Budget ... We have a deal, but there is still the elephant in the room to deal with:
Sequestration is delayed for two months, which means we still have to face the music but this will fall to the new Congress.
Amid pressure, House passes fiscal deal
Read the Full Story
The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer
Ending a climactic fiscal showdown in the final hours of the 112th Congress, the House recently passed and sent to President Barack Obama legislation to avert big income tax increases on most Americans and prevent large cuts in spending for the Pentagon and other government programs.
Many threats are left intact
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The Washington Post via Early Bird, Zachary A. Goldfarb
The deal to which the House recently gave final approval will head off the most severe effects of the "fiscal cliff" by averting a dangerous dose of austerity but still leaves the economy vulnerable to both immediate and more distant threats.
Delay may increase pain of potential DoD cuts
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Army Times, Rick Maze
The new fiscal bill, HR 8, delays by two months the across-the-board budget cuts under the sequestration procedures of the 2011 Budget Control Act. By delaying, but not preventing, sequestration, the agreement leaves the Defense Department at risk of being forced to cut $57 billion to $63 billion from the 2013 budget while also giving them less time, which means less flexibility, in making the cuts.
Obama signs fiscal cliff to raise taxes on wealthy, delay spending cuts
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The Associated Press via The Washington Post
President Barack Obama has signed a bill that boosts taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while preserving tax cuts for most American households.
Federal agencies bracing for cuts after the accord
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The Washington Post via Early Bird, Lisa Rein and Josh Hicks
The fiscal pact Congress reached hours into the new year will delay $109 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts for two months. But it will make a down payment on those reductions that will affect federal operations this year and next.
The devil is in the details:
We have a deal. "President Barack Obama and Senate leaders struck a bipartisan agreement late Monday to let income taxes rise sharply for the first time in two decades, fulfilling Obama's promise to raise taxes on the rich and avoiding the worst effects of the "fiscal cliff." As Biden rushed to the Capitol to brief Senate Democrats on the deal, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., laid plans for a vote shortly after midnight, when taxes were set to rise for virtually every American. Upon Senate passage, the measure would go to the House, where Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, pledged to bring it to a vote in the coming days."
Suzy Khimm's summary of the fiscal cliff deal:
Tax rates will permanently rise to Clinton-era levels for families with income above $450,000 and individuals above $400,000. All income below the threshold will permanently be taxed at Bush-era rates.
The tax on capital gains and dividends will be permanently set at 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold. It will remain at 15 percent for everyone else. (Clinton-era rates were 20 percent for capital gains and taxed dividends as ordinary income, with a top rate of 39.6 percent.)
The estate tax will be set at 40 percent for those at the $450,000/$400,000 threshold, with a $5 million exemption. That threshold will be indexed to inflation, as a concession to Republicans and some Democrats in rural areas like Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
The sequester will be delayed for two months. Half of the delay will be offset by discretionary cuts, split between defense and non-defense. The other half will be offset by revenue raised by the voluntary transfer of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, which would tax retirement savings when they're moved over.
The pay freeze on members of Congress and all other federal civilian employees, which Obama had lifted this week, will be re-imposed.
The 2009 expansion of tax breaks for low-income Americans: the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit will be extended for five years.
The Alternative Minimum Tax will be permanently patched to avoid raising taxes on the middle-class.
The deal will not address the debt-ceiling, and the payroll tax holiday will be allowed to expire.
Two limits on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans will be reimposed: Personal Exemption Phaseout will be set at $250,000 and the itemized deduction limitation kicks in at $300,000.
The full package of temporary business tax breaks — benefiting everything from R&D and wind energy to race-car track owners — will be extended for another year.
Scheduled cuts to doctors under Medicare would be avoided for a year through spending cuts that haven't been specified.
Federal unemployment insurance will be extended for another year, benefiting those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks. This $30 billion provision won't be offset.
A nine-month farm bill fix will be attached to the deal, Sen. Debbie Stabenow told reporters, averting the newly dubbed milk cliff.
After a "fiscal cliff" deal, what next? "Assuming the deal is approved, it will nevertheless give way to a nearly continuous series of fights that will consume the first part of the year, even as President Barack Obama might hope to shift Congress's attention to immigration reform and gun control." - Rosalind S. Helderman in The Washington Post.
