ALA Executive Briefing
Jun. 27, 2014

US Senate confirms Morin, Wright
Defense News
The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jamie Morin to head the Pentagon's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office and Jessica Wright to be the undersecretary for personnel and readiness. The approval, by voice vote, comes nearly six months after President Barack Obama nominated the two for the positions.More

Senator Inhofe to fellow Republicans: Submit NDAA amendments now
Defense News
Senior U.S. senators are still working on an agreement for floor amendments to a 2015 Pentagon policy bill, and its Republican manager wants his colleagues to get their amendments in now to avoid a repeat of last year's chaos. Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told reporters that a final plan for how to handle floor debate and amendments has yet to be finalized. Moments later, SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the same.More

Congress has one hurdle left to pass a VA bill, but it's a high one
National Journal
The House and Senate have agreed it's time for reform of the Veterans Affairs Department. Now they have to agree how to pay for it—and they have to do it quickly. More than two dozen House and Senate lawmakers meet Tuesday to formally begin negotiations aimed at merging the two chamber's VA reform bills into one. The measures have some minor discrepancies, but the big challenge is how much the reforms will cost and where the federal government will find the funding.More

House chairman pushes to broaden funding for VA reform bill
The Hill
House Veterans' Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., recently said lawmakers may broaden their search to pay for an overhaul of the troubled department. "We're going to have to go outside of the VA to look for other offsets," Miller, co-chairman of a bipartisan committee aimed at developing legislation to reform the VA, told reporters after the panel's inaugural hearing. More

Program buy for fresh beef and frozen coarse ground beef
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is seeking potential sources and information in anticipation of a requirement to provide and deliver fresh beef and frozen coarse ground beef products to Europe Area, Central Meat Processing Plant (CMPP). The contractor will be required to have (Electronic Data Interchange) EDI capabilities and to fulfill the Agency's requirements on delivery to the Port of Embarkation (Norfolk, Virginia) for Government transshipment.More

Linen/rental and cleaning services
Federal Business Opportunities
Linen/mat rental and cleaning services for the following locations: New London, CT; Dover, DE; Bangor, ME; Portsmouth, NH; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Hamilton, NY; Mitchel Field, NY; Saratoga Springs, NY; West Point, NY; Lakehurst, NJ; McGuire AFB, NJ; Picatinny, NJ; Pittsburg (formerly CE Kelly), PA; Tobyhanna, PA; Newport, RI; Charleston AFB, SC; Charleston NWS, SC; Fort Jackson, SC; Parris Island, SC and Shaw AFB, SC. The Period of Performance is Sept. 1, 2014 through Aug. 31, 2015, and will include four one-year option periods that may extend performance through Aug. 31, 2019.More

Deli/bakery resale operations 17 commissaries in GA, NC, and SC
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is seeking a contractor/contractors with current relevant qualifications, experience, personnel, and capability to provide the labor, management and assorted food products necessary to support In- Store Delicatessen and Bakery Resale Operations (to include hot foods and sushi) in U.S. Military commissaries. Solicitation HDEC02-14-R-0002 will be issued for this requirement on or about July 15, 2014. The solicitation will be available for download on the internet at FedBizOPPS ( on its issue date. The NAICS code is 722310 for this requirement, and the size standard is $35.5 million. More

Nielsen rewards innovations of successful new products
The New York Times
It's tough being a consumer products company. Of the nearly 3,500 new consumer goods introduced in 2012, just 14 managed to generate at least $50 million in sales in their first year and sustain that momentum into their second, according to the market research group Nielsen.More

Like father, like son: Beverage brands adopt vertical marketing strategies
Beverage Daily
Euromonitor International has clocked an emerging beverage industry trend, whereby manufacturers of premium and healthy beverages are creating child oriented extensions of adult brands. The trend is gaining momentum as the millennial generation of young adults begins to start families and their purchasing habits impact the beverage choices they make for their children.More

Kellogg's plops cereal into snack pouches
USA Today
Kellogg's hopes that it finally has figured out how to keep cereal sales from getting soggier: Sell it in pouches. Goodbye cereal bowl. Hello snack pack — suitable for stuffing into a lunch box, briefcase or purse.More

Pitching cereal for dinner and late nights
The Wall Street Journal
Cereal companies are zeroing in on behaviors they largely ignored in the past: what they call off-breakfast eating. That means adults eating cereal at night or children snacking on it throughout the day. As a hint to consumers, Kellogg Co., the largest seller of cereal in the U.S., recently put Special K Chocolate Almond, Frosted Mini-Wheats and other cereals in boxes with a starry night sky backdrop. Around 20 percent of cereal eating happens outside of breakfast, but some still feel guilty about cereal for dinner or at other times, says Jim Murphy, president of Big G, the cereal division of General Mills Inc.More

