ALA Executive Briefing
Jul. 5, 2013

Defense contractors and military personnel can't fill In for furloughed civilians
Government Executive
During furlough days set to begin July 8, Defense Department managers may not "borrow military manpower" nor step up assignments to contractors to make up for idled civilian employees, a Pentagon official recently directed.More

Federal worker unions make push to stop Defense furloughs
The Washington Post
A coalition of federal employee unions recently launched a campaign to stop the Pentagon from imposing 11 furlough days that are set to begin next week for its Defense Department civilian workers.More

Air Force picks Fort Bliss: 10,000 airmen annually would use new training center
El Paso Times
The U.S. Air Force is looking to move its newly configured Security Forces Regional Training Center to Fort Bliss, the military's preferred site for the training operation, officials recently announced.More

Gay, lesbian spouses to gain full military benefits
Pensacola News Journal
Gay and lesbian military spouses soon will have the same benefits as traditional spouses to include military health coverage, base shopping, travel reimbursements for military moves and the larger "with dependent" housing allowances or, when available, access to base housing instead.More

They said the sequester would be scary ... Mostly, they were wrong
The Washington Post
Before "sequestration" took effect, the Obama administration issued specific — and alarming — predictions about what it would bring. There would be one-hour waits at airport security. Four-hour waits at border crossings. Prison guards would be furloughed for 12 days. FBI agents, up to 14. At the Pentagon, the military health program would be unable to pay its bills for service members. But none of those things happened.More

Pentagon civilian workers in Germany get raises while those in US get cuts
McClatchy Newspapers
American civilian employees of the Defense Department have put up with pay freezes and are going on furloughs starting next week, but German civilian workers at U.S. military bases in Germany are getting a pay increase. More

Chandler chosen as one of the 'Top Women in Grocery'
By Jessica Rouse, DeCA public affairs specialist
Joyce Chandler, chief of DeCA's perishable division, has been chosen by Progressive Grocer as one of the Top Women in Grocery for 2013.

Since 2007, Progressive Grocer has honored the best women in the grocery retail industry, recognizing their contributions to growing their company's bottom line or mentoring other employees. This year, Chandler is one of 81 senior-level executives who were chosen out of 235 submissions. She is the first DeCA employee ever chosen for this award, according to Progressive Grocer.

"This is a great honor for Joyce," said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO. "Her hard work and determination over the years have been extremely influential here at DeCA. This national award recognizes all that she’s accomplished, and we are very proud of her and her achievements."

Chandler started her commissary career with the U.S. Army's Troop Support Agency, the precursor to DeCA, in 1975 as an ID card/sales store checker at the Fort Eustis Commissary, Va. Through the years, she rose through the ranks and held a number of different positions, including commissary officer, commissary management specialist and member of the Commissary Transition Team in 1991 that helped form the Defense Commissary Agency.

"To be recognized at this level, the national level, is just incredible; it's an honor," said Chandler. "But, it's not just me – I have great employees, and they have helped me achieve this award."

Chandler is also one of the founding members of DeCA's Category Management Team, which centralized buying for DeCA in the mid-1990s. She created the original category buying assignments. She also created the first club pack program and promotional plan, which DeCA still uses today.

"This award means two things for DeCA: we support women in leadership roles throughout this agency," said Jeu, "and we have some of the best minds in the business."

"It speaks volumes to the type of agency we work for," said Chandler. "And we have women who can stand up to the criteria others are held to outside the military base."