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
White House says no Defense programs are immune to cuts
Pentagon officials must make across- the-board reductions in weapons and research funds instead of slices that could spare some programs under the automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect soon, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. More
Army gets geographical command, at last
The Washington Times Share
The Army stepped to the fore last month, winning one of the armed forces' most coveted commands after having seen Marine Corps generals selected in recent years to head operations in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Europe. More
Board calls for new policy to calculate troop costs
Marine Corps Times via Early Bird Share
The Pentagon pays about three times as much money to keep an active-duty service member on the payroll compared with a reserve component service member. That's the conclusion of a Pentagon advisory board that tried to calculate the "fully burdened, total life-cycle costs" for military personnel. More
Soaring cost of military drugs could hurt budget
Austin American-Statesman Share
Last year, the Pentagon spent more on pills, injections and vaccines than it did on Black Hawk helicopters, Abrams tanks, Hercules C-130 cargo planes and Patriot missiles — combined. Some of the prescription drugs that have fueled the military's skyrocketing pharmaceutical budget are the same ones that have medicated the civilian world over the past decade. Since 2002, the Department of Defense has spent more than $5 billion on Lipitor, Plavix, Advair, Nexium and Singulair. Rather than a reflection of the drugs needed to treat wounded troops, the top-selling prescriptions signal an increase in aging military retirees covered by the military's health program, Tricare, with drugs for arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes costing billions. More
North Korea's Kim seeks cooperation with South
The Washington Post via Early Bird Share
In a domestically televised New Year's Day speech, North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Eun said he wants to "remove confrontation" on this divided peninsula and called on "antireunification forces" in South Korea to end their hostility toward the North. More
To perform shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area, custodial operations at the Fort Lewis Commissary in Washington
Federal Business Opportunities Share
Furnish all necessary supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies to perform shelf stocking, RSHA and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lewis Commissary located in Fort Lewis, Wash., near Tacoma, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement. The solicitation includes a base period (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014) and four 1-year option periods. This acquisition is 100 percent set-aside for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business concerns. More
Study: Turkey sales jump, all poultry up
Supermarket News Share
New Mintel statistics show turkey sales taking flight along with duck and other specialty birds. According to figures recently released by the research firm, sales of those birds grew 6.5 percent just in the last year, reaching $7.1 billion. Indeed, the whole poultry category has grown steadily and will continue to do so, according to Mintel. More
Kraft bowing 40-plus products
Progressive Grocer Share
Kraft Foods Group Inc. is bringing more than 40 foods and beverages to market, each item developed to meet consumer demand for bold flavors, flexible eating patterns and simpler product recipes, while still offering quality and value. This is the first comprehensive new products launch since Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft became an independent public company in October. More
Grocery stores look to cater to male shoppers
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal Share
Although men have been doing more household shopping for years, since the onset of the recession, they're been hitting the aisles in greater numbers. Stores and manufacturers are paying closer attention to their shopping preferences. More
2013 food trends: What's the buzz
Chicago Tribune Share
2013 is the year of the snake, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. But in food circles, it just might be the year of the roast chicken or Asian noodles. The new year is always the time when prognosticators of all stripes decide what's in, what's out and, most intriguing of all, what's next. Will we eat more Asian-influenced sandwiches and less Asian fusion? More Latin American flair, with a focus on Peru and Brazil? What influence will the economy, the growing number of farmers markets and our time-crunched lives have on what we eat? More
10 things you should not buy at the grocery store
Sometimes we get stuck in our routine of shopping at the same store. The problem with that is you are likely not getting the best deal. In fact, there are many items you should not buy at a grocery store at all. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 a.m., December 19, 2012 and 10 a.m., January 3, 2013.
DP #3, CONUS & Pacific Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
DP #4, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
DP #5, Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
Mother’s Day, Alaska Reserves.
Valentines, Update #2.
Winter Club Pack, Far East & Alaska Quantities #3.
NOTICES TO TRADE
13-28, Creation of Contingency Orders for Stores Supported by FDS Distributors.
13-37, Store Reset Dates Portsmouth.
13-38, Nutritional Snack Category Review with Attachment.
13-39, DeCA HQs WW Promotion Product Images for Shippers, Pallets and OTB's.
13-40, DeCA Dairy Roundtable/Change to Dairy Category Reviews in 2013.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 13-01.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
SAVE THE DATES
April 23, 2013: ALA/DeCA Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament, Fort Lee, Va.
April 24–26, 2013: ALA Commissary Roundtable, Marriott Hotel, Richmond, Va.
June 18, 2013: ALA Congressional Caucus, Washington, D.C.
Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2013: 66th ALA National Convention, Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, La.
