ALA Executive Briefing
Aug. 14, 2015

Editorial: Safeguard military facilities now
Navy Times
In the midst of the shocking July 16 assault on the Chattanooga Navy Reserve center, a Navy officer and a Marine fired back at the gunman with personal handguns.More

VA Choice would expand under McCain proposal
Military Times
Sen. John McCain introduced a bill that would extend the VA Choice Card program indefinitely and expand eligibility to include every veteran enrolled in VA health care.More

Senate launches Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Caucus
Military Times
Lawmakers in the newly formed Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Caucus hope the coalition can speed reforms for the Veterans Affairs Department by brokering a deal for their respective parties.More

Commissary reformers eye appeal of 'cost-plus-5-percent' pricing
Stars and Stripes
Defense officials appear ready to ask Congress to repeal a law that commissaries must sell products at cost plus five percent, a formula that for decades has ensured commissary shoppers everywhere pay the same prices. Candace Wheeler, Spokesperson for the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits said, "DoD's stated objective all along has been to reduce appropriations for the commissary benefit. The problem is that their 'business speak' does not match their 'budget speak.' The fact is they want to increase the costs to military patrons and make them feel good about it."More

Commissaries still in jeopardy
The Retired Enlisted Association
A couple of weeks ago we sent an alert asking you to contact your Senators and Representative and let them know you oppose cuts in funding for the commissaries and you responded dramatically. Even though members of Congress have gone home or on vacation, their staffs are still working and keeping track of what they hear from their constituents. TREA is part of a coalition to save our commissary benefits and we are fighting to save the benefit, but we need your continued help to keep the pressure up on Congress.More

Visit your elected officials during August recess!
Save Our Benefit
During the month of August, Congress is on recess, and most elected officials return to their home districts to meet with constituents. We encourage you to take this opportunity to visit your Senators and Representatives at their home offices, during town hall meetings, or information sharing events. When you speak to them, ask them to: Support the House version of the Defense Bill, which protects critical commissary funding; Reject the Senate version of the Defense Bill, which includes language that would be detrimental to the commissary benefit and transfers operating costs to military patrons. More

As politicians bicker over funding, military families cut back on vacations this summer
MSN Money
Sequestration and economic worries are prodding America's career military families to scale back their rest and relaxation plans again this summer. A new survey finds they're trimming their vacation plans because of looming federal spending cuts. Forty-seven percent of middle-class military families — those with household incomes of at least $50,000 — intend to spend less money this year on their summer vacations, according a First Command Financial Behaviors Index poll.More

Commissary case lot sales offer maximum savings
Defense Commissary Agency
With everyday prices averaging 30 percent less than other grocery stores, the commissary has earned its reputation as the best deal in town. But every once in a while — around spring and fall, in fact — patrons can find even better deals as stateside commissaries launch their "Customer Appreciation Case Lot Sales." This year's fall sales are starting across the U.S. now, as each store hosts individual two- or three-day case lot sales during one weekend between mid-August and the end of September.More

Cooked poultry returning to commissaries in South Korea
Military Times
Cooked poultry products, such as frozen dinners, pot pies, nuggets, lunch meats and franks, are on their way back to commissary shelves in South Korea, following a change in the country's embargo of poultry products from the U.S.More

10 things you need to know about the changing American consumer
American households — and eating habits — are changing, and food marketers need to catch up, says the Food Marketing Institute in its 2015 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report. Here are 10 things that caught our eye.More

Kroger takes online ordering to next level
Cincinnati Business Courier
Kroger Co. is taking its online ordering service a step further, WTTV-TV reports. The Cincinnati-based grocer is taking its system to order groceries online and pick them up in stores outside its hometown for the first time with a store in Carmel, Indiana.More

Big changes in food industry turn activists upside down
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Three years after the old Kraft Foods split in half with the backing of activist investors, one of the activists is suggesting those businesses ought to reunite. The move is a testament to the seismic changes that have turned the food industry upside down in that short time.More

SunOpta acquires fruit snack firm Niagara Natural for $6.7 million
Organic food specialist SunOpta will stretch its fruit snacking capabilities with the acquisition of Canada-based Niagara Natural Fruit Snack Company.More

Unhealthy food ads target minorities, driven by food industry's unethical business practices
Medical Daily
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut found black and Hispanic youth are getting a "double dose" of food marketing that promotes products high in sugar, saturated fat and sodium. The analysis was based on the advertising patterns of 26 of the largest food, beverage and restaurant corporations in America, revealing they've disproportionately targeted minorities with nutritionally deficient products.More

Trader Joe's: Good for cheap groceries, great for home values
The Christian Science Monitor
It's an old saying in real estate: Want a pricey house? Find a cheap grocery store. You're right, that's not a saying at all. But according to a new study from RealtyTrac, there's some truth to it. For your home to yield the best return on investment, it's better to own near Trader Joe's, the much-loved, budget-minded grocery chain, than it is to own near Whole Foods, its pricey yet equally beloved rival. More

