ALA Executive Briefing
Dec. 2, 2011

Key lawmakers support Obama military pay review
Air Force Times
Two key senators are backing the White House's call for a presidential commission to recommend an overhaul of military retired pay and health care benefits. If the nine-member commission has time, it also could look at ways to restructure or reform all other elements of pay and benefits, including annual pay increases, bonuses and special pays and allowances.More

Obama: 'I will veto any effort' to undo automatic cuts
Government Executive
President Barack Obama recently blamed Republicans for the failure of the supercommittee to meet its deadline for a debt plan, and warned that he will veto any attempt to eliminate the automatic spending cuts that go into effect with that failure.More

Despite threat of cuts, Pentagon officials made no contingency plans
The New York Times
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has painted such an apocalyptic vision of America's national security under $500 billion in automatic defense budget cuts that Pentagon officials said Tuesday they were pushing back at Congress — and not even planning for the spending reductions, which are to take effect in January 2013.More

Defense budget cuts
Fox News via Early Bird
The failure of the supercommittee could trigger huge cuts to defense spending. Shannon Bream from the Fox News Channel talks with Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon on how this might affect defense.More

Republicans see opportunity to beat Obama with Pentagon cuts
The Hill
The potential for $1 trillion in cuts to the defense budget is thrusting the issue of national security back into the spotlight of the 2012 presidential race. The cuts, set for January 2013, could also turn a strength into a vulnerability for President Barack Obama, who has more to brag about when it comes to security and foreign affairs than the economy.More

Virginia will be key in federal debt debate
The Washington Post via Press Display
Virginia's recent political behavior is at odds with its heavy economic reliance on federal spending. No state has a higher share of its economy fueled by federal procurement. And Virginia is second, behind Alaska, in the per-capita flow of federal money to its borders. Altogether, federal spending accounted for 38 percent of the Old Dominion's economic activity in 2009, according to a report by Federal Funds Information for States.More

Troops reach out for help feeding their families
San Antionio Express
The stress of recession and high unemployment rates for troops' spouses have sparked need among some active-duty and reservist families, according to nonprofit groups that help the military. Service members and their families, including veterans, retirees and reservists, used $88 million in food stamps at commissaries throughout the country this year, reaching an all-time high, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. That is triple the amount used before the recession.More

How shopping for groceries online saves time, money, hassle
Most of us hate going to the grocery store. Fighting for parking, dealing with the crowds, dodging shopping carts, waiting in long lines at checkout — they're all annoying and make us want to avoid the supermarket altogether. Thankfully, we live in the future and we can have groceries brought to us instead of having to go get them. Here's how to get started with grocery delivery, save some money, avoid the grocery-store hassle and let your food come to you.More

The Fresh Grocer to open 5 locations
Progressive Grocer
The Fresh Grocer has joined forces with the Partnership for a Healthier America to increase access to healthy, affordable food in currently underserved Philadelphia-area communities by opening five new full-service supermarkets over the next five years. The Drexel Hill, Pa.-based grocer revealed its development plans recently at PHA's inaugural Childhood Obesity Summit in Washington.More

Food shopping strategies beyond coupons can still save big bucks
NY1 News
VideoBrief In many cases, the key to saving money at the grocery store boils down to "location, location, location." For example, the end cap offers deals but consumer expert Andrea Woroch says it may pay to dig a little deeper in the aisle. "If you compare it back to the other products in the aisle, you may find there is actually a cheaper deal available," says Woroch.More

Who should pay to make ground beef safe from E. coli?
USA Today
What if it were possible to almost entirely do away with E. coli in ground beef — for a cost of only about a penny per burger? Food safety experts say it's entirely feasible with new technologies that have become available. The problem is the economics are backward.More

USDA sees food-price increases abating in 2012
Dow Jones Newswires via Chicago Tribune
The U.S. government left its food price inflation forecast unchanged in a monthly report Friday, projecting that a sharp climb in prices will abate in 2012. The price for all food in 2011 is expected to be up between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, followed by an increase of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2012. Both projections, along with all of the various food categories in the report, were unchanged from a month ago.More

US weekend holiday sales raise hopes
The Wall Street Journal
Retailers were cheered that their mix of deep discounts, early openings and website investment produced a strong start to the holiday season. Now, they're plotting more price cuts to keep wary consumers interested for the rest of the key retailing period. Sales on Black Friday — the big shopping day after Thanksgiving — rose 6.6 percent from a year ago, according to retail data and consulting firm ShopperTrak, which uses equipment installed in stores to measure traffic. (Subscription required.)More

Sleeping giant at Wal-Mart wakes — its vast workforce
Advertising Age
With some 1.4 million employees on its U.S. payroll, Wal-Mart's world is about as large as the state of Maine. That's massive by any standard, but when you consider how social media amplifies that number, it's not simply a huge group but an influential one. No small wonder, then, that the earth's largest employer is taking greater measures to motivate and mobilize its people — and opening up more opportunities for consumer brands to also reach them along the way.More

Best Buy a winner as holiday weekend sales surge
U.S. retailers racked up a record $52.4 billion in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, a 16.4 percent jump from a year ago, as early hours and attractive promotions brought out more shoppers, an industry trade group said.More