Chandler and the other recipients were featured in Progressive Grocer's June 2013 issue. Progressive Grocer will host a gala awards celebration for their Top Women in Grocery recipients Nov. 5 in Wheeling, Ill.More

ConAgra increasing consumer pull for brands
Food Business News
Acquisitions and good organic volume performance spurred 8 percent sales growth in the Consumer Foods unit of ConAgra Foods, Inc. during the fiscal year ended May 26. Operating income also improved year-over-year, climbing 4 percent to $1,096.5 million in fiscal 2013 from $1,053.3 million in fiscal 2012.More

Kroger, Macy's among nation's top selling retailers
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Two Cincinnati-based companies — The Kroger Co. and Macy's Inc. — remain entrenched on a list of the nation’s largest retailers for U.S. sales. The National Retail Federation's STORES magazine lists Kroger as the nation's No. 2 retailer reporting more than $92 billion in sales last year and Macy's was the No. 14 retailer with $26.3 billion in sales. London-based Kantar Retail compiled the data.More

September worldwide case lot sale cancelled
The Defense Commissary Agency is cancelling its September case lot sale because of budgetary reductions mandated under sequestration. This announcement follows DeCA's decision in February to cancel the May case lot sale. The case lot cancellations are part of ongoing steps to reduce operating costs wherever possible. Those steps include a hiring freeze, restrictions for official travel, and postponement of all Guard and Reserve on-site sales after July 8 until further notice.More

Commissary best on a military budget
Fort Hood Herald
Thanks to a recent Washington Post article, which highlighted a proposal pitched three years ago to trim Defense Department spending by cutting commissaries, this military benefit has become the subject of debate. Just questioning the necessity of the on-post grocery stores provided through taxpayer funds sent many military bloggers and columnists into a frenzy. More

Produce shows sales gains
Supermarket News
Fresh fruit and vegetables both posted sales gains the first quarter of this year over the same period a year earlier, according to the latest edition of FreshFacts for Retail, a quarterly research report from The United Fresh Foundation. Produce departments as a whole experienced a 2% increase in volume sales, and 7 percent increase in average dollar sales, spurred by a 4.9 percent increase in retail prices. More

Senate panel to examine Smithfield Foods deal
The Wall Street Journal
The Senate Agriculture Committee scheduled a hearing next month on the proposed $4.7 billion takeover of pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc. by a Chinese company and ensuring domestic food safety in the face of similar transactions in the future. Committee head Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said Smithfield Chief Executive Larry Pope would be among those testifying on July 10. More

Gluten-free, high-protein mark General Mills launches
Food Business News
Launches planned for fiscal 2014 across General Mills, Inc.'s broad scope of businesses reflect consumer trends in high-protein snacks, bold flavors, gluten-free and on-the-go eating. The company offered a glimpse of its robust pipeline during a June 26 call with financial analysts to discuss fiscal 2013 earnings.More

General Mills: US cereal decline can be beaten if you're clever
Bakery and Snacks
The U.S. cereal category has been in a steady state of decline for the past decade but General Mills' CEO says that when you have the right message and innovation, cereal brands respond well in the market.More

Exterminating and pest control services at Fort Lewis and McChord AFB
Federal Business Opportunities
Pest Management Services, Ft. Lewis and McChord Commissaries, Washington. The Period of Performance will be for a base period of Sept. 1, 2013 through Aug. 31, 2014, and will include four one-year option periods that may extend performance through August 31, 2018. This Request for Quotation will be issued on or about July 9, 2013 with a tentative closing date of Aug. 2, 2013.More

USDA: Food prices to climb this year
Supermarket News
Total food prices this calendar year will rise 2.5 to 3.5 percent, according to a forecast by the USDA's Economic Research Service. Much of the rise will result from the delayed effects of last year's drought in the Midwest.More

FreshFacts report: Fresh produce Q1 sales, volume up
Progressive Grocer
Fresh produce saw positive dollar and volume sales in the first quarter of 2013, a strong start to the year. Organic fruits and vegetables and value-added categories also posted positive overall dollar and volume growth compared to the same period last year, according to the latest edition of FreshFacts on Retail, the quarterly retail research report of the United Fresh Foundation. More

Cracker Barrel restaurant's products barred from supermarkets
The Huffington Post
You won't likely be seeing branded products from country restaurant chain Cracker Barrel in your supermarket anytime soon. Recently, a federal judge in Chicago temporarily barred Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. from selling such products or other foods in grocery stores. The ruling is in favor of Kraft Foods, which had sued Cracker Barrel on grounds that the chain's products could too-easily be confused for Kraft's trademarked Cracker Barrel brand cheese. Cracker Barrel has countered that it does not intend to sell cheese products, only ham, bacon and other meats.More

