ALA Executive Briefing
Sep. 20, 2013

War-wary residents near Norfolk Naval Station quietly oppose military action in Syria
The Washington Post
Opposition to military action against Syria appears to be even stronger in the Hampton Roads area, home to the nation's largest naval base, than in the country at large. National polls show 6 in 10 Americans are against it. When U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., recently held a call-in town hall on the issue, 85 percent of 247 callers who answered a quick poll voted against missile strikes in Syria in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons in its civil war. Just 6 percent favored it. Local politicians say they hear similar levels of opposition from their constituents.More

DoD starts new effort to get troops, employees thinking healthy
Army Times
Summertime recently refused to cede to fall in Falls Church, Va., as temperatures soared to 90 degrees and the Pentagon's top doctor led a shorts-clad group on a fast-paced 1-mile run at the future Defense Health Agency headquarters.More

10th Mountain Division headquarters submits scenarios to Army for 25 percent budget reduction
Watertown Daily Times
The headquarters of 10th Mountain Division has provided the Army its recommendations for how it could slash a quarter of its budget and manpower. With the proposal in the hands of the Army, questions remain on what kind of action will happen next and when a decision will be made.More

Welsh: Scarce resources must go to core missions
Air Force Times
With all the demands on the service, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh is concentrating on making sure the Air Force can execute its core missions. In a wide-ranging interview, he talked about what the future holds for the Air Force.More

House GOP ties government funding to health law
The Wall Street Journal
House Republicans recently said stripping funding from the health-care law championed by President Barack Obama would be their price for keeping federal agencies open after the end of this month, a move that sharply increases the risk of a partial government shutdown in two weeks.More

Shooting at Washington Navy Yard exposes screening lapses
The Wall Street Journal
New revelations about the Navy contractor who killed 12 people at a secure military installation have exposed serious shortfalls in security screening and base protection, prompting the White House and Pentagon to order a global review.More

Military families pinched by furloughs, sequester
UT San Diego
Military families are being pinched far more than the average American by federal budget cuts because furloughs have curtailed popular services for troops, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index.More

Publix to buy seven Bi-Lo stores in Charlotte area
Charlotte Business Journal
Publix Super Markets Inc. will buy seven Bi-Lo grocery stores located across Mecklenburg County and in South Carolina. "Publix has a strong financial foundation that allows us to aggressively grow throughout existing markets and our new Charlotte division," said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw in today's announcement about the acquisition.More

Private-label dairy outsells other types of products
Dairy Foods
Nearly all consumers buy private-label products when grocery shopping, according to a study of 6,600 consumers conducted by Market Force Information, Louisville, Colo. Of the categories studied, dairy products were the most frequently purchased private-label grocery item. Snacks ranked second and cereal and cleaning supplies tied for third.More

Fewer home dinners feature bread
Baking Business
The erosion of bread consumption as part of home prepared dinners may be a key factor in continued overall weakness in the fresh bread category, said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and vice-president of NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. More

First lady urges Americans to drink more water
The Gourmet Retailer
First lady Michelle Obama and actress Eva Longoria has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America, of which Mrs. Obama is honorary chair, to launch an initiative that will encourage Americans to drink more water. More

Infographic: Shopper frequency, by the numbers
Progressive Grocer
Understanding shopping behavior requires understanding the daily routines of consumers and how shopping fits into those routines. Today's customers think less about shopping per se than about what else they're trying to accomplish. Shopping occasions are no longer concentrated in the grocery store channel as, increasingly, they're integrated into the routines of everyday life. This is why we now find America's consumers shopping for groceries more frequently and across multiple channels.More

Formaldehyde detected in supermarket fish imported from Asia
Food Safety News
A large number of fish imported from China and Vietnam and sold in at least some U.S. supermarkets contain unnatural levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, according to tests performed and verified by researchers at a North Carolina chemical engineering firm and North Carolina State University.More

1 in 5 Americans struggling to put food on the table
NBC News
Many Americans are still struggling to put food on the table, a full four years after the global recession ended, a new poll by Gallup shows. Indeed 20 percent of people polled in August said that they sometimes didn't have enough money to buy food for themselves or their family, the highest percentage since 2011.More

Grocery stores add tech features to stay competitive
To shave precious minutes off wait times, some supermarkets have installed technology to measure foot traffic in nearly all of their stores. Known as QueVision, the system uses hidden infrared cameras with body heat trackers to figure out how many customers are shopping at any given time. Managers use that information to redeploy workers to the cash registers when things get busy. It's already paying off.More