NRF CEO: Strong Black Friday good for economy, jobs
Retail's BIG Blog
VideoBriefAs millions of shoppers hit stores early Black Friday morning, retailers rolled out their best sales and promotions to give consumers what they really wanted this year: value. And if the scores of people lined up outside stores were anything to go by, it certainly seems that the industry is on for another Black Friday bonanza this year.More

Black Friday's midnight madness was 'stroke of genius'
ABC News
The midnight store openings may have been marked by brawls and criticism, but one expert surveying the store results called the midnight madness a "stroke of genius" that is "here to stay." "Early morning openings appear to have been well worth it for both retailers and holiday shoppers, with many Americans believing that deals were too good to pass up," read a statement released by the National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay. More

Gadgets unchain cashiers
The wall Street Journal
Apple Inc.'s gadgets have made life difficult for some makers of digital cameras or GPS devices. Are cash-register makers next? This year, more retailers are arming their staff with iPod Touches coupled with a special scanning device that can be used to check out customers. The aim is to make sure sales don't walk out the door when consumers tire of waiting in line and to make more productive use of space that had been reserved for cash registers. More

Black Friday shoppers spend record $52 billion
The Gourmet Retailer
With midnight openings and Black Friday specials, shoppers were out in force, spending record amounts in stores and online last weekend, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch. A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year, according to the survey.More

Supermarket News
In an era rampant with claims of environmental purity, few designations have the clout and cachet of LEED certification by the Washington-based nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council. Worldwide, more than 10,000 buildings across the architectural spectrum, from schools and supermarkets to the Empire State Building, have received a LEED designation. That number will continue to grow as localities increasingly require new buildings to be LEED certified.More

NRF sues over debit fees
California Apparel News
Debit-card reform became law last year, but the fight over the law's extent has not ended. On Nov. 22, the National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores and Boscov's department store filed a suit against the Federal Reserve in U.S. District Court in Washington to change how the law is administered.More

Burger King debuts thicker fries amid competition
Reuters via Yahoo News
Burger King Corp., the second-largest hamburger chain, has changed its french fries recipe for the first time since 1998 as competition mounts. Burger King said it made the new fries thicker, reduced sodium and added a coating that makes them crisper and keeps them hotter longer.More

Cumberland Farms adds second drive-thru store
Convenience Store News
Customers at the Cumberland Farms convenience store here can get your usual convenience store staples — coffee, cigarettes, milk. However, they can do it from their car. "We're not just in the convenience store business, we're in the business of providing for the on-the-go customer," Ari Haseotes, president of the Framingham, Mass.-based company said at the time. "The drive-thru was really just raising the bar yet another level."More

AAFES holiday weekend sales


AAFES new item fee

New Item Allowances — New Policy:

To better align with retail industry best practices, The Exchange is establishing a corporate policy requiring suppliers to provide New Item Allowances. These allowances will be used to offset the intrinsic costs associated with adding items to multiple Exchange systems, such as but not limited to:

Exchange buyers will negotiate New Item Allowances when adding items to basic assortments and when negotiating Exchange Retail Agreements or Business Terms Agreements. Details regarding the New Item Policy are:

Reggie Dawson
VP, Consumables
Sales Directorate
Army & Air Force Exchange Service
214-312-3212 Office
214-535-5980 Blackberry More

AAFES Exchange offers shoppers thousands of dollars in holiday prizes, savings
Aerotech News and Review
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is known for consistently giving back to those who have served and continue to serve, and this holiday season proves to be no different. The Exchange is offering tens of thousands of dollars in prizes, just in time for the season of giving. More

Post exchange expands layaway
DC Military
With the holiday season around the corner, the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Post Exchange is offering a variety of expanded layaway options. Some items, such as toys and bikes, can be held on layaway until Christmas Eve.More

A offering free meals for homeless
American Legion
The Department of Veterans Affairs is reaching out to homeless veterans by providing free meals and spending money to eligible homeless veterans. The free meals will be offered at Veterans Canteen Service cafeterias to homeless veterans attending their first VA medical appointment.More

Japan, US agree to allow trials for US military personnel, civilian employees in certain cases
Japan Today
The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office recently indicted the American driver involved in the Jan. 12, traffic fatality on charges of negligent driving resulting in death, NHK reported. The indictment comes after the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed to review the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement in a bid to allow Japanese law enforcement authorities, in certain situations, to try U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilian employees on military bases, who break Japanese laws while stationed in Japan, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told a news conference.More

Child, youth programs business modernization system
Federal Business Opportunities
The Air Force Services Agency is seeking a commercial-off-the-shelf, Web-based and Internet-accessible Business Modernization System for the Child and Youth Programs. The COTS solution shall support customer management, CYP staff information management, customer account transaction management, meal tracking, activity scheduling and reporting.More

Home away from home
Any service member who has served a short amount of time will agree that the definition of home tends to be slightly different than what the average person would define it as. With multiple deployments as well as spending anywhere from weeks to months in foreign countries for simple training exercises, "home" becomes more of an idea rather than an actual geographical location.More