ALA Executive Briefing
Jun. 13, 2014

Cantor's stunning defeat removes 'only leader' on defense in GOP's top ranks
Defense News
U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat is a huge blow to the U.S. defense sector, and could allow an up-and-coming GOP deficit hawk to replace Cantor, or even become House speaker, sources say. Cantor announced he would resign as House majority leader July 31.More

Fightin' Joe: The Marine Corps' new commandant
War on the Rocks
The U.S. Marines are getting a new commandant. President Barack Obama has nominated General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. to take over as the Corps' top officer. Upon confirmation by the Senate, he'll replace General James Amos, who is scheduled to step down this fall. So what do we know about Dunford?More

Black, Chew chosen as 2 of 'Top Women in Grocery'
Defense Commissary Agency
Phyllis Black, store director of Cherry Point Commissary, N.C., and Donna Chew, assistant store director of McGuire Commissary, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., have been chosen by Progressive Grocer magazine as two of the Top Women in Grocery for 2014. "Phyllis and Donna have long been shining stars in our business," said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO. "Their leadership, creativity, hard work and mentoring activities reflect well on DeCA and the grocery business at large. I'm so proud of their accomplishments." For eight years now, Progressive Grocer's awards program has honored the integral role women play across all areas of the dynamic retail food industry. More

DeCA continues efforts to improve commissary shopping experience
Marine Corps Times
The Defense Commissary Agency is facing a lot of challenges as Defense Department budget-cutters seek to decrease the system’s taxpayer funding. But the stores are still there, providing a benefit to troops and families. And, according to intel gathered at a recent commissary conference, DeCA officials are plugging ahead, trying to provide even more value for their patrons' shopping dollar, and testing out new concepts to make shopping easier.More

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Enterprise Business Solution (EBS)
Federal Business Opportunities
Draft Solicitation HC1028-14-R-0004 is provided for review and comments by industry. The Draft Solicitation includes the documentation describing the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) Enterprise Business Solution (EBS) requirement. The requirement for this EBS effort is a modernization of DeCA's resale business operations. More

Produce and meat signage
Federal Business Opportunities
This Sources Sought Synopsis is in support of Market Research being conducted by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) to identify potential sources, and to determine if this effort can be competitive or be Set-Aside for Small Business.More

Renewal maintenance support for IBM Proventia, Rational and Tivoli hardware and software applications
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency issued a call, DABL01-3-A-1006-0Z03, against an existing Army Computer Hardware Enterprise Software Solutions (CHESS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for renewal maintenance support for IBM Proventia, Rational and Tivoli hardware and software applications.More

Iced seafood display bins
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as a 100 percent small business set-aside. The solicitation is for 52 iced seafood display bins to be delivered to 14 Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States. A purchase order is contemplated. The Request for Quote (RFQ) will be posted on FedBizOpps at Quoters may obtain a copy of the solicitation at this site.More

Innovation popping at Diamond Foods
Diamond Foods hopes to heat up snack sales with popcorn innovation. The category of ready-to-eat popcorn has been growing at a double-digit rate over several years, said Brian Driscoll, president and chief executive officer, and the company aims to snap up some of the share with new products from its Pop Secret and Kettle brands. Diamond Foods is set to launch Kettle brand ready-to-eat popcorn in four varieties: white cheddar, sea salt, maple bacon, and salt and pepper.More

PwC: Consumers call for personalized experiences
Grocery Headquarters
As consumers continue to demand more from retailers, the grocery industry should adapt and provide targeted shopping experiences tailored to specific consumer needs and changing demographics, according to PwC's new experience radar report titled, Front of the Line: how grocers can get ahead for the future. Based on a survey of more than 1,000 shoppers, the report shares insights on changing consumer segments, what they'll want for the future and what can be done today to keep them happy tomorrow. More

Meat bars: The next beef jerky?
The U.S. meat snacks market was valued at 1 billion in 2013, set to surge by 18.86 percent to 1.2 billion by 2018, according to Datamonitor Consumer Data. However, the face of meat snacks may soon change, according to the research firm's Innovation Tracking report. Two new meat bar products were launched in March 2014 in the U.S. — a lamb bar from Epic and beef bar from Omnibar. More

Demeritt: Snacking biggest eating occasion
Supermarket News
Fifty percent of all eating occasions are snacks, with the traditional three squares a day composing the other half of eating occasions, said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of the Hartman Group, at a recent FMI Connect session. "Foods that were traditionally were thought as snacks are now being eaten as meals; things that were eaten as meals were now being eaten as snacks," said Demeritt. "We believe when we talk to our clients that you don't necessarily want to tell a consumer when they should be eating your product." The reason that consumers snack has changed beyond just having a sugary craving.More

