ALA Executive Briefing
Jun. 26, 2015

Budget fight threatens military pay raises
The Hill
Democrats and Republicans are locked in a budget fight that could keep the military from receiving expected pay raises next year.More

Will Obama really veto defense authorization bill?
Military Times
The fate of the usually bipartisan defense authorization bill could hinge on the political fight over spending on nonmilitary programs next year.More

Work: No sequestration 'pretty certain'
Defense News
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work believes a budget deal will be reached to avoid sequestration levels of funding, good news to those in the defense industry who are nervously tracking the budget debate in Washington, D.C.More

Lawmaker: Veto threat undercuts US position in world
Military Times
The head of the House Armed Services Committee blasted President Barack Obama's threats to veto recent defense budget proposals as undermining national security efforts and emboldening international adversaries looking for U.S. weakness.More

Notifications start going out to federal employees affected by data breach
Stars and Stripes (tiered subscription model)
A message from DOD's chief information officer sent to U.S. personnel in Japan said OPM has begun notifying about 4 million federal civilians who may have been victims of the breach.More

Military retirement changes could cut into new, old troops' benefits
Defense One
In an interview, Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain told National Journal that he has been waiting almost 30 years to modernize the compensation of military personnel. He considers this year's proposed changes in retirement benefits to be one of the most significant parts of the Defense bill.More

Leadership openings an opportunity for Carter
Defense News
Ash Carter is on a clock. It's the widely acknowledged truth about his time as secretary of defense — a new president takes office in January 2017, likely bringing along a handpicked new leader for the Pentagon.More

Plan to privatize commissaries killed; 'couples BAH' cut survives
Stars and Stripes (tiered subscription model)
The Senate voted to kill a plan hatched by its armed services committee to privatize five large commissary stores to test the concept of commercial grocers running base stores to save defense dollars. But as the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill moved toward a final floor vote late Thursday, amendments to block other initiatives to curb compensation were denied consideration. Only a modest number of amendments among hundreds drafted got up-or-down votes.More

Congress divided on future of commissary
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
The House and Senate approved their versions of the defense bill, and they don't see eye to eye on the commissary. Senate lawmakers cut $322 million from the commissary budget. A cut this big will lead to increased prices, reduced operating hours and days of operation, and a reduction in store staff. As Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Barbara Mikulski, rejected the commissary cut and provided full funding. House lawmakers rejected the cuts and included full funding for the commissary in the budget. MOAA thanks Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Mikulski, D-Md., for leading the charge to prevent privatization of commissaries.More

'Odd Couple' champions commissary
Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)
One would not immediately associate staunch Republican Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., with proud Democratic Senator Barb Mikulski, D-Md., on many issues. However, given the importance of commissaries as part of nonpay compensation, the two came together for what AFSA believes is a very common sense amendment to the Senate Armed Service Committee version of the National Defense Authorization Act. Related specifically to the commissary issue is AFSA's membership in The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits. Along with some of our VSO friends, many business partners outside the Veterans community that AFSA would not otherwise partner with also belong to this group. We invite you to check them out: Save Our Benefits.More

Senate passes NDAA despite spending controversy
Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)
The Senate approved its version of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act despite a Presidential veto threat and a partisan disagreement over spending. The House and Senate versions bypass sequestration spending limits on the Defense budget by shifting an extra $38 billion into the emergency war fund, which is not included as part the general DoD budget. Only a small number of floor amendments were considered. The Senate approved an FRA-supported amendment to halt the privatization of five stateside commissaries, but deferred other amendments that would advance FRA's legislative agenda.More

Losing faith because of budget impasses
Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
Lasting scars to our nation's national security are forming because of the continued political stalemate over spending priorities, including our financial commitment to defense. While some view the tug-of-war over the budget as a game of political brinksmanship, there are consequences from leaving the military adrift and undirected. Good people are deciding to leave our military because they have lost confidence in the government's commitment to their future. A generation of warriors now hear a constant drumbeat of complaints that taking care of soldiers and their families has become too expensive.More

AAFES offers good jobs for military dependents
NAUS Weekly Update
Day-to-day living is challenging for transient military spouses with children, who suffer an unemployment rate of 30 percent. Nearly 17 percent of approximately 35,000 Exchange associates identify themselves as military spouses. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service spouse continuity and preference programs allow spouses and domestic partners to build a career alongside their service members with each relocation. Complete details on how to apply for a career with the Exchange, along with a listing of current available opportunities, are available at the Exchange Employment website. More

The big changes sweeping the food industry
National Center for Business Journalism
Earlier this spring, Fortune Magazine looked at The War On Big Food. It noted that major packaged food companies lost $4 billion in market share alone in 2014, as shoppers ignored the center aisles of grocery stores in favor of fresh and organic products. But it isn't just a switch from packaged to fresh: Consumers are rethinking how they eat, dine and shop. More

Kroger expanding e-commerce efforts
Food Business News
The Kroger Co. seeks to fuel continued growth by expanding its use of digital technology. Less than a year after acquiring Inc., an online retailer of natural and organic products, the Cincinnati-based supermarket chain is leveraging the company's e-commerce expertise to test and launch new platforms. In the Denver market, Kroger has introduced a new web site with its King Soopers division.More

Top consumer brands pledge to halve food waste by 2025
The world's top food and drink companies have promised to halve the food they waste by 2025, seeking to preempt government regulation prompted by concern about the environmental, economic and social costs of such inefficiency. More

