ALA Executive Briefing
Apr. 20, 2012

Veteran Hiring Fair
Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs will host the National Veterans Conference in Detroit from June 25-29. The three major facets of this National Conference include: The National Veterans Small Business Conference, the Veterans Open House and a Veterans Hiring Fair. The VA for Vets program is sponsoring the Veterans Hiring Fair, which will take place in June 26-28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event will be held at Detroit's COBO Center, One Washington Blvd., Detroit, Mich., 48226. Click here for more info and here for the conference letter.More

USMC 4-star: Women to attend infantry school
Marine Corps Times
The Marine Corps school that produces infantry combat officers will enroll its first-ever female students this year, Marine Corps Times has learned. As part of the service's extensive research campaign to determine what additional jobs could be opened to women, an undetermined number of volunteers will attend the Infantry Officers Course in Quantico, Va., said Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Corps' assistant commandant. There, Marine officers are groomed to serve in direct combat roles and lead troops into battle.More

Coast Guard's top officer breaks ranks over budget cuts
National Journal via Current Mil-Tech News
Breaking ranks with his fellow military service chiefs, the top U.S. Coast Guard officer recently came out in condemnation of President Barack Obama's proposed budget restrictions. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have all in recent months supported a smaller, more efficient force for economic austerity. But Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., the Coast Guard commandant, said, "We have to have the courage to be able to say "No" sometimes."More

Military hospital consolidation isn't living up to savings potential
While Congress considers a new plan to cut costs, reduce management overhead and improve efficiencies in the Military Health System, a watchdog report indicates MHS has failed to deliver on promises in a 2006 management and governance strategy.More

Defense spending cuts worrisome for local military communities
Fox News
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close, the Department of Defense plans to trim more than $480 billion from the budget in the coming decade. Tough choices will be made, and communities that rely on military spending are on edge. More

Misconduct inquiry targets 16 US security team members
Los Angeles Times
Eleven Secret Service agents and five members of the U.S. military working on a security team preparing for President Barack Obama's arrival at a regional summit in Colombia were recently under investigation for apparent misconduct involving prostitutes.More

Dark meat getting a leg up on boring boneless breast
The Wall Street Journal
Poultry companies that spent decades breeding top-heavy birds to satisfy America's craving for chicken breasts are hunting for solutions as consumers cluck for more dark meat. Demand for legs and thigh cuts is climbing as diners tire of white meat and TV cooking shows tout dark meat's richer flavor and softer texture.More

Most shoppers make impulse buys
Progressive Grocer
Consumers continue to go shopping armed with a list, but new research finds that doesn't stop them from straying. Nine out of 10 shoppers still purchase items not on their lists, according to The Checkout, on ongoing shopper behavior study by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research. Of those who admitted to shopping off list, 66 percent cited a sale or promotion, 30 percent cited they found a coupon and 23 percent said they wanted to pamper themselves.More

Do food deserts matter? Do they even exist?
The Washington Post
Gina Kolata highlights two recent studies that call into question the concept of "food deserts," wide swaths of the country, traditionally low-income, that are thought to lack access to healthy foods. Both looked for a relationship between obesity and access to healthy foods, measured by the number of nearby supermarkets and fast food restaurants. Neither could find it.More

The cost of healthy eating
Scientific American
The distance people are willing to travel for food appears to be related to their weight and wellness. A recently published study in PLoS One found that among the French, those who shop at the same local supermarkets tend to have a similar body mass index and waist circumference. And while Basile Chaix and colleagues admit there are some challenges with this study, there are some general ideas that can be applied to our overall relationship to food and food procurement.More

Sounding the sugar alarms
Los Angeles Times
Worried about trans fat or salt? That's a little old school. If you want to stay current on dietary villains, you'll want to start thinking about sugar. Lots and lots of sugar — as in 77 grams, or nearly 20 teaspoons. That's how much added sugar the average American consumes every day, according to a 2011 scientific report, and that's not even factoring in the sugars naturally found in fruits, vegetables and milk.More

Mother and daughter entrepreneurs build a health food chain
As Barbara Hoffmann tells it, her vision for Green Acres, a small Midwestern chain of organic and natural food stores grew out of her aching back. After years of lifting heavy plants, Barbara developed chronic back pain and underwent several surgeries which didn't solve her problems. Finally, she took matters into her own hands and began to find relief in alternative treatments, diet changes and nutritional supplements. The deeper she waded into the growing area of healthful eating and therapeutic supplements, she realized she had stumbled onto a concept she could convert into a business.More

8 food frauds on your shopping list
Most consumers know to ignore emails alerting them to foreign lottery winnings and to steer clear of "designer" bags sold on street corners. But experts say even scam-savvy shoppers may be falling prey to fraud at a surprising place: the grocery store. Food fraud — the adulteration, dilution or mislabeling of goods stocked on the shelf — is part of a growing trend of faux household goods. Although there is little data on the frequency of food fakery, experts say there's growing awareness of the problem.More

These chocolates are something special
Supermarket News
Warming ginger, menthol-nuanced wasabi, nutty black sesame seeds...and dark chocolate? Indeed, one of these things is not like the others, but chocolate lovers were willing to experiment at the fifth annual Chocolate Festival hosted by H.E. Butt Grocery's Central Market.More

2012 Commissary Roundtable

May 2-3, 2012
Richmond Marriott, Richmond, Va.