Nut allergies changing shopper decisions
Progressive Grocer
Approximately 3 million people report having allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, accounting for just over 0.9 percent of the overall population. Although this represents a small consumer segment, broader demographics can be affected by a single allergy sufferer, in turn impacting shopper behavior in the grocery store. According to Rich Products Corp.'s "Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey," of the 1,024 U.S. mothers polled, 56 percent indicated they have received warnings or guidelines from their child's school regarding nut allergies. Due to the resulting concern, some 30 percent of respondents said a nut allergy has influenced a food product they have purchased, and 25 percent were deterred from providing snacks at an event due to nut allergies. More

Grocery stores and the mobile shopper
As in other aspects of commerce, consumers are looking to lean on mobile to aid in their grocery shopping. We know from numerous studies that mobile shoppers in general want to go to physical stores to shop. It turns out that grocery stores are in the same boat, with most (83 percent) shoppers considering traditional grocery stores as a preferred shopping location, based on new research. More

Got milk? More Americans aren't bothering
CBS News
Sales of fluid milk have been tumbling for years and are now at levels not seen since the early 1980s, a worrisome trend for the dairy industry, which is growing concerned that generations are getting used to not drinking one of its signature products. Even sales for flavored milk — a bright spot — have struggled as questions have arisen in Connecticut and other states about its nutritional benefits.More

More US base consolidations on the way in Europe
Stars and Stripes
Recommendations for more base closures and consolidations in Europe will be submitted to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a matter of weeks as part of an ongoing effort to shed unneeded facilities on the Continent, according to the Defense Department.More

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Time and Attendance System (TAS)
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization at Scott AFB intends to issue a solicitation for a time and attendance System for the Defense Commissary Agency on or about June 6th, 2014. The solicitation will not be set-aside for small business concerns. In the following, is the draft solicitation. Please send any questions or comments to the POC indicated in this announcement. More

New Dallas Chapter President

Congratulations to Bill Doyle, the new Dallas Chapter President, and best wishes to Rich Krug and his MSS Team that has led the successful DFW chapter so gallantly over the years. Wishing Bill and Rich the very best in their new roles.More

ALA NY West Point Golf Outing

The ALA NY Chapter is having its annual West Point Golf Outing on Monday, June 23. Proceeds from the event benefit the Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund.

We do not currently have an online registration process - any inquiries can be directed to me at this email address:


Joe Mugnai

Urban Outfitters goes big with new NYC store
At Urban Outfitters' new Manhattan store, you can try on a sweater, sip on a latte and get you hair styled—all without stepping outside its walls. The specialty retailer, known for its eclectic apparel and novelty items, on Saturday opened a 57,000-square-foot store in New York City, complete with a hair salon, coffee bar and record shop.More

Close to half of all US households subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus
Survey says: we are a Netflix nation. Forty-seven percent of all U.S. households subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or a combination of these services, and 49 percent of all households have at least one TV connected to the internet, according to a new study from the Leichtman Research Group about emerging video services. Four years ago, only 24 percent of all households had an internet-connected TV.More

E-commerce retailers open physical locations to augment online stores
Dallas Morning News
When online retailers open stores, they do it with their own twist. This month, Dallas shoppers can see firsthand how two New York-based companies are trying to expand their online business with physical stores. Men's apparel retailer Bonobos (pronounced buh-no-bose) is opening what it calls a guideshop at 1901 N. Henderson Ave. Its customer service model calls for shoppers to make appointments to come to the 1,200-square-foot shop to try on clothes before ordering online. Walk-ins are welcome, too. The shop is a virtual website. There's one of everything to look at and try on in all the fabrics, cuts, styles, sizes, lengths and colors. Once the shopper decides what to buy, the transaction happens online. There’s no inventory for sale in the store.More

Building a personalization powerhouse: The 5 essentials for a rock-solid strategy
National Retail Federation
Certona outlines the essential requirements for retailers to implement a personalization strategy that lives up to the demands of today's savvy consumer.More

Target tries to win hearts and clicks of Gen Y
USA Today
Millennials aren't smitten with Target, and the company knows it. Last fall, Target learned that to millennials, the company is nothing more than a big-box store. Buy from Target online? Who does that? Not millennials, apparently. "Target has traditionally been a store where people want to go in and feel and touch the products," says Jim Porçarelli, chief strategy officer at Active International, a corporate trading company. "It's been a destination."More

