ALA Executive Briefing
Nov. 15, 2013

Happy birthday, Marines! New insights on the legendary Chesty Puller
Marine Corps Times
The Navy's newest ship will bear the name of one of the Marine Corps' most revered, and decorated, heroes. The sea service held a keel-laying ceremony Nov. 5 in San Diego for the USNS mobile landing platform Lewis B. Puller, named for Lt. Gen. "Chesty" Puller, recipient of five Navy crosses and arguably the most famous Marine of all time.More

Congress seems to be done legislating for the year
It's just mid-November, but it's quickly becoming a reality: Washington could be mostly done making laws for the year. If it isn't evident by looking at the thin congressional calendar, top sources in both chambers are downright grim that the final eight weeks in 2013 will produce any legislative breakthroughs, like a broad budget agreement or an immigration deal. More

Which big companies are the best at hiring veterans?
The Washington Post
Your soda and your dishwasher are helping to put military veterans to work. Your iPhone? Not as much. Many women and men who served our country are still struggling to find work once they leave the military. A new analysis by the online jobs clearinghouse shows some big companies are doing a lot more than others to help change that.More

Navy ship plan faces Pentagon budget cutters
The Wall Street Journal
When the USS Freedom's report card came in this past week from Singapore, it didn't provide great news for Navy brass trying to keep Pentagon budget cutters away from the experimental warship.More

Air Force chief: Cuts coming soon
Aire Force Times
The service will soon start announcing force reduction measures to help it meet sequester-driven cuts of roughly 25,000 total force airmen over the next five years, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh.More

Marines boost disaster-relief mission in Philippines
Marine Corps Times
The Marine Corps' presence in the Philippines is poised to surge as more aircraft and personnel — including members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit — are rushed from Japan to assist in the recovery effort following the recent devastating typhoon.More

Congress approves 1.5 percent veterans' COLA
Navy Times
A bill providing disabled veterans and their survivors a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment passed the House on Nov. 12, and is on its way to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. The increase is effective Dec. 1 and will first appear in January checks.More

Dairy industry trend: Milk touts its protein advantage
Dairy Foods
The gallon jug is dead. Long live the gallon jug. The International Dairy Foods Association noted that "per capita consumption of fluid milk products declined in 2011 by 6.2 pounds or 0.71 gallons. The 174.3 pounds (20.3 gallons) of fluid milk products consumed in 2011 was the lowest level of per capita consumption on record." Due to declining family sizes and dining habits, the plastic jug on the breakfast table is not as relevant as it was a generation ago. Breakfast for many Americans is eaten on the go, if eaten at all.More

Kroger raises $3.2 million for USO in 2013
Grocery Headquarters
The Kroger Co. recently announced a cumulative contribution to the USO of $3.2 million for 2013. The funds were raised through the company's Honoring Our Heroes sales event in May and customer contributions collected at check stands through the summer and fall. "Kroger is honored and privileged to support our service men and women through our partnership with the USO," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group vice president for corporate affairs. More

FDA moves to phase out trans fats from food, citing health concerns
NBC News
The Food and Drug Administration has declared war on trans fats. The government agency said Thursday it would require food makers to gradually phase out artificial trans fats — the artery-clogging ingredient found in crackers, cookies, pizza and many other baked goods. The change could potentially prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths, said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg.More

The changing grocery retail landscape
Progressive Grocer
VideoBriefThe following video discusses some of the major shifts in the grocery retail industry, and ways you can respond to these shifts while remaining relevant. Aligning your marketing message across everything you do, and paying close attention to your customers while responding to them in small, yet meaningful, ways are two key factors in keeping pace with these changes.More

Jelly Belly Camo Beans support vets
The Gourmet Retailer
In honor of Veterans Day earlier this week, Jelly Belly Candy Co. donated a portion of the proceeds of each package of Jelly Belly Camo Beans purchased to aid U.S. veterans and their families. For every bag of Camo Beans sold, Jelly Belly Charities donated 25 cents to support U.S. veterans and their families.More

