ALA Executive Briefing
Apr. 6, 2012

Road show aims to make campaign issue of defense spending
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
The defense industry has been on edge since last summer about a potential $1 trillion reduction in military spending over the next decade, but it's not an issue that registers with the voting public. To make the military's angst known, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., is planning a "Defend Our Defenders" road show.More

McCain: Delaying deal on defense cuts to lame-duck session would be 'a disaster'
The Hill
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said recently Republicans are "stretching out our hand" to Democrats to find a solution for stopping the $500 billion cuts to the defense budget set to take effect in January 2013.More

Ham prices high heading into Easter holiday
CBS News
A traditional Easter dinner with ham as the main dish could stretch budgets as prices remain high heading into the holiday. Ham prices have been higher than usual for the past two years because the cost of pig feed has gone up.More

Local outpaces organic produce
Supermarket News
In a recent study conducted by Mintel, 52 percent of the respondents surveyed said it's more important to them to buy local produce than organic options. Mintel's Global New Products Database also revealed that product launches of fruit products with a natural/organic claim have declined 58 percent between 2008 and 2011, while the launch of new vegetable products with that claim have decreased 77 percent in that same time period. Price and perception of freshness could both be factors.More

Johnsonville Sausage offers limited-edition products
Progressive Grocer
Johnsonville Sausage LLC is introducing five limited-edition varieties in its fully cooked sausage line. The new varieties — Pizza, featuring real tomatoes and Italian cheeses; Southwestern, with black beans, corn and peppers; Texas Hot Links; Chipotle Lime & Cheese; and Buffalo Style & Cheese — will be available during spring and summer at select retailers nationwide.More

Wegmans tops Consumer Reports grocery store rankings
VideoBriefConsumer Reports magazine conducted the grocery store rating project and released the rankings for the first time since 2008. More than 24,000 Consumer Reports readers nationwide sent in responses about nearly 43,000 supermarket locations.More

Tips on saving money at the grocery store
Are you a harried shopper who buys whatever catches your eye? Does your grocery bill send you into a state of shock? Consumer Reports shopped for 30 everyday items and says the type of shopper you are makes a big difference.More

Get your Girl Scout cookie fix all year round with these grocery store equivalents
Girl Scout cookie season is nearly over, so many of us are stocking up like squirrels for the long, cookie-less months ahead. However, it is possible for you to buy almost the same exact cookies all year round in your local grocery stores. Lifehacker did a taste test to see how they compared to the real deal.More

The war against couponers: Double coupons going way of the dinosaur
As of April 1, yet another major supermarket chain has put an end to double coupons, in which a store matches a manufacturer coupon, doubling the discount. The move comes amid a larger strategic war against "extreme couponing" being waged by grocery stores tired of giving away food and household staples for next to nothing to savvy shoppers who know how to work the system.More

Making Easter sweeter: Chocolate on the rise
Bags of jellybeans lining the grocery store aisles can only signify one thing: Easter is a comin'. And while the springtime equivalent to Halloween boasts brightly colored eggs and lots of gelatinous candy, the signature confection of the holiday tends to be chocolate.More

Report: Sears to sell off Lands' End
Chain Store Age
Multiple reports recently said Sears Holdings Corp. is considering a sale of its Lands' End mail-order catalog business, as part of its move to raise up to $2 billion.More

Best Buy to close 50 stores in restructuring
Reuters via msnbc
Electronics retailer Best Buy said recently it will close 50 big box stores in the U.S. and cut 400 jobs in corporate and support areas as it changes the focus of its operations to mobile. The retailer also said it plans to open 100 new mobile locations as it rethinks its U.S. store set-up.More

Black Friday deals come early at Home Depot
Unlike most retailers that bank on the winter holiday season for a large percentage of their annual sales, Santa comes in the springtime for retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe's. That's when homeowners finally begin those home improvement projects they've been putting off all winter. More

CEOs: Still shopping despite high gas price
Upscale shoppers and bargain hunters have one thing in common despite their economic difference — high gas prices aren't putting a dent in their appetite for shopping despite what some surveys have recently said.More

This is retail: A look at the numbers
Retail's BIG Blog
When NRF went searching for the "best retail story in America," they knew they'd have their hands full picking from the sheer number of stories to tell (there are...oh, 28 million of them across the country.) If this is the first you're hearing about their This is Retail video contest, here is what they're looking for.More

