ALA Executive Briefing
April 16, 2010

Military to save $1.6B going green
USA Today
It's not just the troops' uniforms that are green: The U.S. military says its investments to conserve energy and water are beginning to pay off, with benefits for cost, national security and troop safety.More

DoD seeks more control over '12 budget
The Deparment of Defense
The U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense has decided to conduct so-called "front-end assessments" of some 20 capability areas that drive operational, force structure and investment needs - such as long-range strike, shipbuilding, electronic attack, satellites and end strength - to better shape Pentagon spending decisions starting with the 2012 budget, officials said.More

Fort Bragg named Army's top post, gets $1 million
The Fayetteville Observer
Fort Bragg has won the military's top award for excellence among Army posts. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced the five winners of the 2010 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence. More

Gates: Defy authority when needed
Annapolis Capital
Speaking at the Naval Academy, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates told the midshipmen there would come a time in their careers when bucking authority will be necessary.More

Burning Question: What parts of government would you cut?
Government Executive
A recent Economist/YouGov poll found that Americans are a lot more comfortable with cutting spending than raising taxes to reduce the federal budget deficit. But when it comes to figuring out exactly what to cut, things get sticky.More

Study: Specialty food sales top $63B in 2009
The Gourmet Retailer
Even with fewer new product introductions, the specialty food industry rang up $63.09 billion in sales in 2009, an increase of 2.9 percent over the previous year, according to The State of the Specialty Food Industry 2010, an annual report from SPINS, Mintel International and the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade.More

Fire the Nerds! Is there hope for those secondary brands after all?
Retail Wire (free registration required)
No rocket science here - the recession has turned many branded manufacturers into cowards, afraid to innovate. More and more, from the shopper's point of view, the only real differentiation between brands is "what's on sale?" What's the opportunity for smaller brands within the movement toward SKU rationalization at the bigger boxes?More

Food Lion launches 'Low Price Heritage' campaign
Supermarket News
Food Lion debuted a new advertising campaign highlighting its recent price-lowering efforts and featuring testimonials from its president, Cathy Green.More

Grocery shoppers stick to staples
Americans denied their urges for fancier foods and opted for more economical meals including beans, grain, rice and pasta during the recession, according to a recent research report.More

Meat processors worried about proposed safety rules
Coshocton Tribune
Federal regulators are proposing new meat testing requirements that small processors say would impose staggering new costs and force businesses to drop products or go out of business.More

Pan-Oston and the N.G.A. Tour America to support independent grocers
PR Newswire
Committed to helping the independent grocer succeed in a competitive marketplace, the National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) and Pan-Oston have developed two state-of-the-art mobile Innovation Centers showcasing the latest in front-end technology. The Utopia Across America Tour kicks off on April 26 at the N.G.A. headquarters in Washington, D.C. and continues throughout 2010, making stops at the corporate offices and stores of independent grocers across the United States. More

Study: Core organic consumers seek local, 'clean' products
Progressive Grocer
Core organic consumers — those who are the most loyal to buying organics — are seeking more authentic, clean foods through farmers' markets and community support agriculture (CSAs), according to the "State of the Organic Consumer 2010" by the Hartman Group. More

Commissary project in Moon to start next year, Rep. Murphy tells vets
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Groundbreaking for a long-awaited military commissary in Moon, Pa., is expected next spring, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, told a group of veterans in Bethel Park.More

The lobby: Best Buy
CNN Money
Name any major U.S. company, and chances are good it runs an office in Washington. They're all here to lobby, yes, but more specifically, they're watching the Hill, the White House, and regulators for any policymaking that could affect their businesses. In a new regular feature, will introduce you to one of these offices. We'll talk to the head lobbyist for that company and find out what policies they're pushing the hardest in Washington. We'll also talk to industry groups to see what's on their radar.More

A brighter ninety-day outlook
Each month, BIGresearch conducts a Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey for NRF and others, surveying over 8,000 consumers. Watch the highlights from the March 2010 survey in this video, including which retailers shoppers are frequenting and consumer plans for future purchases. The survey found that "increasing confidence in the economy and less concern over job loss are contributing to a brighter ninety-day outlook."More

To win the sale, win your customer's heart
Harvard Business Review
You're unappreciated in your company, and you've begun to doubt your importance there. Huh? How did I know that? I didn't. But I'm rarely wrong when I make that assumption about people, and especially about potential clients.More

Coupons make a comeback in all retail channels
Convenience Store News
The Great Recession of 2009 marked a coupon renaissance and all channels - including dollar stores, mass merchandisers, convenience stores and drug stores - posted double-digit redemption growth, according to a new report by Nielsen Inc.More

US: Walmart to launch major price-cut campaign
Kam City
Walmart is set to drop the prices of about 10,000 products across its U.S. outlets, as it looks to stop declining sales. The move was reported by the Wall Street Journal, which cited Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn. Walmart said it will mostly cut prices of food and other staple products, but did not specify the size of the price cuts. More

Broad group of retailers had big gains in March
The New York Times
Sales rose robustly in March across a wide range of retail stores, another sign that American consumers were beginning to spend more freely even as the job market remained weak.More

As recession fades, Americans head to the mall
Business Week
After two long years of belt-tightening, U.S. consumers are finally starting to spend again. That is giving the economy a much needed boost. Will the shopping spree continue? More

Darden sets sustainability goals
Restaurant News
To further its sustainability efforts, Darden Restaurants Inc. said it has set a goal of reducing energy and water use at its 1,800 restaurants by 15 percent by 2015. More

Double-dip doesn't figure with inventory rebuilding
Companies from Tiffany & Co. to Home Depot Inc. are restocking shelves in a move that will boost economic growth and may keep the recovery on track through 2010.More

NRF releases March sales report
Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation released its March retail industry sales report, reporting a 0.9 percent increase for seasonally adjusted sales, and 5.7 percent increase for unadjusted sales.More

First Lady thanks military community for service
Department of Defense
First Lady Michelle Obama today applauded servicemembers and defense civilians for their commitment and service to the nation in a speech in the Pentagon courtyard, calling America’s military community the finest in the world. Obama was joined on stage by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, his wife, Becky, and several defense civilians, all of whom have more than 40 years of federal service. She recognized Gates and his wife for their support of military families and for their relentless service under eight different U.S. presidents.More