5 secrets of frugal grocery shoppers
U.S. News & World Report
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of feeding a family of four a healthy diet runs between $146 to $289 a week. But even if you decide to spend, say, $800 a month on groceries, that number will likely become obsolete before you know it. But if you're looking for ways to make your food bill more or less a fixed cost, the following is a smorgasbord of ideas.More

Who cares about 'likes' anyway?
By Jeffrey Dobkin
What's the value of a like? Not much, really. When likes started, they seemed to be such a great idea: Google and other data collection sites could measure your popularity. The more likes, the more popular. So what happened?More

Wal-Mart US: We felt government shutdown
The 16-day government shutdown was a drag on Wal-Mart sales, particularly around military bases and areas with high concentrations of federal workers, said Bill Simon, president and CEO of the retail giant's U.S. operations.More

Air Force chief says base closures, trimming ranks should be on the table
The Colorado Springs Gazette
Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh recently met with the service's top brass during a conference at the Air Force Academy. Facing $1 trillion in Pentagon budget cuts over a decade, he wants the tools used by corporate America to weather the downturn.More

Annual holiday luncheon

Greetings all,

The Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter of the American Logistics Association will be hosting its annual holiday luncheon and auction on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. The luncheon will be held at the Las Colinas Country Club from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. We are excited to announce that Mr. Tom Shull, Director/CEO of AAFES and Ana Middleton, AAFES Senior VP will be our guest speakers this year.

Click here for more info and to register!

If you are interested in attending, please fill out the attached registration form by Friday, Dec. 6, and return to Julie Fox by email or mail.

We look forward to seeing you there!More

Military bases are our most exclusive gated communities
The Weatherford Democrat
The U.S. military's domestic bases are the nation's most exclusive gated communities. There's restricted access, and visitors are usually asked to provide multiple forms of ID and to submit to a car search before entering. Through the gates, there's a remarkably self-contained world.More

Dollar General edges out Wal-Mart Supercenter in Kantar Retail's survey
For the second year in a row, Dollar General topped Kantar Retail's opening price point survey, narrowly beating out Wal-Mart Supercenter. The OPP survey determines how select retailers meet the grocery and consumable needs of shoppers looking for the lowest shelf prices to fulfill their basket requirements. According to Kantar Retail, Dollar General's total basket was the least expensive among retailers surveyed, edging out Wal-Mart Supercenter's basket by just $0.12.More

Consumers retrench in shutdown's wake
Retail's BIG Blog
It is apparent that Americans are feeling a bit nervous about their personal economy as a result of the dysfunction in Washington. Just as national polling during the government shutdown indicated that about a third of consumers would be changing their spending habits as a result of the shutdown, further surveys are showing that same pattern — even after the shutdown.More

Target adds in-store pickup for online orders
In a display of e-commerce catch-up, Target has begun allowing customers to pick up select online orders at its stores. The service is limited to about 35,000 items, including CE and home furnishings, and will not be available Thanksgiving week (Nov. 24-30).More

Best Buy stores to open early for PlayStation, Xbox sales
Best Buy Co. Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly wants to ring up sales tied to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One even before the new game consoles go on sale. The world's largest consumer-electronics retailer will open most of its approximately 1,050 U.S. stores as early as 10 p.m.More

Convenience chains targeting North Jersey
The Record
Convenience store chains like Wawa, Quick Chek and 7-Eleven are targeting North Jersey for expansion. The region, they say, is home to large numbers of their most coveted demographic: The time-starved. More

Capitol Hill's ripple effect on retailers
Chain Store Age
The recent government shutdown has analysts scrambling to determine how much damage was done to the national economy. From a retail perspective, understanding the scale and scope of the shutdown requires a more thorough understanding of the issues at play; including a closer look at how retailers responded and a breakdown of how the lingering effects of the partial government closure may impact the holiday sales season.More

Starbucks Q4 profit up 34 percent — 1,500 net new stores on tap
Chain Store Age
Starbucks Coffee Company recently reported a better-then-expected 34 percent rise in its fiscal fourth-quarter and raised its quarterly dividend 24 percent. The company earned $481.1 million, up from $359 million a year ago. More