Macho yogurt, nuts and eco-eating: Why there's still growth in protein
Growing consumer interest in positive nutrition, demographic shifts, new eating patterns, recent scientific findings, and the recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans all point to a bright future for protein-rich foods and beverages, according to the latest "Culinary Trend Tracking Series" report from Packaged Facts titled "Proteins—Classics, Alternative and Exotic Sources". More

Kroger is the new king of healthy foods
Customers are gobbling up products from America's largest supermarket chain, and investors are eating up Kroger stock. The company recently revealed strong earnings, especially in its healthy foods department. Profits were up about 4 percent, and sales jumped 10 percent to nearly $33 billion, according to Kroger's most recent quarterly filing.More

Commissaries, exchanges, FMWR partner for Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival
The Fort Huachuca Scout
The Defense Commissary Agency has launched the Healthy Lifestyle Festival June 6 through July 6 at 236 installations worldwide, including Fort Huachuca. This inaugural event will allow patrons to see discounted prices on produce at commissary farmers markets, savings on workout equipment at exchanges and fitness events hosted by installation morale, welfare and recreation activities. Fort Huachuca will celebrate its Healthy Lifestyle Festival July 1–3. With the theme "Shop Healthy! Eat Healthy! Be Healthy!" the festival reinforces the health and wellness goals of the military community, said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph Jeu.More

Survey finds pet parents are seeking whole pet health solutions at grocery
Grocery Headquarters
Grocery aisles are filled with all sorts of premium options, from gluten-free products to natural and specialty foods. But pet parents who want those same healthy choices for their dog or cat still have to make a separate trip to specialty pet stores for premium all natural selections, instead of feeding their whole family from one convenient place, industry observers say. More

Expert: Traceable US-sold seafood a must
Progressive Grocer
While some suppliers may see President Barack Obama's recent call for all seafood sold in United States to be sustainable and traceable as an example of governmental overreach, according to a seafood business and traceability expert, it's a good thing. "Global seafood supply chains are long and complex, and 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported," explained Phil Werdal, CEO of Seattle-based Trace Register. More

Starbucks to raise prices on some drinks, packaged coffee
Prairie Business
Starbucks Corp. recently said it will raise prices on some drinks offered by its U.S. shops and also boost list prices on its own brand of packaged coffee sold in supermarkets and other retail outlets. The action comes just weeks after J.M. Smucker Co. raised list prices of its well-known Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts brands, for the first time since 2011 because of soaring green coffee costs.More

Why rising food costs may not hit consumers
From meat to produce and cocoa, food prices have climbed significantly lately — but food and grocery companies might not pass that cost on to the consumer. Nestle USA's CEO Paul Grimwood said the world's largest consumer goods firm has experienced "a little bit of inflation in the marketplace." But the food and beverage giant, with products ranging from Gerber baby food and Nescafe coffee to Kit Kat chocolate and Maggi soups, has so far offset costs thanks to improved efficiency at its factories. More

Bishop study: Conventional formats up 1 percent, non-traditional up 3.1 percent
Supermarket News
Sales within traditional grocery formats increased 1 percent during 2013, while sales within non-traditional formats rose 3.1 percent, according to an annual survey by Willard Bishop, Barrington, Illinois. Traditional grocery formats accounted for sales of $522.8 billion last year, with a market share of 46 percent, down slightly from 46.5 percent in 2012, while non-traditional grocery sales rose to $442.1 billion, or 39 percent, compared with 38.6 percent a year ago.More

5 things volunteers need to hear you say
By Deborah Wipf
Volunteers who are dedicated, trustworthy and willing to work hard are incredible assets to any organization. If your current volunteer program is struggling, you might be surprised at how many people would be willing to serve if they were offered the chance. Paying closer attention to how and what you communicate just might be the catalyst you need to grow your volunteer team. More

As wars end, Army and other branches of the military cut enlistment goals
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
For the people who make it, joining the Army can seem too easy. "I was honestly surprised that there weren't more limitations," said Clayton Meier, 18, of Bethel Park when he and more than a dozen other enlistees completed a sprinting exercise led by a recruiter. Yet disqualifications are easy to come by.More

'Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival' coming to Fort Meade
Fort Meade SoundOff
The Defense Commissary Agency's "Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival" is running through July 6 at 236 installations worldwide. This inaugural event allows patrons to see discounted prices on produce at commissary farmers markets, savings on workout equipment at Exchanges, and fitness events hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities. Fort Meade will host its festival June 27-29.More

Dear Supplier:

The Exchange has updated the published guidance regarding the Vendor Compliance Program. Please note that the following infractions will be charged against the supplier beginning 1 July, 2014.

