ALA Executive Briefing
Aug. 17, 2012

US military planning to set up storage depot in Philippines
Philippine Star
The United States military is planning to set up a storage depot in the Philippine for their equipment and logistics from Afghanistan to support future disaster response or other contingency in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. military press service said. Aside from the Philippines, the leadership of the US Pacific Command is also considering storage facilities in Singapore, according to the report published by the U.S. Department of Defense.More

Military looks to beef up meat buying
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
It appears that Meatless Mondays haven't really caught on in the U.S. military. The Pentagon is looking into increasing its meat purchases to take advantage of lower prices and to help ranchers struggling with drought.More

ROK-Japan dispute worries US
China Daily
Tensions between Seoul and Tokyo over the disputed islands continued on Aug. 13, and the rift is prompting Washington to worry about the already shaky US-Japan-ROK trilateral collaboration, analysts said.More

OPM eager for phased retirement to begin
The Washington Post via Press Display
The government's personnel agency says that allowing employees to phase into retirement is an important goal and that it will make the option available "as soon as possible." However, participation will be "entirely voluntary" for both employees and their employing agencies, and certain categories of workers will be excluded, the Office of Personnel Management added in a fact sheet it recently sent to agencies. More

Cheating the Heroes?
ABC News
We know that no charities deserve more support than the ones helping veterans. But today, a troubling headline comes from Charity Watch, a watchdog arm of the American Institute of Philanthropy. The institute studied 46 charities for veterans and found that one half of them deserve failing grades for spending less than a third of the money on services that help veterans. More

Upright frozen and medium temperature merchandisers
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as a 100 percent small business set-aside. The solicitation is for upright frozen and medium temperature merchandisers for use by Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and for overseas locations.More

Americans hungry for healthy foods
Progressive Grocer
Just over two-thirds (67 percent) of American adults try to maintain a healthy weight and diet, and choose healthier foods in order to do so, according to new research conducted by global research firm Mintel. Healthy eating has come to the forefront in recent years due in large part to first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, television shows like "The Biggest Loser," as well as the media's extensive coverage of the country's growing obesity problem.More

Grocery store coupon websites for real savings
The Huffington Post
Put the scissors away and lay down today's paper. Your coupon clipping days are over — at least, in the physical sense. We know you want to save money where you can, the grocery store being a great place to do it, but now you can do it all online.More

Shopping cart for special needs children to debut in Alabama grocery stores
The Birmingham News
A shopping cart designed by an Alabaster, Ala., mom for children with special needs will soon be available in two Birmingham area grocery stores. Caroline's Cart was created by Drew Ann Long, who wanted to make grocery shopping easier for moms of children with special needs, like herself. Pushing a wheelchair and shopping cart at the same time is difficult.More

In grocery stores, the perimeters take center stage
The New York Times
"You can pretty much be in Anywhere, U.S.A., in center store, but the perimeter is the fashion side of the grocery business," said Sharon A. Lessard, chief designer at Supervalu, which operates Cub Foods stores as well as chains like Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Albertsons in some markets. "The perimeter is where we can best distinguish ourselves from everyone else."More

Shopper alert: Price may drop for you alone
The New York Times
It used to be that with dedication and a good pair of scissors, one grocery shopper could get the same coupons — and cheap prices — as another. Now going to the grocery store is becoming a lot less egalitarian.More

Avoid drought price hikes — 20 ways to save on food
Money Talks News
VideoBrief More than half the counties in the United States have become government-designated disaster areas this year — mostly due to drought. The drought may impact dairy and beef prices within the year, but increases on corn products — including anything with high fructose corn syrup, which is in everything from soda to cereal, won't be as dramatic and may not be noticeable until next year, according to the latest update to the USDA's Food Price Outlook.More

Hawaii Conference and Food Show update

Sen. Dan Inouye is confirmed as our "Keynote" speaker on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 11–11:30 a.m., and following this, he will join us for lunch. Also joining us in the morning for welcome remarks are Congresswomen Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa. We will have a representative from Sen. Dan Akaka's office as well.More

Rustic Inn to close doors Aug. 24 for foreseeable future
The Real McCoy Online
The Rustic Inn, building 2000, at Fort McCoy will close its doors for the foreseeable future on Aug. 24. Steve Ard, general manager for the Fort McCoy Exchange, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, said the closure is due to the dramatic loss of troops that use the facility on the west side of the cantonment area. All employees who work at the facility will be transferred to other AAFES organizations.More

Veterans valued, troops supported as Kellogg Company continues longstanding commitment to military service
Seeking Alpha
Last year, a Marine Reservist from Battle Creek, Mich., was deployed to Afghanistan, leaving his wife, family and job behind. After his assignment, he returned home safely to a new baby and Kellogg Company teammates eagerly awaiting his arrival. Because of support provided by the company and his coworkers before, during and after his duty, the employee nominated Kellogg Company to receive a Patriot Award, which recognizes organizations providing extraordinary support and cooperation to citizens who serve. More

Macy's challenges Amazon for same-day delivery
The Huffington Post
Retail stores are racing to develop yet another tool to help the lazy stay on their couches — delivering online shopping packages the day they are ordered. Macy's, the Cincinnati-based department store, is now competing with online retailers eBay and Amazon to get products to shoppers the quickest.More

Visa and MasterCard settle lawsuit, but merchants aren't celebrating
The New York Times
The tentative $7.3 billion deal made last month between credit card companies and merchants was announced with fanfare by the lawyers who negotiated it, but the celebration may have been premature. Some merchants and retail advocates, including four organizations that are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, oppose the deal because, they say, it offers too little and will make it harder to take legal action against credit card companies in the future. The settlement is still subject to court approval and is unlikely to become official before the middle of next year.More