Robot grocery store gives high-tech upgrade to food shopping
Fox News
No more long lines at the grocery store — the future of food shopping is getting a high-tech upgrade. Des Moines, Iowa, is planning to build a first-of-a-kind robotic grocery store as an experiment to offer food and necessities to locals anytime at their convenience. A partnership between the nonprofit Eat Greater Des Moines and the business equipment firm Oasis24seven will see an automated, vending machine-style unit come to the area.More

Genetically modified salmon: Coming to a river near you?
While the debate over whether to label foods containing GMO ingredients plays out across the country, another engineered food has long been waiting to hit grocery stores: Genetically modified salmon. More

Researchers call on government to drop restrictions on total fat consumption in Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus via News-Medical.Net
In a Viewpoint published in the Journal of the Medical Association, researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and Boston Children's Hospital call on the federal government to drop restrictions on total fat consumption in the forthcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. More

European deal creates US grocery Giant
The Associated Press via ABC News
The owner of Stop & Shop and Giant will tie up with the parent company of Food Lion, creating a $29 billion grocer that will be in a stronger position to compete with Wal-Mart and other discount retailers.More

Tablet systems replace registers, satisfy sellers
St. Cloud Times
Basic facets of trade have stayed the same for thousands of years. But ever-developing computer technology is changing transactions. Many now happen through tablets — a pleasing opportunity for some local retailers.More

The 10 biggest retailers in the Fortune 500
Many chains, like the Gap and J.C. Penney, fell down several notches, while discounters, like TJX Cos, parent of Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, and Dollar General, grabbed market share. More

Where do millennials love to shop? Hint: It's based in Bentonville, Arkansas
Advertising Age
What's the hottest big retailer with millennials? Wal-Mart. The reason may be its investment in e-commerce and mobile, or it could be that its low prices resonated during the economic downturn. Or it could be Tommee Tippee baby bottles (read on).More

Welcome back, Wal-Mart greeters
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is keeping a closer eye on the front door. Three years ago, the retailing giant moved its "greeters" away from entrances in many stores so they could double-duty directing shoppers to open registers or tidying shelves. Now, it is experimenting with moving them back, in part to deter theft.More

American retail, as we know it, is dying a slow and painful death
Business Insider
Gap once ruled the retail world. But today, America's largest apparel retailer is closing a quarter of its stores and laying off hundreds of workers after disappointing sales. Gap's closures are indicative of a larger trend in American retail. More

Former Wal-Mart executive buys stake in hardware store Gracious Home
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
A former Wal-Mart executive is hoping to breathe new life into Gracious Home, where New Yorkers have come for 50 years to buy $1,000 Miele vacuum cleaners, $300 Nespresso coffee makers and $20 Olympia tool sets.More

How Lord and Taylor, Urban Outfitters entice you to share your data
Retail chains and large department stores are teaming up with tech startups to get consumers' data. So far, they say, customers don't mind. More

Gap's plan to win you back: Fix the fashion
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)
Gap's plan for a comeback largely is centered a simple premise: It needs to make more desirable, fashionable clothes.More

Reynolds American completes Lorillard acquisition
Reynolds American Inc. has completed its $25.9 billion acquisition, first announced in July 2014, of Lorillard Inc., as well as related divestiture transactions. As a result of the acquisition, Lorillard is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American, and former Lorillard shareholders will own approximately 15% of Reynolds American's common stock.More

CrossAmerica to acquire One Stop convenience-store chain
CrossAmerica Partners LP has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the One Stop convenience-store network based in Charleston, West Virginia.More

New Convenience Store Roundup for May 2015
This edition of New C-Store Roundup features new convenience-store openings, sales, acquisitions and store closings with listings for the month of May 2015.More

How CVS' acquisition of Target's pharmacies could threaten C-stores
In a deal that will affect both the convenience-store and drug-store channels, CVS Health Corp. and Target Corp. have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for CVS Health to acquire Target's pharmacy and clinic businesses for approximately $1.9 billion.More

Infographic: Tips for C-stores to 'leverage their locale'
Convenience-store shoppers' needs vary depending on whether they are shopping in the city versus the suburbs, according to General Mills Convenience & Foodservice, which conducted a survey to learn more about usage and desired offerings among urban, suburban and rural convenience-store shoppers.More

Career, corporate moves at Circle K, Gate, Pantry, Pilot Flying J, RaceTrac, 7-Eleven, more
The staff of CSPedia, CSP Business Media's online encyclopedia of convenience-store chains, gathers news and insights and updates the listings for the nearly 500 retailers in its database on a daily basis. CSPedia delivers a monthly summary of these reports, often news not yet announced publicly, to its subscribers. Here is a collection of some of the news and people updates from May 2015.More

North Carolina: The rest of the story: Pool's closure leaves swimmers hot
The Fayetteville Observer
Jeers to Fort Bragg's Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatics department.More

Missouri: FMWR ready to make summer sizzle with family activities
Fort Leonard Wood Guidon
As much as your kids will tell you they can't wait for summer, the words "I'm bored," inevitably cross their lips — sometimes sooner than you think. While children enjoy the freedom that comes with summer, they still like to have a little structure to their fun. Children of all ages have the opportunity to participate in a variety of healthy, fun and educational activities this summer with Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Following are activities that will help your Family take full advantage of summer.More

Missouri: Volunteers give back more than $2 million in service
Fort Leonard Wood Guidon
The U.S. Army Volunteer Corps presented a ceremonial check for $2,251,055 to Col. Andy Herbst, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Tyson Goolsby, USAG Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major. The check, presented at the annual Installation Volunteers Corps Recognition Awards Ceremony June 11 at Pershing Community Center, represented the monetary value of services volunteers provide to the installation. More