Update: Weather, discounts boost May retail sales
The Wall Street Journal
Retailers said sales continued to improve in May as warmer weather and a surge of promotions helped to boost traffic. A strong report from Costco Wholesale Corp., which has a hefty weighting in the Thomson Reuters index that tracks retailers' monthly sales, helped overall results top expectations for the third consecutive month, with teen apparel retailer Buckle Inc. the only one to disappoint. Thomson Reuters said mall traffic improved toward the end of the month, during the Memorial Day weekend. Likewise, many retailers posting quarterly results in recent weeks have noted that sales trends picked up in April and continued in May. More

Home Depot, the place to go for toilet paper?
The Wall Street Journal
Social media marketer Valentina Monte stops by Home Depot every two months. It's her favorite place to buy toilet paper. The 23-year-old often buys books, clothes, shoes and concert tickets online and watches TV shows from Netflix and HBO Go. But she still treks out regularly from her New York City apartment to visit the do-it-yourself store and stock up. It's confusing, but it's no accident. Home Depot Inc. is one of many unlikely retailers betting that consumer staples will boost sales and pull shoppers into their stores. While sales of most electronics and office supplies have rapidly migrated online, sales of soap and paper towels generally haven't, making them magnets for foot traffic.More

Retail employment increased 8,000 in May
National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation calculated retail industry employment gains (excluding autos and gasoline) of 8,000 jobs in May and 237,000 year-over-year. The increase was supported by upward revisions in April, which NRF calculated at an additional 8,000 jobs.More

RadioShack and PCH team up to create new retail pipeline for start-up products
Chain Store News
RadioShack is partnering with hardware manufacturer and accelerator PCH International to create RadioShack Labs, a collaboration to help inventors and start-ups bring their products direct to the market — and hopefully boost store traffic. As part of the agreement, the retailer will open dedicated areas in RadioShack stores that feature new and innovative products from startups. The shops will utilize a direct-to-store model for select products, reducing inventory requirements and increasing inventory turn in the stores. More

What are the hot markets for convenience store growth?
CSP Magazine
Recent acquisitions between major players such as Speedway, Hess, Sunoco and Susser have fueled speculation about where growth — both through M&A and new-builds — will occur in the coming months. CSP Daily News spent some time with c-store development and site-assessment consultant Jim Fisher of IMST Corp., Houston, to see where he thought the investment dollars were flowing.More

Walmart takes 'Savings Catcher' nationwide
Supermarket News
Walmart recently said it would roll out its online price comparison tool, known as Savings Catcher, nationwide later this summer. The proprietary technology — test piloted in several markets this spring — checks competitor ads for items purchased at Walmart, and provides e-gift cards for the difference in price when a competitor's price for eligible items is lower. More

In retail, it's never too early to prepare for the holidays
National Retail Federation
It's June – and you know what that means if you're in retail: It's prime time for holiday season planning. With that in mind, the Retail Insight Center has developed a brief guide to review the 2013 season before diving into 2014.More

Walmart's 'Made in USA' push exposes strains of manufacturing rebirth
hen Walmart pledged last year to buy an extra $250 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next decade, it appeared to be just what was needed to help move America's putative manufacturing renaissance from rhetoric to reality. But suppliers trying to reshore production as part of the initiative by the world's largest retailer are running into practical problems as they try to restart long-idled corners of U.S. manufacturing.More

Slim shirts get slimmer as Nordstrom courts fitter guys
American men over the past decade have embraced the slim-fit shirt styles long favored by their counterparts in Europe and Asia. Now the fashion industry is betting that U.S. guys, spurred on by encouraging partners and the spread of social media, are ready for something more extreme: extra-slim fits, which can be 4 inches smaller around the waist and chest than plain old slim versions.More

Sam's Club launching credit card with chip-enabled security technology
Chain Store Age
Sam's Club announced it will launch a new credit card using EMV chip-enabled technology on June 23, beating Target as the first mass retailer to move to the new technology. The new card — co-branded with MasterCard Inc. and issued by GE Capital Retail Bank — has an embedded chip that makes the card more difficult to duplicate, which provides enhanced security from fraudulent activity, according to Sam's Club.More

Dove, Adidas, JetBlue, others top loyalty program rankings
Advertising Age
Dove, Adidas and JetBlue get high marks for loyalty program satisfaction, according to a new report from Bond Brand Loyalty, which has changed its name from Maritz Loyalty Marketing. In its fourth-annual study of more than 6,000 consumers, the agency found that 69 percent of participants in loyalty programs are satisfied with them.More