Invoices will be paid promptly and correctly if vendors follow the requirements outlined in the Exchange Terms and Conditions and Supplier Requirements Guides.

To view the updated guidance please see the Vendor Compliance Program under “Doing Business with the Exchange” on the Shop My Exchange website.

The Exchange
Army Air Force Exchange Service
Supplier Compliance Program More

Decision on tobacco sales awaits DoD review
Marine Corps Times
The Navy's efforts to eliminate tobacco sales on Navy and Marine Corps bases are on hold as a comprehensive Defense Department-wide review of tobacco policies gets underway. Previously, sources said the Navy was on track to eliminate tobacco sales on its bases by mid-April. But to date, no changes or decisions have been made, said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Richlyn Ivey on June 4, adding that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is reviewing the policies.More

Senators push to end military tobacco discounts
Two senators recently called on the Defense Department to eliminate discounts on tobacco sales throughout the military as a cost-cutting measure in an era of tight budgets. "That's something that needs to go," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on the Fiscal Year 2015 military budget.More

US retail sales rise less than expected in May
U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in May, but that probably will do little to change expectations of an acceleration in growth this quarter as data for the prior months was revised higher.More

Judge rules J.C. Penney 'interfered' in Macy's/Martha Stewart deal
Chain Store Age
In a long-awaited ruling handed down Monday by the New York State Supreme Court, J.C. Penney has been found to have "tortuously" interfered with Macy's 2006 contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia when Penney entered into its own contract with Martha Stewart in 2011.More

Apple to make 3-5 million smartwatches monthly, sales begin October
Apple Inc is preparing to sell its first wearable device this October, aiming to produce 3 million to 5 million smartwatches a month in its initial run, the Nikkei reported on Friday, citing an unidentified parts supplier and sources familiar with the matter.More

Why Microsoft is wrapping location-based ads around retail stores
Microsoft plans to open five stores this month to get to its 100th North American location since getting into retail game a few years ago. The tech brand has dramatically grown its merchant presence, adding 50 shops in the last several months. More

The end of the shopping center: Postponed
With the rise of e-commerce, who needs shopping centers or malls? Amazon will ship whatever we need right to our door – maybe by even sending a cool little drone buzzing around our neighborhood one day. But with all of that one-click convenience, online shopping is projected to account for just 5-6 percent of consumer packaged goods sales in 2015, according to Nielsen.More

Brick-and-mortar retailers need to make customers feel they're walking into a website
While less than 10 percent of U.S. retail purchases are made online, given how many online shoppers use websites for research and exploration, creating a compelling and cohesive experience can make financial sense. There's also a more porous customer experience emerging.More

Survey: Consumers want easier online shopping
Chain Store Age
Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services, and also want websites and stores to work better together. For now, according to a new survey of 5,800 consumers from UPS and comScore Inc., they also prefer to evaluate and purchase products from their desktops rather than their mobile devices, and when it comes to shipping and returns, "free" is a driving factor to complete the sale.More

Should Amazon and eBay worry?
National Retail Federation
That's the question retail experts have been mulling since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced plans for an initial public offering. The largest online retailer in China, Alibaba does business in the largest e-commerce market in the world, boasts more than 20,000 employees and is reported to have posted revenues closing in on $8 billion last year. The company's business model is based on generating revenue through sales of service and marketing agreements; millions of merchants in China rely on Alibaba's platform for their own businesses.More

Online shopping's hot product: Free shipping
The Wall Street Journal
Free shipping conquers all in the online world of shopping. That's a main finding of United Parcel Service Inc.'s 2014 "Pulse of the Online Shopper" survey conducted by comScore. A whopping 93 percent of shoppers have taken some type of action while shopping online in order to qualify for free shipping. Those actions range from adding more items to a cart (58 percent) to choosing the slowest transit time (50 percent) to searching for a promo code (47 percent).More

With Amazon in sight, IBM will offer retail clients same-day delivery tool
Big retail companies that work with IBM to run their stores' technology systems have been asking for an easy way to offer their customers a same-day delivery option on their purchases. IBM has now chosen a partner to try to make that a reality.More

Walmart takes on 'To Go'
CSP Magazine
In its home turf of Bentonville, Arkansas, the nation's largest big-box merchant is testing the waters of convenience retail, opening its first Walmart To Go store in early spring. The retail giant is testing "new ways of bringing convenient solutions to our customers," according to a Walmart spokesperson.More

Rivals, price wars put pressure on Dollar General
The Wall Stteet Journal
Somehow, "Ninety-Six Cents Store" doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Nevertheless, dollar stores, including Dollar General Corp. , have been taking a scalpel to prices. That may show up as pressure on the company's profit margins in fiscal first-quarter results.More