'Fiscal cliff' deal looks so-so for US businesses on taxes
The "fiscal cliff" deal that slowly, painfully took shape in the U.S. Congress in recent days fulfills some of corporate America's tax policy goals, but leaves others unmet, including a big one meaningful deficit and debt reduction. More
Wal-Mart is mobile retailer of the year
Mobile Commerce Daily Share
Wal-Mart has been named 2012 Mobile Retailer of the Year, the highest accolade in mobile commerce and retail. The honor tops the Mobile Commerce Awards handed out each year for outstanding work that moved the mobile commerce needle for retailers, financial services firms and marketers. More
When Christmas brings retailers many unhappy returns
Bloomberg Businessweek Share
Now that the holiday shopping frenzy is almost over, merchants are bracing for a less-welcome wave of business: merchandise returns. But it's not all those sweaters that never seem to fit right that are the big headache. Instead, post-Christmas marks the prime season for retail return fraud. More
Retailers gird for disappointing December sales
It doesn't look like the new year will greet retailers on a welcome note. Retailers, scheduled to report their critical December same-store sales soon, will likely show disappointing results hurt by factors including declining consumer confidence tied to Washington's fiscal-cliff uncertainty, analysts recently said. More
Return to the city: Renewal of inner city retail stores
Times change. Sometimes old ideas become new again. Most public transportation converges at a central point the inner city. In contrast, suburban shoppers have always been dependent on automobiles. They have little choice; with no true town center distances traveled to shopping centers can be great. In the suburbs public transportation is scant and not convenient. More
Negotiators avert strike in port talks
The Wall Street Journal Share
Negotiators recently averted a potential longshoremen's strike that would have stopped container cargo at U.S. ports from Boston to Houston beginning Dec. 30, but the tentative agreement came too late to prevent retailers from rerouting spring products deliveries. More
When free shipping isn't enough
Internet Retailer Share
When it comes to shipping, e-retailers must often go beyond waiving delivery charges to win over customers. More
Online gift returns aiding business at FedEx
Memphis Business Journal Share
No matter how well shoppers shopped, more than a third of Americans will return gifts this holiday season. That's the findings of a survey commissioned by FedEx Corp. which mined a lot of holiday consumer issues. More
Best practices to turbo charge your email marketing program
Shop.org Blog Share
Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak, challenged the audience at the 2012 Shop.org Annual Summit's Digital Retail Boot Camp in Denver to reinvigorate their email marketing programs. Using the nearby Rocky Mountains as something of a metaphor for how retailers can and should "ascend" the rungs of email marketing sophistication, Kramer first laid out "Base Camp" fundamentals such as benchmarks, list growth, calendar and deliverability. Following these basics, Kramer showed retailers how investing in developing their email sophistication what he dubbed as the "Advanced Camp" and "Summit" levels of email marketing will allow them to learn more about their customers, target them with greater precision and personalization, and ultimately, reap greater ROI. More
Did the Grinch steal the holiday shopping season?
Despite some reports suggesting holiday sales will be the worst since 2008, Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, told CNBC he's still predicting a 4.1 percent increase. "We're still pretty optimistic it's going to be a solid year," Shay said on "Squawk on the Street." "We're still going to have year-over-year growth" of 4.1 percent. But that is down from 5.6 percent growth last year. More
Luxury sales shine in holiday season
The Herald-Tribune Share
Jewelry, cars, high-end clothing, trendy electronics and other expensive merchandise showed heightened demand from consumers again this holiday shopping season, as luxury items continued to outpace the rest of the retail sector. More
71 percent of big brands leave customer tweets unanswered
Internet Retailer Share
While 90 percent of 50 large retailers are active on Twitter, only 29 percent use the platform to actively engage with shoppers, according to a study by digital marketing firm Acquity Group. Acquity studied the 50 retailers included in consulting firm Interbrand's report, "Best Retail Brands 2012." More
Historic grocery store closes doors
Good service and homemade spaghetti sauce are just two of the things Monticello's Grocery is known for. Ted and Arlene Monticello have owned the store on the corner of Quincy Street in Hancock, Mich., for the past 30 years, and they've made the decision to close the doors for good. More
This is Retail winner Tanna Dang shares her true passion: Creating opportunities for others
Retail's BIG Blog Share
Tanna Dang, the owner of Honolulu's Eden in Love and first place winner of this past year's video contest, shares how she managed to combine her passion for fashion with her desire to make an impact on her community. And while she was at it, Tanna took some time to talk about the importance of following your dreams, the best career advice she's ever received, and her thoughts on all the wide-ranging opportunities in our amazing industry. More
Restaurant brands rank high on Entrepreneur's 2013 franchise list
Entrepreneur has released its 34th annual Franchise 500, a list of the top franchise companies based on financial and statistical data from July 2010 to July 2012. The most weighted criteria include financial strength and stability, growth rate and system size. More
Caribou Coffee is sold to German company
USA Today Share
A German holding company is buying Caribou Coffee for approximately $324.8 million. Caribou Coffee will continue to operate as an independent company with its own brand and management team once the buyout closes. It will keep its headquarters in Minneapolis. More
Vitamin Shoppe buys Super Supplements for about $50 million
The Wall Street Journal Share
The Vitamin Shoppe bought the assets of Super Supplements Inc. for about $50 million in cash, boosting the North Bergen, N.J., nutritional-products retailer's West Coast presence. The acquisition closed Dec. 31, and was described by Vitamin Shoppe Chief Executive Tony Truesdale as a "strategic and cultural fit." Truesdale also said Super Supplements' key management team will remain in place. More
Most popular stories in 2012
J.C. Penney to change prices amid revamp
Best Buy CEO quits in probe
Nordstrom: The retailers' retailer
Election 2012 in review: The impact on retail
CEOs of HSN, Avon and TJX among 'World's Most Powerful Women'
Can retailers halt 'showrooming'?