5 steps to clearer marketing and business writing: The Bob Vila edition
By Joe Latta
Clear, straightforward business writing can do a lot: get you hired, get you promoted, save you time, make you money and save you money. Lots of money. Think I'm exaggerating? Think again. More

Marine Corps limiting liquor sales on bases
Stars and Stripes
The Marine Corps is preparing to limit alcohol sales on base, following in the footsteps of a Navy effort designed to reduce alcohol-related crimes and misbehavior.More

Federal hiring down, with most jobs going to defense
The Washington Post via The Boston Globe
With fiscal pressures continuing to force spending cuts, government agencies made fewer than 90,000 new hires last year, the smallest number in six years and a 37 percent drop since 2009, federal data show.More

August retail sales disappoint with tepid 0.1 percent increase from July
Chain Store Age
Retail sales increased in the month of August but came in at a much slower pace than anticipated, according to the National Retail Federation. Sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted from last month, and increased 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year. More

California poised to raise minimum wage to $10
Chain Store Age
In the final hours of its 2013 regular session, the legislature in California voted to approve a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour within three years. More

Toys R Us announces holiday incentives
USA Today
Toys R Us is offering a 10 percent cash reward up to $100 on certain toy purchases through Oct. 31 for its rewards card members and will extend the deadline for holiday returns through Jan. 25, the company recently announced.More

7-Eleven wants to be your healthy-snack store
The News Journal
This certainly sounds like a Whole Foods shopping list: organic trail mix, veggie chips and dry-roasted edamame. Guess again. It's the new snack section at 7-Eleven. The nation's convenience chain giant, taking a cue from a generation that demands better-for-you snacks and which snacks more often, is rolling out a revamped snack section at its 8,000 U.S. stores that includes everything from Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps to Skinny Pop All-Natural Popcorn.More

Wal-Mart seeks to clear toxics from its shelves
The largest retailer in the world has set its sights on chemicals, with plans to increase transparency on chemical use while finding safer alternatives. Wal-Mart recently announced the new chemical policy at its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, where it also laid out new goals centered on sustainable beef and crop fertilizers, and detailed progress around its Sustainability Index.More

Consumers' retreat dims outlook
The Wall Street Journal
American consumers showed new signs of caution as they closed out the summer, softening hopes that the U.S. economy's chief engine of growth can shift into a higher gear in the second half of the year.More

Staples will open its 2nd e-commerce center in Seattle
Internet Retailer
Staples Inc. plans to open an e-commerce and engineering "Development Center" in Seattle. The move follows the office supply chain's 2012 opening of its similar Velocity Lab in the Boston area, an effort featured in the most recent issue of Internet Retailer magazine.More

NRF: Retail sales growth remains tepid, up 0.1 percent in August
National Retail Federation
Retail sales increased in the month of August but came in at a much slower pace than anticipated. According to the National Retail Federation, August retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted from last month, and increased 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year. More

Wal-Mart US CEO 'amazed' by shoppers' resilience
U.S. consumers are ready to shop this Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas as they "find a way to navigate" through a continued difficult economy, said Wal-Mart U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon.More

Macy's CEO store visits gain urgency amid shares slump
Macy's Inc. Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren calls store managers from his car as little as 10 minutes before conducting a surprise visit. The drop-ins have taken on added urgency since Americans began pulling back on such discretionary purchases as clothing; apparel, cosmetics and accessories account for about 84 percent of Macy's revenue.More

Holiday sales forecast right to your inbox
NRF Foundation
The Retail Insight Center is an easy-to-use tool for exploring and gathering retail industry data. Register for free today to get all the latest info!More

Best Buy, Office Depot top retail back-to-school brands
Chain Store Age
Best Buy was the most effective retail brand overall during the 2013 back-to-school advertising season for the second year in a row with an average Ace Score of 561, performing 15 percent higher than its retail peers, according to TV and video advertising data from Ace Metrix.More

Verdugo v. Target: Does a retailer have a common law duty to have an AED available?
Chain Store Age
A case on the California Supreme Court's docket questions whether or not a common law duty requires retailers to have automated external defibrillators ready to use in stores to treat sudden cardiac arrest, which strikes about 380,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of death in the U.S.More

Pep Boys flat in Q2
Chain Store Age
The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack reported net earnings of $5.4 million for the second quarter, down from $33 million in the year-ago quarter.More

Kmart airs 1st holiday ad
Advertising Age
Mark your calendars, the holiday season is officially under way. In an unprecedented move, Kmart has aired its first holiday ad. The commercial, which promotes the retailer's layaway program, features a gingerbread man sneaking up on a woman working in an office cubicle. A voiceover says: "Don't let the holidays sneak up on you. Shop early with Kmart free layaway. Kmart. Get in, get more Christmas."More