Target testing same-day shipping from stores
Pioneer Press
When Twin Cities Target shoppers make an online or mobile purchase, they can now elect to have it delivered to them that same evening — for an extra $10. The retailer's new Rush Delivery service, which is available on a trial basis in Boston, Miami and the Twin Cities metro area, debuted this past and is expected to be fully operational soon. More

Big retailers agree to list unit prices on websites
The New York Times
Is that television-size box of graham crackers at Costco really a better deal than a standard box at Walmart? Soon, online customers won't have to do the math to figure it out. Some of the country's largest supermarkets and drugstores have agreed to display prices by unit of measurement, as well as by item, on their websites and mobile apps, to help customers slice though the confusion that sometimes arises from different packaging and discounts.More

Wal-Mart's tech lab buys Stylr mobile fashion app
Chain Store Age
@WalmartLabs, the Silicon Valley-based tech R&D and innovation arm of Wal-Mart Stores, has acquired Stylr, a mobile fashion app that helps shoppers finds clothes in nearby stores. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. More

How locationing and the Internet of Things will reshape retail
Chain Store Age
The Internet of Things opens the door to new technologies that will have a significant impact on brick-and-mortar stores. Everything and everyone in the store will be connected in real time and retailers will become as connected as their online counterparts. This will create a personalized environment not only for store associates and managers, but also for shoppers.More

Top 10 most innovative retail companies
Chain Store Age
From the 156-year-old Macy's to the online startup Zady, Fast Company's annual ranking of "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail" shows how diverse the retail landscape had become — and the changing nature of retail innovation. More

Dollar General to open stores in three new states
Chain Store Age
Dollar General plans to expand its nationwide presence into three new states within the next year, increasing the company's presence to 43 states across the country. The discount retailer will begin construction on stores in Maine and Rhode Island in fall 2014, with plans to expand into Oregon in early 2015. More

Report: Coach to close 70 stores
Chain Store Age
Coach plans to shutter about 70 underperforming stores in fiscal 2015, Crain's New York reported. The retailer, which has been under heavy competitive pressure from Michael Kors and other upscale companies, also gave a disappointing revenue forecast for its current fiscal year. More

Walmart to open new e-commerce fulfillment center, in Indiana
Chain Store Age
Walmart will open a new dedicated e-commerce fulfillment, in the Indianapolis suburb of Plainview. The 1.2 million-square-foot facility is expected to open in early 2015. Walmart's other online dedicated centers are located in Texas and Pennsylvania. More

Report: Abercrombie installing in-store mobile charging stations
Chain Store Age
Abercrombie & Fitch is reportedly rolling out charging stations for mobile phones and tablets in its stores. According to TheStreet, there are currently two Abercrombie & Fitch stores with mobile charging stations installed, and the retailer plans to roll out the stations at several more Abercrombie and Hollister stores by the end of the year.More

Top performers: Bottom's up
CSP Magazine
As the industry comes to grip with the growing divide between larger chains with greater resources and the independent operator, the SOI data continues is revealing a new twist: the revenge of the small retailer. If last year's data is any indication, the bottom-performing 25 percent of stores in the SOI research are trying to regain ground.More

US Representative promises federal tax on sugary drinks
CSP Magazine
Expect a proposed federal tax on sugary drinks as the next attack on beverages, following on the heels of actions in New York and California. U.S. Rep. Laura DeLauro, D-Conn., announced this past week that she is "working on legislation right now to tax sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas in a way that reflects the serious damage they are doing to our health. I hope to introduce legislation in a matter of weeks."More

Retailers lash out at Christie's e-cig tax
CSP Magazine
Electronic cigarette manufacturers like Lorillard (maker of blu Ecigs) and NJOY aren't the only ones speaking out against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's proposal to levy 75 percent tax on vaping products. Nearly 50 independent electronic cigarette retailers have formed the New Jersey Vapor Retailers Coalition to fight the legislation.More

Decision on tobacco sales awaits DoD review
Marine Corps Times
The Navy's efforts to eliminate tobacco sales on Navy and Marine Corps bases are on hold as a comprehensive Defense Department-wide review of tobacco policies gets underway. Previously, sources said the Navy was on track to eliminate tobacco sales on its bases by mid-April. But to date, no changes or decisions have been made, said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Richlyn Ivey on June 4, adding that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is reviewing the policies.More

Army brass suit up for Washington Nationals' Army Day
Marine Corps Times
It was Army Day at the Washington Nationals' ballpark this past week. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno threw out the first pitch. Sergeant Major of the Army Ray Chandler did lineup card delivery. Secretary John McHugh delivered the game ball. And Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, the intel chief, announced it's time to "Play ball." More