Supermarkets are a gluten minefield
Los Angeles Times
Avoiding gluten seems like a straightforward, if less-than-pleasant, proposition, right? There's gluten in wheat, barley and rye. So most breads, cakes, cookies — even fish sticks and chicken nuggets — are obviously out. But would you think about a marinade? Or soup?More

Do supermarkets use loyalty cards to exert power over 'unruly' customers?
Are customers always right, or do their choices — when captured by the technology of loyalty cards — in fact enable producers to gain subtle forms of control over them? That is the paradox revealed by Antony Beckett's analysis of loyalty cards and of the balance of power between customers and retailers.More

5 ways to see the supermarket of the future today
Imagine if you will: Agropolis, a supermarket where all your produce is hydroponically grown right there in the store. Even living in dense, urban areas you'd have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. More

15-item comparison offers glimpse of prices at area stores
Fort Hood Herald
Rose L Thayer writes, "I'll admit, I was a skeptic on the savings the commissary provides. I thought off-post stores would take the edge over the commissary, because while each offers its own off-brand, the commissary only sells name-brand products."More

Army to cut its forces by 80,000 in 5 years
The New York Times
Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, recently said that the Army would institute the largest organizational change since World War II by eliminating combat forces from 10 bases across the United States, part of a planned reduction of 80,000 active-duty troops over the next five years.More

Obama to suspend trade privileges with Bangladesh
The New York Times
The Obama administration recently announced plans to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh over concerns about safety problems and labor rights violations in the country's garment industry. More

J.C. Penney betting on improvements in display, inventory to draw customers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
There is forgiveness at the mall. Just ask Cheryl Sullivan and Gaye Pinti, who were shopping at the J.C. Penney store at the Mall at Robinson this week. They came in to check out the store's revamped home department, fully aware of the retailer's troubles.More

Bed Bath & Beyond has dreamy Q1
Chain Store Age
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. reported positive financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Although net earnings fell from $206.8 million to $202.5 million, net earnings per diluted share increased roughly 4.5 percent from $0.89 to $0.93. More

Brick-and-mortar sales soar in spring
Chain Store Age
Brick-and-mortar retail sales soared during this past spring, according to new metrics from RetailNext. Using its in-store analytics platform to collect metrics on millions of shopping trips to department stores and specialty retailers nationwide, RetailNext studied and released its analysis of traffic, conversion, sales and average transaction values for the spring season, including the four holidays of Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day and Father's Day, as well as the days leading up to Father's Day and Easter Sunday. More

B&N's mystery of vanishing sales
The Wall Street Journal
Even as Barnes & Noble Inc. scales back on the tablet front, it faces a struggle to compete in its core business of selling print books. One question is whether a change in merchandising mix is helping or hurting.More

Wal-Mart ends relationship with Paula Deen
The Wall Street Journal
Recently, Wal-Mart cut ties with the Paula Deen brand due to news of the celebrity using racial slurs. The retailer began selling the Deen brand a few years ago. More

Q&A: How private labels are rebranding retailers
While the importance of private labels may have grown at hyperspeed during the recession, there's no sign of slowed growth yet. For consumers, they often represent high quality at a better price. For retailers, they provide a terrific way to bond with shoppers. And for national brands, they represent a headache that just won't go away. More

New kiosks at 7-Eleven stores will store your keys
NY Daily News
A local startup has found the key to never getting locked out of your apartment again. Ever stumble home from a bar late at night, only to learn that you've lost your keys and there's no spare in site? Long Island City-based KeyMe is looking to solve that problem with self-service kiosks that store a digital copy of your key. If your key gets lost, just head back to a KeyMe kiosk and get a new one, day or night. These key-keepers recently went up in five 7-Eleven stores across Manhattan.More