Study: Shoppers loyal to stores with sales on frequently purchased items
Chain Store Age
Nearly 90 percent of Americans repeatedly buy products retailers have on promotion, according to a new survey by Syngera, a global technology startup that uses big data to bring personalized digital experiences to the physical retail store. More

Report: Penney says sales are improving
Chain Store Age
J.C. Penney Co. recently reassured investors that sales trends are improving and reaffirmed its forecast calling for positive same-store sales results in the third quarter, Reuters reported. More

GNC uses dunnhumby for omni-channel segmentation
Chain Store Age
GNC Holdings Inc. will use customer-centricity solutions from dunnhumbyUSA across all facets of its marketing to more effectively segment and engage with in-store and online customers. This will include personalized communications and offers to shoppers through online and offline channels. More

Why UPS will win Christmas, scroogy shopping or not
Bloomberg Businessweek
Brick-and-mortar retailers are sweating online competition this holiday season, perhaps more than ever. But it's all upside to UPS. The shipping giant is cashing in on Internet shopping, and old-school retailers are trying to mimic shipping inventory around the country in an incessant supply-chain shuffling.More

Are fair trade clothes a fair feal?
ABC News
Following trends in chocolate and coffee production, Patagonia has become the first major national apparel retailer to sell "Fair Trade certified" clothing, but will customers spend more for "fair" workers' wages and safer working conditions?More

The free-shipping wars have begun
UT San Diego
While most consumers expect free standard shipping, and 35 percent of retailers say they already offer year-round free shipping, up from 23 percent last year, many are sweetening the deal by offering free speedier delivery earlier in the season.More

Building the retail organization of 2023 Blog has devoted a lot of thought and research this year to the subject of retail's organizational structure — specifically, where all things "digital" fit into today's retail organization. Our January study, "Organizational Structure for the Future of Retail: The Digital Effect," showed there is no silver bullet retailers should adopt to facilitate digital integration. More

Convenience store foodservice turning heads
From Washington, D.C., to the shores of Hawaii, a recent USA Today article points out the growing trend of gourmet food being sold in convenience stores and features a handful of locations hitting the mark across the country.More

7-Eleven: No new logo, no new prototype
Despite reports to the contrary, convenience store chain 7-Eleven has no plans to rebrand with a new logo and an updated store design to position itself on a health platform, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.More

Crude oil prices level off — pump prices continue to drop
Crude-oil prices recently fell again, continuing a trend that should result in gasoline prices hovering around $3 a gallon in the Milwaukee area for the rest of the year, an oil industry analyst said.More

Trends and new products from the NACS Show: Tobacco
The trend may no longer be new, but electronic cigarettes were seemingly everywhere at the NACS Show. R.J. Reynolds and Altria offered retailers a sneak peek at their Vuse and MarkTen offerings — currently only available in Colorado and Indiana respectively — while established leaders including Lorillard's blu and NJOY showcased new products and a bevy of TV ads.More

Coca-Cola returns to volume growth
In its third quarter, Coca-Cola Enterprises reported an international volume increase of 2.5 percent, reflecting improved weather and ongoing marketing initiatives, including the "Share a Coke" campaign.More

New products on tap from Hershey Co. in 2014
The Hershey Co. announced its third-quarter results, celebrating a 5 percent growth in its candy, mint and gum sales for the 12 weeks ending Oct. 5, for all outlets combined plus convenience store channels, which accounts for about 90 percent of the candy company's U.S. retail business.More

Sears, Kmart to open on Thanksgiving Day
Chicago Tribune
Sears and Kmart stores will open on Thanksgiving Day and keep the lights on through Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the retailers’ parent company said. Kmart will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, and won't close until 11 p.m. the next day, Black Friday.More

Retailers gung-ho on gift card sales, see electronics as a holiday winner
As retailers continue to give gift cards new twists and looks, they are once again expected to be a bright spot this holiday season. According to a BDO survey of 100 chief marketing officers at stores with average sales of $2.8 billion, 61 percent of them expect their gift card sales to increase this holiday, a fifth straight gain from 32 percent in 2009.More