Northern Colorado businesses mix, match security innovations to keep robbers away
The Coloradoan
A drug-hungry person with a gun might think twice before trying to rob a business equipped with a time-delay locked safe. That's the result Walgreens expects after recently installing 149 safes that can't be opened immediately at its stores in Colorado and Wyoming.More

'Cash Mobs' gather to splurge in locally owned stores
Flash mobs have been blamed as a factor in looting during urban riots. But now a group of online activists is harnessing social media like Twitter and Facebook to get consumers to spend at locally owned stores in cities around the world in so-called "Cash Mobs."More

ExxonMobil, shopkick debut industry-1st loyalty program
CSNews Retail Technology
ExxonMobil Corp. is the first company in the convenience store and fuels industry to incorporate shopkick Inc.'s loyalty program. As of today, more than 375 Exxon and Mobil convenience stores/gas stations are offering shopkick rewards in the Miami, New York City and Washington, D.C., areas.More

Spelling out honesty to gain consumers' trust
Retail Leader
Increasingly, as consumers demand to know more about the foods they consume, the food industry is grappling with how much information manufacturers and retailers should be required to provide and in what form. Honest Tea now prints additional information on the inside of its labels to satisfy consumers' thirst for details about its products.More

Burger King reinvents itself with new food, new look
USA Today
VideoBriefBurger King will soon reveal a future that's decidedly less focused on young, hungry guys and more culturally directed toward mothers, families and boomers. In the next 12 months, Burger King and its franchisees will spend about $750 million fixing the menu, revamping marketing, tweaking operations and updating the look of a chunk of its 7,204 U.S. stores. More

Target plans food distribution center
Target Corp. says it is building a new food distribution center in central Ohio that will employ up to 150 people when completed after construction begins this spring. The center will handle produce as well as refrigerated, frozen and packaged foods, part of the company's move to add fresh foods to hundreds of stores around the country.More

Thank you!

A big thank you to Rich Krug and the ALA Dallas Chapter leadership for taking lead support for the Andrews AFB Fire families. $2,000 in cash was donated towards the effort and converted to AAFES gift cards and distributed to those that lost all in the on base fire. Thanks as well goes out to the The Commissary Council Consumer Awareness Team for their donation of Commissary Gift Certificates.More

2012 Hampton Roads ALA Gala

Save the date and click on to see the HR ALA Gala Flyer: April 12, 2012More

Save the date!

May 21: Dallas Chapter/Commanders Cup Golf event
Bear Creek Golf Club
3500 Bear Creek Court, Dallas, Texas 75261
Click here for directions and here for the official flier.More

Exchange committed to offering best possible price on or offline
Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs
According to a recent article by PC World, more than half of U.S. adult mobile phone owners used a handset for shopping assistance while in stores during the 2011 holiday season. Additionally, a quarter of these shoppers went online to see if they could find a better price for a product they were considering buying. More

exchange council action brief

ALA Exchange E-Blast week 4/06/12 Save the dates:

April 12, 2012 — Hampton Roads ALA Gala

June 19, 2012 — Congressional Caucus, House Office Building Washington, D.C. (Date Change)

August 20–23, 2012 — Hawaii Conference & Food Show

Go to:, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.


Passing of a friend

John Trenholm, national sales manager for Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, passed away on Wednesday, March 28, after a battle with cancer. John came to IFB on June 23, 1999, and was instrumental in establishing the Impulse Marketing Program; Military Resale; Army and Air Force Exchange Service Program; mattresses, rags and wipes; and the Defense Commissary Agency Program.

John's deep voice and his booming laughter were well known throughout the industry. His dedication to IFB and the AbilityOne Program will be greatly missed.

Donations will be made to A Brighter Path Foundation — 7730 North Point Drive, Winston Salem, N.C. 27106 More

Health case ripples outward
The Wall Street Journal
After three days of historic Supreme Court debate, the political world and health care companies confronted the prospect of President Barack Obama's health law being wiped away, a decision that would upend years of planning by businesses and roil the November elections. (Subscription required.)More

Exchange makes good health its business
Barksdale Air Force Base
Understanding that a large part of the military's focus is on a fit mind and body, and to ensure top performance, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service values the importance of wellness. To that end, the exchange is feeding shoppers' minds with information. Healthy nutrition options, fitness programs, family activities and overall wellness information are all just a click away through the exchange's "Operation Be Fit" website. offers tips for all members of the family, from beginner to expert. More