Here's the news event with biggest industry impact
Supermarket News
Supermarket News has reported on a boatload of big news in food retailing in recent months, not the least of which has been A&P's return to bankruptcy court. A recent SN poll illustrates just how important this matter is to our audience. SN posed this question to their readers: "What recent news story will have the biggest industry impact?" — before A&P's Chapter 11 news and subsequent store selloff and closure plans, but it was still far and away the news leader. More

Happy 224th Birthday U.S. Coast Guard

Document: U.S. Coast Guard's 225th Birthday Message
The following is the official U.S. Coast Guard birthday message on the occasion of the 225th anniversary of the service. The following post ... More

Target considers adding grocery delivery service
Another store in Minnesota may soon make it possible for you to get groceries, without ever leaving your home. Target is considering adding a grocery delivery service.More

Target to rebrand its newer format stores
Chain Store Age
Target wants to keep things simple. The retailer, which has been moving to simplify its operations, is now taking a similar approach to its store identity. Starting in October, Target will begin the process of rebranding all of its CityTarget and TargetExpress stores as "Target."More

Tossing and turning
Retailers are always mired in a good news/bad news scenario shaped by forces both in and beyond their control — everything from capital investment to natural disasters and terrorism. But what are the big issues keeping them up at night? Many answers to this question can be found in the 2015 BDO Retail RiskFactor Report.More

Target innovates in-store beacon marketing with newsfeed-like content stream
Mobile Commerce Daily
Target jumps to the head of the class for in-store beacon marketing with a new program arriving in 50 stores that leverages the retailer's application to alert shoppers to hyperlocal content accessible via a newsfeed-like stream.More

Macy's launches private-label wines
Macy's is introducing a new line of private label wines to be sold in select stores and restaurants. The retailer is teaming with KDM Global Partners, a Philadelphia-based winemaker and custom label specialist, to produce the wines, all selections from California. More

Sears to report 1st profit in 3 years but no good news about sales
Chain Store Age
Sears Holdings Corp. is expecting to announce some rare good news about profits thanks to a real estate spinoff when it reports its second quarter results on Aug. 20. But the news will be tempered by dismal sales results.More

Just how much more money can retailers stretch out of yoga pants? This new store is about to find out
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)
After hitting the dressing room at Chelsea Collective, the new activewear chain from Dick's Sporting Goods, you can walk to the "girlfriend lounge" and test how your new gear feels while using a ballet barre or treadmill. And if you're not quite satisfied with the fit of your printed leggings or wispy workout tank, the retailer offers free alterations.More

Explaining the void left by the Gap closings
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Gap is in the fight of its life. You remember that TV commercial jingle that entered the American consciousness in the 1970s, right? It went like this: "Fall into the Gap" — and it featured a good-looking, 20-something couple dressed from head-to-toe in Gap clothes. It became an image for American cool. Now, it seems that the Gap is shrinking. More

Gallup: Many Americans say they try to avoid soda
Americans are more likely to say they actively try to avoid including soda in their diet than 14 other foods, including sugar and fat. At least 6 in 10 U.S. adults say they are trying to steer clear of these drinks — regardless of whether they are diet or regular, according to a Gallup poll.More

Employee focus propels QuikTrip, Kwik Trip to top spots in CSP exclusive Mystery Shop
QuikTrip with a “Q” or Kwik Trip with a “K”? When industry folks talk about these two premier chains, they frequently add such a descriptor. But when you consider how much they have in common — both family-owned and -operated, employee-focused and with excellent reputations within the retail business — the need to distinguish between them seems arbitrary.More

Cenex Zip Trip's progress report
Progress, not perfection: That's one of the mottos for the operations team at Cenex Zip Trip, Spokane, Washington. The 70-store chain is a brand new participant in the CSP/Service Intelligence Mystery Shop. And for its first year in the program, Cenex Zip Trip did very well, ranking with the top five brands, thanks to its strong results in interior and exterior cleanliness, dairy cooler, fountain and coffee bars and employee appearance.More

Mello Yello goes camo
This fall, Mello Yello has a new look, making it the perfect accompaniment for any outdoor excursion. The citrus-flavored soda will sport a signature camouflage pattern designed by Columbus, Georgia-based Realtree.More

Hershey expands Brookside portfolio
The Hershey Co. understands people want more snacking options in addition to confection and want the foods to be made with simple, familiar ingredients. Driven by these insights, Hershey is bringing the tastes people love to a new range of snacks offerings.More

Tastykake introduces Mini Cupcake line
Snack cake brand Tastykake has just launched a new line of Mini Cupcakes. The line includes mini versions of two of Tastykake's classic treats and one new variety. Two of the cakes feature Reese's and Hershey's brand ingredients.More

Army Community Service celebrates 50 years
Northwest Military
With an emphasis on saying "thanks," topped with kid-smiling fun, Army Community Service on Joint Base Lewis-McChord celebrated 50 years of work last week with hot dogs, face painting and an obstacle course.More

Military Times publishes annual Benefits Guide for troops, vets, families
Army Times
Military Times is publishing its annual Benefits Guide, a one-stop resource on the dizzying array of pay and benefits programs offered to active-duty and reserve component service members, retirees, veterans and their families. It has everything they need to know to get the most out of their government benefits.More