Macy's to deploy visual recognition technology from NantMobile
Chain Store Age
Macy's shoppers will be able to see it, scan it, shop it this holiday season with the chain's upcoming integration of NantMobile's iD visual recognition technology. The new Macy's Star Gifts app, powered by iD, empowers mobile shoppers to leverage visual recognition technology to purchase items from Macy's Star Gifts assortment while on the go.More

10 Commandments of retail sales
Retailers could be in for a hard time this holiday season. According to Morgan Stanley, the American consumer is showing signs of being spent out and fatigued with uncertainty. Regardless of the holiday season predictions, retailers must be on top of their game. Consumers will not tolerate sloppy sales approaches and a poor experience. If retailers want to be effective this holiday season, they must vow to serve the customer with the following 10 retail commandments.More

Cyber Monday optimization checklist
Search Engine Watch
If you're in the ecommerce space, this is one of the busiest times of year for your business and your website. It's about to get even more hectic from here on out. The Monday after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Cyber Monday, falls on Dec. 2 this year. If you're keeping count, that's about two weeks away. You can still implement these tips to ready your website, drive more visibility and connect with your target consumer in time for Cyber Monday 2013 and claim your share of the estimated $82 billion that will be spent in online holiday shopping.More

3 important steps for a running sustainable restaurant
By Becky Bicks
There is a growing emphasis on running sustainable businesses in a way that does not excessively deplete environmental, economic or societal resources. Sustainable businesses have little or minimal impact on local or global economies and environments. They are, in a sense, self-sustaining enterprises that operate by both taking from the world and giving back to it equally. One industry that has seen a particularly large increase in the focus on sustainability is the restaurant industry.More

Gen Y warms up to the 'new' Black Friday
That news comes just as Target announces that it too will open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day — joining Wal-Mart, Kohl's, JCPenney and Macy's, as retailers around the country continue their effort to broaden and build on the sales momentum of Black Friday. Accenture reports shopping on both Thursday and Friday of retail's big weekend is clearly a sport for the young, with 55 percent of 18- to-24-year-olds and 61 percent of 25- to-34-year-olds saying they are likely to shop on Thanksgiving Day, compared with 31 percent of 45- to-59-year-olds.More

4 ways to make your supply chain more dynamic, resilient
Executives around the world today are challenged by a seemingly continual onslaught of change that must be managed, whether it's driven by fluctuations in foreign currency, a natural disaster or political instability. While such change makes business outcomes less predictable, it also can create unexpected opportunities. Consequently, many companies question the resilience of their supply chain.More

Give your holiday customers the service they deserve
By Harry J. Friedman
With the holiday selling season just around the corner, many of you may be waiting with bated breath for the shoppers to start converging upon your stores — and for good reason. Shoppers are in a buying mode during the holidays. Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of the season, salespeople sometimes forget or overlook some very basic customer service points — points that can increase sales today and throughout the year.More

MCX launches new eGift Cards just in time for the holidays
The Marine Corps Exchange has launched their new eGift Card service that allows you to purchase and instantly send a gift card to anyone who is an authorized exchange patron. This new option is a great way for families and friends who do not have exchange privileges to send a gift or help pay for a special purchase or event. Need a gift for a baby shower, wedding, birthday, graduation? We've got you covered in an instant without even leaving the house.More

The Air Force catches the wind
Armed with Science
The Air Force Research Laboratory Advanced Power Technology Office identified state-of-the-art small wind turbines capable in extreme arctic conditions for a winter demonstration. The demonstration will provide proof-of-concept as well as data regarding site conditions and failure mechanisms.More

American burger franchise serves the troops with 1st Navy base location
1888 Press Release
Recognized as one of the most aggressive and ambitious brands in the United States, Jake's Wayback Burgers has joined forces with the Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme, Navy Exchange to open a new restaurant in the NEX Port Hueneme food court. More