Health law likely to spur retail, restaurant cuts
The Wall Street Journal
Employers in the retail and restaurant industries are more likely than other companies to drop their health plans or cut workers' hours when new health-law requirements take effect in 2014, according to new data from the consulting firm Mercer. (Subscription required.)More

Wal-Mart to offer look at consumers
The Wall Street Journal
As Wal-Mart Inc. recently reported their second-quarter results, investors weren't just looking for how the retailer was doing, but also for signs of further recovery by the U.S. consumer. The economic bellwether at home and abroad, which is marking its 50th birthday this year, has already seen three straight quarters of growth in U.S. same-store sales, after showing declines for the prior nine. Analysts feel that another positive quarter is in the offing. More

3rd Annual Shopper Experience Study: Enabling retail without boundaries
National Retail Federation
The truth is shoppers like to shop in stores. Despite the growth of e-commerce, shoppers still need and often enjoy the in-store experience. But they want shopping experiences to be attentive and efficient. To meet that challenge, retailers need to reshape their approach to selling and to traditional store concepts. More

Sears shares rise on spin-off plan
MSN Money
Shares of Sears Holdings, the retail empire controlled by billionaire Edward Lampert, recently rose after the company announced plans to spin off some of its stores not connected to its flagship brand into a separate company. Two Sears, though, are not necessarily better than one.More

Pentagon Row getting boutique Petco store
Washington Business Journal
Unleashed by Petco is a boutique version of the pet retailer's large-format stores. Arlington's first Unleashed location opened on Lee Highway last May. Pentagon Row says the new Unleashed store will be holding a grand opening at some point this fall.More

How big debt is threatening security clearances for thousands of troops
NBC News
Nearly 36,000 active-military members who hold security clearances have recently sought urgent financial advice or aid because heavy debts and delinquent bills threatened to void their classified status, according to a nonprofit that helps troops and veterans solve money problems.More

Economy: Retail sales in US jumped more than forecast
Bloomberg
Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than forecast in July, reflecting broad-based gains that ease concern elevated unemployment will cause consumers to retrench. More

Luxe apparel buying by affluent slows
Women's Wear Daily
America's affluent are rapidly scaling back their luxury purchases, and apparel and accessories are bearing the brunt of the decline. (Subscription required.)More

7-Eleven is buying Tetco stores and wholesale gasoline business
The Dallas Morning News
7-Eleven Inc. is getting back into the San Antonio market and expanding its wholesale gasoline business. The Dallas-based convenience store chain recently said it has signed an agreement to purchase retail and wholesale assets from San Antonio-based Tetco Inc. The deal includes at least 180 stores that will be rebranded as 7-Elevens and a wholesale gasoline supply network of about 550 customers.More

Back-to-school spending gets a boost as shoppers hit Internet stores
The Boston Globe
With school starting in just a month, parents and their children are beginning to shop for those supplies, clothes and other gear needed to make it through the upcoming year. The back-to-school shopping season is the second-busiest for retailers after Christmas, and the National Retail Federation, one of the bigger groups representing the industry, expects this year to be a banner year. Spending, according to the NRF, for combined K-12 and college, is expected to reach a record $83.8 billion. More

Apple understands customers, and so can you
Retail Customer Experience
No one can argue with Apple's success when it comes to delighting its customers, and although it's never a good idea for any retailer to 100 percent copy another brand's strategy there are several things that retailers can learn from the electronics retailer. Mike Wittenstein outlined a few of them in his presentation at the Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit in Chicago. Here are highlights of the strategies. More

EBay tests same-day delivery with big retailers
Reuters
EBay is testing a same-day delivery service with big retailers, including Target, Best Buy and Toys "R" Us, as the world's largest online marketplace steps up competition with rival Amazon.com. The move is the latest sign of eBay working closely with traditional retailers to help them tackle the threat of Amazon.com, the world's largest online retailer, which has been winning business from physical stores at a rapid clip. More

US gas prices spike — refinery problems cited
The Wall Street Journal
A surprise surge in gasoline prices is taking some of the fun out of summer. The national average for a gallon of gas at the pump has climbed to $3.67, a rise of 34 cents since July 1. An increase in crude oil prices and problems with refineries and pipelines in the West Coast and Midwest, including a fire in California, are mostly to blame.More

ALA Benefit Luncheon

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Using gift cards to save on AAFES food
Military.com
The Army and Air Force Exchange Services have an interesting deal going on in their food courts. If you pay for your purchase with your Star Card, an AAFES gift card, or an AAFES food court gift card, they will give you 10 percent off your purchase. More

NEX hiring staff for new facility's opening
The Journal via DCMilitary.com
The Naval Support Activity Bethesda Navy Exchange is aiming to fill approximately 200 positions over the next three months to prepare for the opening of a new 150,000 square foot facility. "The grand opening is Nov. 10," said Rick Pimentel, general manager of the NSAB NEX. "One of our main goals is to hire within the military community. We love to hire spouses and wounded warriors. This is why we are here — to support [service members] and their families, and improve their quality of life."More

Schwartz, Welsh pay tribute to airmen at Air Force transition
Global Security
Both outgoing and incoming Air Force chiefs of staff recently paid tribute to airmen and their families during the transition of responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md. There, Gen. Norton Schwartz turned over responsibility as Air Force chief of staff and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Gen. Mark A. Welsh III.More

Lt. Dan Band draws more than 2,000 to free concert
1st Infantry Division
Hips swayed and hands waved throughout the crowd at the Lt. Dan Band concert July 28, on the lawn outside of Riley's Conference Center. Gary Sinise and his gang of musicians did it again. Returning to Fort Riley for the fourth time since the band's inception in 2004, the cover band put on a free two-hour show of 26 songs for Fort Riley soldiers and families. More