ALA Executive Briefing
May 28, 2010

Obama deficit commission member calls for Pentagon audit
The Huffington Post
A leading Republican on the president's deficit commission has called, informally, for an audit of the Department of Defense, arguing that without a true sense of what is being spent and where, it will be impossible to achieve significant budget savings.More

Gates stares down Congress over Air Force funding
Foreign Policy
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's push to change how the Defense Department sets its strategic and spending priorities faces its next major test in Congress, and Gates is heavily involved in seeing it through behind the scenes.More

Defense Secretary: Pentagon must trim the fat in war on waste
Christian Science Monitor
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon's budget won't shrink any time soon but that it is imperative to trim the fat and make the building operate more efficiently.More

Defense bill aims to beef up health care for military personnel
Government Executive
The fiscal 2011 Defense authorization bill, which the House Armed Services Committee approved, would expand several military health programs, including TRICARE.More

Futenma to stay in Okinawa: new pact
The Japan Times
Japan and the United States broadly agreed on a fresh pact that effectively states that U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa will be relocated to the coast of the Henoko district of Nago, also in the prefecture, as per an existing Japan-U.S. accord, sources said.More

Gov't encourages retailers to welcome food stamps
ABC News
Attention food stamp recipients: Your business is appreciated. The Agriculture Department announced it will encourage grocery stores and other retail outlets that accept food stamps to post signs reading "We Welcome SNAP Benefits." The move is part of an effort to decrease the stigma of using government food assistance in a tough economy.More

Building on a budget
Supermarket News
It turns out supermarket retailers rode the economic downturn just like their shoppers did. Shocked at the severity of the recession and uncertain about its length or depth, they slashed capital budgets and in some cases underspent them last year.More

Food companies sign up for the war on salt
NACS
Under increasing pressure from advocacy health groups, states, and national-level advisors, major food companies have begun "slashing" the sodium that it adds to soups, potato chips, sauces, and other products, the Los Angeles Times reports.More

Target eyes more groceries, smaller locations
The Gourmet Retailer
Target Corp.'s CEO said the retailer's top priorities are to expand grocery sections in its stores and add smaller-footprint locations. More

Movie rental promo under way at Kroger
Supermarket News
A new DVD promotion at Kroger features a free Redbox rental with the purchase of three participating PepsiCo, Hershey and ConAgra products. More

US packaged food companies improve credit metrics despite weak top line
Market Watch
Since the large U.S. packaged food companies tend to be very stable and mature, most are likely to struggle to generate sales growth above the low single digits, according to a new special report issued by Fitch Ratings.More

Kroger California divisions help troops keep in contact
Progressive Grocer
The Kroger Co.'s Los Angeles-based Ralphs Grocery Co. and Food 4 Less divisions are currently raising funds to support military service members through the for the United Service Organizations "Operation Phone Home" program.More

Mars launches C-store website
Cconvenience Store News
Mars Chocolate North America launched a new website exclusively for convenience store operators Mars24seven.com. More

Growing one cup at a time
Shopping Center Business
For one reason or another, the industry is always watching Starbucks. After emerging on a national scale during the 1990s — when it was one of the most rapidly expanding retailers in the world — to its scaling down in 2008, Starbucks is always giving us a reason to watch.More

Sears and Kmart to offer cash-for-gold service
ABC News
Sears Holdings Corp, which expanded its layaway program to help cash-strapped consumers pay for purchases during the recession, is now helping its customers exchange their jewelry for cash as gold prices soar.More

Target posts 5.5 percent Q1 sales increase
Progressive Grocer
Target Corp.'s first-quarter profits rose by nearly 30 percent on strong sales of clothing and other discretionary items, with its net earnings of $671 million during the quarter ended May 1, 2010, handily besting the $522 million posted in the year-ago quarter.More

Nine in 10 retailers plan to add stores in 2010
The Business Journal of Milwaukee
In a sign that department store chains like Kohl's Corp. in Menomonee Falls, Wis., may face better days ahead, nearly 70 percent of retailers surveyed by CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. say the overall economy is improving and 92 percent plan to increase store openings in 2010. "Our survey shows that retailers are increasingly more confident about their growth plans for 2010, and even more so for 2011," said Anthony Buono, executive managing director of CBRE Retail Services in the Americas. More

Wal-Mart asks suppliers to cede control of deliveries
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, is seeking to take over U.S. transportation services from suppliers in an effort to reduce the cost of hauling goods.More

Why the consumer is hanging tough
Bloomberg Businessweek
For bearish investors, one of the biggest puzzles of the last few months has been the strength of consumer spending. Despite a U.S. unemployment rate at 9.9 percent in April, shoppers are returning to stores.More

Army transition managers seek better methods and lines of communications
U.S. Army MWR
For the first time, this past fall, the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Headquarters combined three key human resource functions in one training conference. These services support and provide services to Soldiers, Civilians and Family members who transition from the military to the civilian sectors.More

Museums offer free admission to military families
U.S. Department of Defense
Active duty servicemembers and their families will gain free access to hundreds of museums throughout the nation this summer, thanks to a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families.More