This year's ALA Commissary Roundtable is shaping up to be an event you really don't want to miss!

Click here for more info! More

Wal-Mart International focusing on own business over deals
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is focused on improving results in China and other foreign countries where it already operates, rather than on entering new markets, its top international executive said. "Our focus this year in particular has been on improving returns with our existing businesses," Wal-Mart International Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon told investors and analysts at a meeting in Toronto that was also webcast.More

Deloitte: Spending up after several months of decline
Chain Store Age
A recent report by Deloitte found that consumer spending posted an increase in March, reversing a trend of declines. The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index climbed higher in March, marking only the third monthly increase over the past 12 months. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.More

Online consumers are placing fewer but larger orders
Internet Retailer
Consumers who shop online are placing fewer but larger orders, resulting in a nearly 4 percent overall increase in sales through March of this year compared with the same period last year, Dydacomp says in a new index of small and mid-sized online retail businesses.More

Majority of US smartphone owners use devices to aid shopping
Two-thirds of U.S. consumers with smartphones have used the devices to aid shopping, according to a report by research firm Leo J. Shapiro and Associates. The February 2012 survey also found that 38 percent of respondents researched products on their smartphones while shopping at a physical store.More

Penney's CFO to step down
The Wall Street Journal
J.C. Penney Co. said Chief Financial Officer Michael Dastugue will leave the department-store chain, the latest management shake-up as the company undergoes a vast operational overhaul. Dastugue, who spent 15 months in the CFO post, will be replaced temporarily by Chief Operating Officer Michael Kramer while a search for his successor is conductedMore

Something for nothing: Free samples attract new customers, increase sales
M ore than 19,000 new food and beverage products were introduced in 2009, according to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's a lot of manufacturers and merchants trying to capture customers' attention and interest.More

Fast-food franchises bulking up
The Wall Street Journal
Weaker sales following the recession are prompting many big fast-food chains to adopt leaner business models by unloading company-owned outlets to franchisees. The latest example is Burger King Holdings Inc., which is in the midst of a turnaround and counting on a bigger appetite for restaurant ownership among people like Vince Eupierre of Corona, Calif.More

Debunking the eBay myth of free shipping
If free shipping is the industry standard, as eBay states, then 21 of the top 25 ecommerce retailers have not gotten the memo. EcommerceBytes took a look at the top 25 retailers on Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide and found that only Newegg, Costco and LL Bean offer unconditional free shipping (Netflix is not applicable to this discussion.) More

Wal-Mart and Humana team up on prescription program
Chain Store Age
Wal-Mart is partnering with health services company Humana Inc. to offer a new prescription drug plan for insured employers and employees. Humana's pharmacy benefits management subsidiary, Humana Pharmacy Solutions, will now offer the Wal-Mart Rx Network. The partnership will also offer a new formulary, or approved drug list, called Rx4Value.More

US retail sales climb more than forecast on jobs: Economy
Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than forecast in March as Americans snapped up everything from cars and furniture to clothes and electronics. The 0.8 percent gain was almost three times as large as projected and followed a 1 percent advance in February, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase of 0.3 percent. More

NRF: March retail sales growth marks positive start to spring
National Retail Federation
Thanks to an earlier Easter holiday and unseasonably warm weather through much of the country, retailers in March witnessed solid sales growth. According to the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, March retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted from February and 6.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.More

Kimberly Clark joins AAFES on 'spring cleaning' sweepstakes for military shoppers
Drug Store News
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Kimberly Clark are teaming up to give away 10 $1,000 gift cards in the "Spruce Up Your Space" sweepstakes.More

Beer brands ramp up promos around summer and sports
Convenience Store News
Spring is in the air, summer is right around the corner and beer companies are stepping up their promotions, with Heineken, Tecate Light, Samuel Adams and Busch Beer all getting ready to celebrate.More

Burger King's new menu reviewed
The Huffington Post
It took the royal touch (and a lot of money) of the self-proclaimed king of burgers to commandeer celebrities to endorse a new food product line. For the first time in its 58-year history, BK has expanded its offerings broader than ever before, with 10 new items that strive to better diversify their menu — akin to burger competitor McDonald's. However, burgers are not the focus of the new items; in our health-conscious world, the king of burgers has instead focused on chicken, salads and frosty beverages.More

New tobacco study raises cigarette price hike possibility
Convenience Store News
This time of year typically sees an uptick in gas prices, but this year, cigarettes prices may be the ones doing the climbing. The Wells Fargo Securities 1Q12 U.S. Tobacco Retailer Survey found that more than 70 percent of the company's tobacco industry retailer and wholesale trade contacts expect to see a price increase in May or June. Wells Fargo Securities anticipates The Altria Group's Philip Morris USA division to lead the 5- to 7-cent bump, according to Bonnie Herzog, managing director of Beverage, Tobacco & Consumer Research.More

