prizes for two flights. Prizes for longest drive and closest to pin will also be awarded.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for lunch, dinner, the 19th Hole Awards Ceremony, hole sponsors, longest drive and closest to pin. Co-sponsorships are also available. Please see the registration form for more information.

Player fees for industry are $125 and the government rates are $75. This includes:

* Box Lunch * 19th Hole Reception & Dinner * Snacks & Beverages
* Greens Fees * Cart Fees * Range Balls

Please fill out the attached registration form and return it no later than March 25. Sponsorships are due March 4.

Please join us after your spectacular round of golf for the awards reception and auction. Proceeds from the auction benefit the AREA Scholarship Fund. Donated items are always welcome and very much appreciated. If you're interested in donating items for the auction, please contact Julie Fox at jfox@mssco.com or 469-221-4122.More

MWR hearings link

ALA recently appeared before the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee to present their views on the state of the military resale system, and in particular the issues they see facing the marketplace in the midst of proposed budget reductions and reorganizations. For more info, click here.More

'Secret shopper' program for VA centers in Missouri
Marine Corps Times
A new program seeks to improve the care and customer service at VA health care facilities in Missouri. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill recently announced details of the Veteran Healthcare Experience Program. McCaskill says the program addresses frustrations of veterans and seeks to better assess the quality of care at centers in Missouri.More

Leaders look to protect best MWR programs
U.S. Department of Defense
The leaders of the services' morale, welfare and recreation departments recently pledged to sustain military families' best programs while searching for ways to deal with inevitable budget cuts. "As we are focused on efficiencies, we will take care of our most valuable asset: our service members and their families," said Robert L. Gordon, the Defense Department's deputy assistant secretary for military community and family policy.More

The social media 'fantastic four'

U.S. Army Family and MWR Command has a question for you: "What social media sites are you using other than the fantastic four: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube?"More

Turning trash into cash: Fort Bragg Sports, Recreation Division benefits from recycling incentives program
U.S. Army
Do you have a collection of paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard in your office waste bin? Those materials are not trash — they are cash, especially for the sports and fitness branch of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Under the leadership of sports director Karen White, employees and patrons have actively participated in the Bragg about recycling incentives program to translate their seemingly worthless refuse into valuable FMWR riches.More