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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only May 02, 2014



A step in the right direction:

When it comes to budget discussions these days analysis is king and DoD clearly did not have any when it came to the proposed cuts to benefits contained in its 2015 budget submission. The House taking the first action on the 2015 NDAA has rejected the DoD proposal and is asking for the necessary analysis to move forward while protecting these programs for the troops.

House panel rejects benefits cuts in 2015 defense budget
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Leo Shane III
In the first official congressional action on the Pentagon’s proposed 2015 budget, House lawmakers have rejected proposed cuts in housing allowances and commissary funding, as well as an overhaul of the Tricare system that would increase out-of-pocket costs for some beneficiaries.

Is it butter or bullets ... guess not ... too many bullets, but they can still propose cutting the commissary benefit. What gives?

Report: Pentagon to destroy $1 billion in ammunition
Read the Full Story
USA Today, Tom Vanden Brook
The Pentagon plans to destroy more than $1 billion worth of ammunition although some of those bullets and missiles could still be used by troops, according to the Pentagon and congressional sources.

A good perspective and analysis from Major General Dick Beale, USA (Ret):

Ex-commissary chief warns defense cuts could topple resale system
Read the Full Story
Stars and Stripes, Tom Philpott
A retired Army sergeant first class living in Northeast El Paso, Texas, says he and his wife will stop shopping on Fort Bliss if the Department of Defense, as planned, allows commissary prices to climb within 10 percent of local grocers.

Passing of a loved one:

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Mr. Richard Rist. By natural cause, Dick passed away peacefully on Friday, April 25, surrounded by family at his home in Wilton, Connecticut. He is survived by his wife Barbara, daughter Julie, and son Oliver.

A great friend and mentor to many of us, Dick began his Resale career, with Eurpac Service, Inc., in Frankfurt, Germany in the 1960s. Marketer, salesman, manager, entrepreneur and diplomat, Dick assembled the ownership team that acquired Dunham and Smith Agencies in 1980. The principal owner under the subsequent structure, Dick served as Dunham and Smith's President and Chief Executive Officer. In 1996, Dunham and Smith Agencies was merged into Eurpac Service, Inc., where Dick served as a Director for 17 years.

Members of the Eurpac Family and the Resale Industry-at-Large have lost a great friend and generous leader, whose contributions will be evident in our community for years to come.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent to:
Mrs. Barbara Rist
110 Catalpa Road
Wilton, CT 06897

Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association


Through the fiscal looking glass
Foreign Policy
Once again, reality has been pushed aside in the defense budget debate. The administration transmitted a budget which, across the board, and especially when it comes to the Defense Department, departs from reality. A deal is a deal, however, so it asks the appropriate amount for defense this year — $496 billion in FY 2015 — in keeping with the Murray-Ryan agreement. But then the whole budget logic evaporates into magic and rhetorical excess.
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Soldier pay: How much is enough?
ARMY Magazine
The 1 percent basic pay raise proposed for soldiers in the 2015 federal budget serves as an example of the bottom line for calculating military salaries. For all the studies of making military pay competitive with private-sector wages and comparable with what soldiers could earn if they weren't in uniform, the decision about the raise often comes down to a gut call in response to a simple question: How low can you go?
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New rule: Recruits may have to buy US-made athletic shoes
Military Times
The Defense Department issued a new rule Friday that could prohibit boot-camp recruits from using their one-time cash allowance for athletic footwear to buy foreign-made shoes. The rule stems from a federal law known as the "Berry Amendment," that requires DoD to buy American-made goods when possible. This law has not applied in the past because there were no entirely American-made shoes on the market.
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Sources: Exchange eyes opening online store to all vets
Military Times
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials want to expand shopping privileges at the online exchange store to all honorably discharged veterans, sources said. That would open the online store to about 20 million veterans, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
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Niche Market Newspapers Still Thriving in the Digital Age
Military Media Inc.    Share   

While most newspapers and print media are losing readership and advertising revenue to digital media, niche market newspapers are continuing to thrive.

Niche market newspapers like those published for local communities such as military bases are thriving because they provide advertisers a way to zero-in on their specific target markets. These newspapers are free and delivered to homes on military bases and placed in high traffic areas around the community. They enjoy a very high readership rate among the audience to which they are delivered. MORE


Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...

Save Our Benefit, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), National Military Family Association, and Blues Star Families will be participating in the National Spouse Summit on May 6 as part of a panel discussion on "The Affect Sequestration May Have on Your Military Life." The event will be moderated by Terry Howell, Director of Strategic Alliances and Outreach. Each expert will discuss their organization and what they see as the major issue or benefit that will suffer under the Department of Defense (DoD) proposed FY15 budget cuts.

As mentioned last week, Military Service Associations, to include Coalition Valued Associates, will be testifying on May 6 before the Senate Armed Services Committee on DoD's proposals relating to military compensation. The Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Air Force Association (AFA), Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will make up the second panel. Making a rare appearance before the committee on the first panel will be the full roster of the Joint Chiefs. This will likely be the last hearing before the committee marks up the annual defense authorization bill.

If you want to watch the hearing live, it will begin at 9:30 a.m. EST and can be accessed through

Military Compensation, Tuesday, 6 May 2014, 9:30 a.m., Rm SH-216, Hart Senate Office Bldg.