Lululemon's secret sauce
Inside J. Crew's move back to black
STORES' Top 100 Retailers
The 2 massive trends impacting your customers in 2013
Business 2 Community Share
Understanding the broader customer environment is crucial to managing and meeting their expectations. For example, all retailers customer's expectations have been impacted by the innovations and success of the Apple retail platform. Customers expect to be able to walk in speak to anyone in the store and buy something immediately with a receipt emailed to them instantly. This raises the bar for all retailers regardless of what you sell. More
Pump prices averaged record high in 2012
Convenience Store News Share
Motorists can surely be happy that 2012 is gone. The national average price of regular gasoline in 2012 was $3.60, the most expensive annual average on record, according to AAA. The previous record was $3.51, which was set in 2011. "Record high gas prices have made  the most expensive year yet for motorists," said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. "Factors as volatile as major hurricanes, refinery outages and tension in the Middle East resulted in significant frustration for people filling up their cars." More
For most smartphone owners, the device is a personal shopping assistant
Internet Retailer Share
Seventy-six percent of smartphone owners use their devices while shopping, new research finds. Smartphones are especially popular for consumers seeking consumer electronics, apparel and groceries. More
Epic retail fail: Where did the Target + Neiman Marcus collection go wrong?
Too weird, too pretentious, too expensive and, in the end, too out of step with what today's arbiters of style deem cool. Those have been among the many critiques of Target's multi-designer collaboration with luxury retailer Neiman Marcus — a partnership that was hyped to the hilt, and wound up as a major bust. More
ALA Exchange E-Blast week 1/1/13
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Save the dates:
Fisher House Tour Date Change
Dear confirmed attendees:
We have had to reschedule the visit to the Dallas VA Fisher House that was originally scheduled for 9 a.m., Jan. 9 to 9 a.m., Jan. 30. The change was necessary to resolve a scheduling conflict at AAFES.
Please note the new date. You need not reconfirm with me, but if you are not able to attend on the new date, please let me know.
Thank you, and we apologize for any inconvenience that might result from this change.
James D. Weiskopf
Vice President, Fisher House Foundation
Home: 13125 Willow Edge Court, Clifton, VA, 20124-1080
Office: 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD, 20850
Telephone: (Home) 703-378-5670; (Mobile) 202-607-1067
March 6-8, 2013 All Exchange Round Table, Grand Hyatt, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport
Operation Come Back Home Enjoy Your Benefit!
Click here for more info!
March 6, 2013 Bear Creek Golf Club
3500 Bear Creek Ct., Dallas, Texas, 75261
10 a.m. Shotgun Start
For more information, call Julie Fox at 469-221-4122, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration forms and further details to follow at a later date.
April 23, 2013 ALA/DeCA Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament, Fort Lee, Va.
April 24–26, 2013 ALA Commissary Roundtable, Marriott Hotel, Richmond, Va.
Aug. 19-22, 2013 2013 Hawaii Trade and Food Show, Honolulu, Hawaii
Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2013 66th Annual Convention, Hyatt New Orleans, New Orleans, La.
Go to: www.ALA-National.org, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.
Air Force tests 24/7 fitness centers
Targeted News Share
The U.S. Air Force Air Force Personnel Center issued the following news: Six installations will implement 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week fitness center access as part of an Air Force Services Transformation Initiative test concept, Air Force Personnel Center officials recently announced. More
Down the hatch: Army cracks down on alcohol dependence, binge drinking
U.S. Army Share
Soldiers are expected to work hard and, as it is popularly understood, to party just as hard. While excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking are thought to be part of the military lifestyle, the Army is cracking down on such behavior, as it is deemed detrimental to the force. More