Closing arguments in Macy's-JC Penney suit set for Aug. 1
Chain Store Age
Closing arguments for the lawsuit Macy's filed against J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia last year are scheduled to commence Aug. 1, according to a report in Reuters. The suit claims a December 2011 agreement to create Martha Stewart boutiques in J.C. Penney stores violated Macy's exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart Living products.More

Starbucks raises some prices
Chain Store Age
Starbucks has enacted small increases in the prices of less than one-third of its beverages in select markets. The increases, which average about 1 percent, affect smaller sizes of brewed coffee, tea, latte and espresso drinks. Larger venti- and grande-sized drinks will not have their prices changed.More

Barnes & Noble pulls back after losses in tablet wars
The Wall Street Journal
After spending hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to compete with Inc. and Apple Inc. in the market for tablets and e-readers, Barnes & Noble Inc. is beating a retreat. The bookseller recently said losses at its Nook digital business more than doubled in the quarter ended April 27, easily wiping out profits generated at its bookstores. As a result, Barnes & Noble said it would stop producing its own color tablets, in favor of co-branded devices made by third-party manufacturers.More

Wal-Mart gets a boost from local price-comparison ads
Advertising Age
Wal-Mart's same-store sales recently slowed as the retailer took hits on sales of big-ticket items because of late tax refunds and a late spring. But the company continues to gain market share in groceries and consumables.More

Personal shoppers offer support for those averse to the mall
The Montreal Gazette
Some women live to shop. Some might even call it a hobby, vocation or even an addiction. The heady excitement that comes from searching for and finding that perfect garment or accessory to add to one's wardrobe can be likened to a sartorial drug. And then there's the flip side. The people who'd rather not ever step inside a store because the very idea of "shopping" is enough to induce a panic attack. Enter personal shoppers. More

Consumer confidence in June rises more than expected
Chain Store Age
A report recently released by Bloomberg on Tuesday said that confidence among American consumers in June surpassed expectations, climbing to the highest level in more than five years. The Conference Board's index rose to 81.4, beating Bloomberg forecasts of 75.1 and reaching the highest point since January 2008. The index reached 74.3 in May. More

As Seen On TV gives power to the people
Chain Store Age
Multichannel retailer/product marketer As Seen On TV is taking advantage of the burgeoning crowd-funding trend to let its customers help decide what new products will be available for sale. Partnering with crowd-funding software provider Launcht Inc., As Seen On TV will allow inventors to upload video, images, design specifications and marketing strategies relating to their product ideas onto its e-commerce site.More

Neiman Marcus files for IPO
The Wall Street Journal
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Inc. filed plans for an estimated initial public offering of as much as $100 million in stock, looking to return to public markets about eight years after it was bought by TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus LLC for $5.1 billion in cash and debt. More

The Container Store's cross-channel model Blog
The following case study profiles how The Container Store's organizational structure has been instrumental in developing the company's advanced customer-facing and cross-channel capabilities. This follows the recent release of "Organizational Structure for the Future of Retail: The Digital Effect" and the accompanying workbook-style "Self-Assessment Framework" conducted with research partner Okamura Consulting and sponsored by DataStax. As you'll see, The Container Store's customer experience approach has produced digital and in-store services that complement and truly bolster one another.More

7 ways retailers can keep customers coming back
Chain Store Age
Retail today is supposed to be all about the experience. After all, it's so easy to shop online. And yet so many retailers could be providing a much richer customer experience if they only made a few simple changes that meet customers' needs and expectations.More

Top 100 Retailers (AAFES No. 43)
In this digital age, it seems remarkable that bricks-and-mortar retailers have displayed such staying power. But only two truly pure-play online merchants appear in STORES magazine's annual report on the nation's Top 100 Retailers, and it just may be that traditional retailers do all the heavy lifting when it comes to pushing goods through the consumer pipeline.More

STORES' 2013 Top 100 Retailers list shows continued industry growth
National Retail Federation
In any competitive market it takes true ingenuity to remain at the top, and for retailers, the stakes are even higher. According to STORES' 2013 Top 100 Retailers list, nine of the top 10 retailers maintained their status from last year. The annual ranking of U.S. retailers by domestic sales, featured in the July issue of STORES magazine, was compiled by Kantar Retail and sponsored by Island Pacific and Kronos®. More