Wal-Mart to launch smartphone trade-in program
The Arizona Republic
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is launching a smartphone trade-in program that will help consumers trade up to the newest phones available. Consumers will receive a credit from $50 to $300 when they trade in their working, undamaged phone. The credit can be used toward the purchase of a new phone, with a selection of more than 100 devices to choose from. This includes some smartphones with prepaid plans.More

Lands' End ad campaign for dress shirts salutes white-collar workers
The New York Times
Advertising for work clothes often features tradesmen, like recent marketing videos by Dickies showing workers outfitted in its clothing while forging knives and building hot rods, to highlight durability and fire-resistance. Now Lands' End, a 50-year-old brand, is taking the unusual approach of promoting men's dress shirts as work wear for jobs where the work is white-collar. More

How a pop-up store pops up
The New York Times
Dockers recently opened its first pop-up store in New York City. The 1,750-square-foot space, open Tuesdays through Sundays until Sept. 27, is spreading the word that khakis now come in reds, yellows, blues, orange and bright green; that they can fit baggy, slim and slimmer. This is the story of how that pop-up popped up. More

How retailers can get consumers spending again
Bloomberg Businessweek
VideoBriefJack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation, discusses U.S. retail sales and the implications for Federal Reserve monetary policy with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line."More

Retailers must work harder to merge e-commerce, stores
Bricks-and-mortar retailers are trying to compete with Inc and each other by offering what they hope is the best of both worlds — online sales with the option of store pickups, delivery and returns.More

Wal-Mart sells Coors about at cost to be largest beer seller
Bloomberg Businessweek
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is so committed to becoming America's biggest beer retailer that it has been selling Budweiser, Coors and other brews almost at cost in at least some stores. More

Toys 'R' Us loss triples in Q2
Chain Store Age
Toys "R" U widened its loss in the second quarter on lower sales at its stores in the United States and Europe. The company reported a loss of $113 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $36 million. More

Preventing online credit card fraud
Small Business Trends
Merchants and retailers are often on the front lines of managing payment card fraud. Online businesses face a unique challenge because all purchases are made as a "card not present" transaction. But there are red flags to look out for and security measures to put in place that will help minimize losses from online credit card fraud.More

4 types of referral programs every business needs
Duct Tape Marketing
Referral generation is something that should be baked into pretty much every angle possible. It's not something that you do one time or one way. You need to keep your referral generation efforts front and center and build many and varied touchpoints along the customer referral journey. While you can't always control when one friend asks another for a referral, you can influence how often your referral sources think about referring your business.More

NEXCOM again named one of 'Top 50' best companies for Latina women
America's Navy
The Navy Exchange Service Command announced Sept. 12 that for the second consecutive year, LATINAStyle Magazine has named NEXCOM as one of the top 50 companies in the United States for providing the best career opportunities for Hispanic women. Of NEXCOM's nearly 14,000 associates worldwide, more than 11 percent are Hispanic and seven percent are Hispanic women.More

US Army MWR history and philosophy
U.S. Army MWR
Morale, welfare, and recreation programs did not exist from the founding of the Army in 1775 until the start of the twentieth century. During that 125 year plus time span there were unofficial and informal forms of troop support such as the tradesmen who provided meals, clothing, laundering, and the trading posts which provided goods for purchasing. There was some limited Congressional oversight established in 1876 over “Post Traders.” The establishment of the Army "PX" or Post Exchange, by Headquarters, Department of the Army followed in 1895, with oversight performed by the garrison commander's office and all profits were used to support recreational activities for the troops.More

Wing prepares for fiscal year close out
Scott Air Force Base
It's getting close to the end of the fiscal year for the wing, which means it's time for the team at the 375th Comptroller Squadron to shine as they balance the books. The military's fiscal year goes from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, and as that end date approaches, the comptrollers ensure all funding appropriated to various units is either spent or redirected back into other Air Force accounts. "We have a team of about 65 people, both military and civilian, who work late nights during September to process funding requests and account for every dollar," said Maj. Matthew Waggoner, 375th CPTS commander. More

Tripler Fisher House run focuses on faces of fallen
Theresa Johnson, Tripler Fisher House manager, said she wanted to remember the more than 6,700 military members who have died in war from 2001 to present. So, she had an idea last year to create the Tripler Fisher House 8k Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll after the son of her friend died and her son was about to deploy.More