NRF: Retail sales increase in March
The Gourmet Retailer
Retailers in March witnessed solid sales growth. According to the National Retail Federation, March retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted from February and 6.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.More

Wal-Mart 'on track' to end landfill waste by 2025
Bloomberg Businessweek
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently said it is on track to meet many of its goals for making its operations more environmentally sustainable, but it fell short of some benchmarks. Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said in June that environmental sustainability is one of the company's top five priorities. Even small improvements in Wal-Mart's operations can make a big difference because of the massive scale of its retail outlets and global supply chain.More

Three retail marketing trends you need to know about now
Retail's BIG Blog
Retail marketers don't have much time to catch their breath before they're switching up the marketing mix yet again, adjusting to changing consumer behavior and pioneering new strategies to dazzle customers. As more consumers rely on mobile devices, spend more time online and expect a greater level of personalization, retailers are investing in social, mobile and local to meet these new demands.More

Hampton Roads Gala Event

Greetings friends and members of the best chapter of the American Logistics Association: Hampton Roads!

As co-chair and on behalf of the steering committee for the 2012 Jerry Jared HR ALA Gala, I would like to thank all of you for your support this year.

We were pleased to see such a large attendance by NEXCOM, MCX, CGX, DeCA HQ, DeCA and exchange directors/managers from our ALA zone as well as our resale industry family.

WOW: The GALA fundraiser was a tremendous success! All net proceeds will go to the HR ALA Scholarship fund and various charities. The HR ALA annual scholarships are awarded to deserving students who are family members of the Military or the Military Resale System.

I would like to honor the following for a job well done; their enduring support is greatly appreciated.

Our guest speakers and honorees:

Our wounded warriors in attendance. Mr. Jeu of DeCA, Admiral Bianchi & Mr. Michael Good of NEXCOM, Mr. John Reiley of USCG Exchange & Mr. Mark Crump Store Director Little Creek.

Our Platinum Sponsors:

* Hershey * Sara Lee * Proctor & Gamble

Our Gold, Silver and Patriot Sponsors:

* Del Monte * DIAGEO * MARS
* S&K Sales * Advantage Sales * Military Produce Group
* WebCO * MDV * Energizer * OSC * ACOSTA

For our auctions: the contributors and those that made it happen:

U.S. SALES for countless items such as COBY/Olympus/DUNLOP/Rachel Ray/Paula Deen, etc., PepsiCO for the Eli Manning Helmet fetching the highest single item auctioned off; JD & Del Monte Foods for NASCAR & Buffett Guitar; SONY, E&C News for the iPad; BUDWEISER, Kimberly Clark for the Kindle; Energizer, ACOSTA for Timex/etc...The list goes on. Thank you all for your support!

Special thanks to Paul Wehner, Trish Jones, Dana Yeck and the MDV team for their boundless support. Also our presenters: The wonderful Ms. Heather Snowa (USSC & HR ALA President), Ms. Tommie Draper (OSC), Mr. Ollie Bates (Mid-Valley), Mr. Roger Blood (ACOSTA), Ms. Stacey Cartwright (OSC) & Mr. Hank Sheffer (S&K).

Finally our steering committee. The very best you can work with. Job well done!

The ever-gracious Ms. Tommie Draper (OSC), Mr. Nick Cohen (U.S. Sales), Ms. Stacey Cartwright (OSC), Ms. Heather Snowa (U.S. Sales), Mr. J.D. Fenessy (Del Monte), Mr. Hank Sheffer (S&K) & Ms. Diane Maxwell (S&K).

Pictures from this year's event will uploaded to the HR ALA site.

Thank you,

Marc Michals
Resale Advertising Director
Commissary Specials / Judy Johnson Direct
Military Media, Inc.
PHONE/TXT 757-620-8418 * FAX 757-481-2761
Hampton Road's ALA BOD & GSA MemberMore

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 council action brief

ALA Exchange E-Blast week 4/20/12 AAFES Sales Flyers: Save the dates:

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.


Scholarships for Military Children Program

Recipients for the 2012 Scholarships for Military Children Program will be announced at the end of the month. Fisher House Foundation is responsible for matching commissaries to donor companies, based on the relative amount of each company's donation. Click here for the listing of companies supporting the 2012 program, and here for the pairings. DeCA business partners or their supporting broker or manufacturers representatives are normally invited to attend and participate in the scholarship award ceremony conducted by each commissary store director. Questions about the listings should be directed to Jim Weiskopf at Fisher House Foundation. More

Army tightens rules on hair, tattoos, makeup
Army Times
Senior leaders are putting the final touches on 17 grooming regulation changes that cover everything from tattoos and makeup to cellphones and civilian attire. And soldiers will likely face punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if they fail to get squared away.More

First lady plugs her 'Joining Forces' on Colbert
CBS News
First lady Michelle Obama appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" to plug the anniversary of her "Joining Forces" initiative designed to honor U.S. troops and their families, particularly by helping find employment for veterans returning from war.More