NACS, SIGMA present industry concerns about Tier 3 standards
Convenience Store News
Two industry associations teamed up to voice their opinions to the Environmental Protection Agency about its proposed Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards rule and urged it to maintain the current per-gallon sulfur caps. Proposed on March 29, Tier 3 standards are intended to reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent — down to 10 parts per million in 2017. According to the EPA, reducing sulfur can provide "significant and immediate benefits by reducing emissions from every gas-powered vehicle on the road."More

Groupon offers fine dining discounts and reservations
Internet Retailer
Groupon Inc. recently relaunched its high-end Groupon Reserve service, adding a reservations tool that lets consumers book tables and procure discounts. Savored — a company Groupon bought last September that provides reservations and discounts to upscale restaurants — powers the reservations tool. The service offers reservations to about 600 restaurants throughout the United States.More

5 ways retailers can be effective off the Hill
Retail's BIG Blog
Over 150 retailers were in Washington, D.C. in May to make their voice heard on Capitol Hill during NRF's Washington Leadership Conference. From patent trolls to sales tax fairness to comprehensive tax reform and implementation of the health care law, retailers met with their elected officials about how these issues impact their retail business back home. But advocacy doesn't and shouldn't end outside the Beltway. In fact, retailers can find ways to be just as effective off the Hill. More

Americans love food fast, more than fast food
Yahoo Finance
Whether it's fast food from a restaurant or a home-cooked meal, Americans want their meals quickly regardless of whether they're healthy, according to recent data. "Convenience is the driving force of our dietary change. Make no mistake about that," said NPD Group Chief Independent Analyst Harry Balzer on "Big Data Download." "We always want things to be convenient. Now the question is will it be healthy as well." More

$1 Deals program extended

Vendors and brokers,
Due to the exciting success of the $1 Deals program at the Exchange this value orientated program will now be extended to year round!

We will refresh the assortment every 4 months based on the following calendar:

October-January 2013 (Offers Due NLT 28 June 2013)
February-May 2014 (Offers Due NLT 31 July 2013)
June-September 2014 (Offers Due NLT 30 September 2013)
October-January 2014 (Offers Due NLT 30 November 2013)

Please submit your offers with complete DOF's for everyday items as well as One Time Buys to your buyer(s) NLT 28 June for the Oct-Jan refresh.

COOP Fee $1,000 per month

Thank you in advance for your continuing support and collaborative efforts.

David H. Arens
Divisional Merchandise Manager Retail Food
Sales Directorate
214-312-3215 More

Global tissue group announces new license with the US Army
Global Tissue Group Inc., a leading private label paper manufacturer, has officially signed a licensing agreement with the U.S. Army brand. The U.S. Army brand will allow GTG's customers to honor their troops and veterans by offering a variety of products for the home. "Our alliance with the U.S. Army was just what we were looking for all along, CMO Philip Shaoul exclaimed, the brand fits perfectly with the durable and lasting qualities of our products and also stands for the 'there when you need it to be' quality found both in our products and in our troops." More

Wal-Mart feeds soldiers and families
News Blaze
The Indiana National Guard and the Atterbury-Muscatatuck Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted the fourth annual "Feed 'Em for Freedom" June 28 at Atterbury-Muscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and first lady Karen Pence attended the event greeting Soldiers and their families and event pitching in to help serve lunch. More

A message from the Military Health System Leadership
Navy Medicine Live
Military Health System Team,

As military health professionals, we are called upon to be both healers and leaders.

Paramount to our strategic priorities is the core mission to ensure the health and readiness of our forces. As leaders we have more than an obligation to ensure health and readiness, we have an obligation to model behavior that produces health and readiness.More

Defense contractors and military personnel can't fill in for furloughed civilians
Government Executive
During furlough days set to begin July 8, Defense Department managers may not "borrow military manpower" nor step up assignments to contractors to make up for idled civilian employees, a Pentagon official recently directed.More