Google enlists major shippers to expand delivery service
The Wall Street Journal
Google built a fleet of small blue and white vans to run its local commerce and delivery service Google Shopping Express in parts of San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. But as it expands into less densely populated areas, Google is leaning on other shippers. Google Shopping Express said Tuesday it will expand its overnight-delivery service in coming months across northern California so that it will stretch from the Oregon border to Fresno, roughly 400 miles to the south.More

Clinique website gets mobile-first makeover with live chat capabilities
Mobile Commerce Daily
Estée Lauder Cos.' Clinique activated a new website on June 2 featuring numerous mobile components that allow consumers to choose the right color of foundation, watch informational videos and chat with online representatives. Created with responsive Web design, the new presents the most important information as soon as possible and enables the consumer to shop anywhere and at any time, which will likely encourage more traffic.More

American Eagle to close 150 stores
Chain Store Age
On the heels of disappointing results for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. has decided to close 150 stores in America, including 100 namesake stores. For 2014, the company is planning to close approximately 50 American Eagle and 20 aerie stores in North America. More

Online retailer Gypsy05 to open stores
Chain Store Age
Another online retailer is taking the brick-and-mortar plunge. California lifestyle brand Gypsy05 announced it will open its first two retail locations at the end of this month. After nearly 10 years of business, the brand has decided to open branded Gypsy05 retail stores, in Beverly Hills, and in the Malibu Country Mart in Malibu, California. The brand is set to open a third location, in Orange County, California, later this year, but real estate negotiations have not been completed.More

Macy's to anchor new mall in Hawaii
Chain Store Age
Macy's announced an agreement for Macy's to anchor the new Ka Makana Ali'i in Kapolei in West O'ahu, Hawaii. Current plans call for the 103,000-square-foot, one-level store to open in mid-2016. Ka Makana Ali'i, a major mixed-use project with more than 100 retail, hotel, dining, entertainment and office components, is a project of DeBartolo Development in partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Home LandsMore

Lowe's releases its first-ever set of public sustainability goals
Chain Store Age
Lowe's has released its 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report, which highlight its efforts to promote the well-being of its employees, its communities and the environment. The report includes Lowe's first set of public sustainability goals, which establish new targets for energy use, carbon emissions and waste for the year 2020. More

Walmart US e-commerce names new head as Joel Anderson leaves for Five Below
Chain Store Age
Joel Anderson, president and chief executive officer of, has left the online giant to assume the role of president at Five Below, which targets pre-teens and teens with trendy, extreme-value merchandise priced at $5 and below. Walmart has appointed Fernando Madeira, CEO of's Latin America unit, as the new head of He will relocate from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to San Bruno, California, where Wal-Mart's global e-commerce operation is based.More

7-Eleven HI launching 'Your Neighborhood Store' concept
CSP Magazine
Over the next five years, 7-Eleven Hawaii convenience stores will undergo a $30 million reimaging campaign, which includes remodeling all 61 stores in the Aloha State. Seven-Eleven Hawaii is a subsidiary of Seven & I Holding Co. Ltd. of Japan, which also owns 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas. The makeover and any newly built locations will reflect a more standardized look with the new "Your Neighborhood Store" concept, 7-Eleven Hawaii's president and CEO, Greg Hanna, told Pacific Business News.More

Georgia governor stops gas-tax increase
CSP Magazine
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has stopped a scheduled increase in the state's gasoline excise tax, which was supposed to have taken effect in July. Every six months, the Georgia Department of Revenue adjusts the state motor fuel tax against an average of gas prices. With gas prices in Georgia trending upward — from $3.21 per gallon in January to $3.66 per gallon in early June — the motor fuels tax was set to increase in July by 15 percent. More

Segmentation study of independent c-stores
CSP Magazine
"But I'm different!!!" ... or are you? Each convenience store owner or operator believes in his/her heart that his/her store is "different" from the independent store across the street or the chain store down the road. The dynamics and variability of the convenience channel have indeed created an extremely diverse and fragmented trade-class. But just how different, or similar, are you to other stores and what are the factors that drive differences in store performance? More

Health and wellness centers to close
Air Force Times
The Air Force will do away with health and wellness centers over the next year as it cuts costs and reorganizes its efforts to keep airmen healthy. Once a base mainstay for fitness assessments, health risk appraisals and nutrition and weight counseling, the centers have experienced shrinking staffs over the last several years, chief of health promotion for the Air Force Medical Support Agency Col. John Oh said in an interview with Air Force Times.More