Panel I
General Martin E. Dempsey, USA
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Panel II
General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.)
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Association of the United States Army
Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr, USN
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Craig R. McKinley, USAF (Ret.)
President, Air Force Association
General Raymond T. Odierno, USA
Chief of Staff of the Army
General John H. Tilelli, Jr., USA (Ret.)
Chairman of the Board,
Military Officers Association of America
Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN
Chief of Naval Operations
Vice Admiral John B. Totushek, USN (Ret.)
Executive Director,
Association of the United States Navy
General Mark A. Welsh III, USAF
Chief of Staff of the Air Force
General James F. Amos, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps
General Frank J. Grass, ARNG
Chief of the National Guard Bureau


Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, April 24, 2014 and 10 AM April 30, 2014:

DP #12, Update #1 and Alaska Quantities.
DP #14, WW Promotion Package, Hot Weather Heavy Savings.
Mother’s Day, Update #2.

None Received.

CRV Values, April 27, 2014.

Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission
Upcoming Hearings:

The commission has again scheduled hearings. Please help spread the word and attend as many of these public hearings as possible. Here is the schedule:
  • MacDill AFB, FL, 21-22 May 2014
  • Ft Bragg, NC, 24-25 June 2014


ALA Congressional Caucus, June 24, 2014, Washington, DC REGISTRATION OPEN
ALA Hawaii Conference & Food Show, August 2014, Honolulu
ALA Washington Chapter Jim Griffin Memorial Golf Outing, September 17, 2014, Ft. Belvoir Golf Course
ALA National Convention, October 27 - 29, 2014, Hyatt Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Walk-in urgent-care companies are providing relief to retail landlords (The Wall Street Journal)
Millionaires prefer Costco, Target, Home Depot (MediaPost)
Construct new commissary facility, Fort Belvoir, Virginia (Federal Business Opportunities)
Rising food prices pinching consumers (USA Today)
Renewed reasoning for Coca-Cola to buy Monster Beverages (CSPnet)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Your commissary is blooming with May specials
From Cinco de Mayo to Memorial Day, commissary shoppers will find great deals on top-quality, low-priced food to fit their lifestyle and outdoor activities this May. "Spring is a great time of year to clean off the grill and take advantage of great commissary prices on fresh choice grade-A beef, pork and chicken," said Randy Chandler, DeCA's sales director. "We've even got great deals on our fresh fish."
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Get ready for higher food costs
Food prices are on the rise and at least one grocer is planning to pass those costs on to consumers. The cost of produce, meat and pharmacy items is going up and Safeway isn't going to absorb the increase, but will instead, raise prices in stores.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Food costs.

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Shopping for healthy snacks
Progressive Grocer
Worldwide, the snack industry is worth $300 billion in revenue, and is expected to exceed $380 billion by 2017. The industry is driven by consumers' changing tastes and health considerations. Since 2004, the number of consumers categorized as "healthy snackers" has grown from 29 million to 41 million. But the landscape is competitive, and saturated with brands like Special K.
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USDA seeks yearly import fee increase through 2018
The Packer
U.S. import inspection fees will increase slightly every year from 2014 to 2018 under a proposal to change overtime and weekend rates charged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first time in nearly ten years. According to the USDA's Animal and Plant Inspection Service proposal, increased rates from 2014 to 2018 would reflect anticipated cost increases associated with those services.
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A Healthy Body • A Healthy Mind • A Healthy Life

We are a private label USA Vitamin and nutritional supplements distributor. We provide our customers with the best quality private label vitamins, dietary supplements and herbal supplements possible. Click here to visit our website.

Visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Potomachealth.

Studying supermarket stats
Grocery Headquarters
Every day, consumers are inundated, across multiple mediums, with messaging and advertisements for the latest and greatest food items to be found in the local grocery store. As shoppers walk down the aisles they must decide whether or not they want to invest in that new flavor of chips and soft drink or stick with ole' faithful. This year's Grocery Headquarters' annual State of the Industry Almanac shares the top brands consumers purchased — and how much of it — across a multitude of categories.
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Sign of the times: Boost retail sales with store signage
Small Business Trends
After a long, dreary winter, are you hoping to re-energize your retail store's sales this spring? If so, try the following tactics for using signage to attract customers into your store and get them to spend, spend, spend.

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DoD details planned cuts if budget caps remain
Defense News
The Pentagon has laid out plans for how it would cut $66 billion in procurement and research-and-development projects between 2016 and 2019 should US defense spending caps remain in place. The cuts would affect dozens of Defense Department programs.

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Macy's CEO talks 20-somethings, Amazon and the future of malls
BuzzFeed Business
Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren believes part of Macy's success in an extremely competitive environment stems from its practice of giving district managers the power to stock merchandise they believe will appeal to local shoppers, making each location unique and quick to identify trends.

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ALA NY's annual West Point Golf Outing is less than 2 months away!
The ALA NY Chapter is having its annual West Point Golf Outing on Monday, June 23. Proceeds from the event benefit the Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund.

We do not currently have an online registration process - any inquiries can be directed to me at this email address:


Joe Mugnai

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AAFES promotion
Please join me in congratulating Kye Corn on his well-deserved promotion to Senior Buyer of HBC/Household Cleaning. Kye will replace Jacquie Estrada with an effective date of 24/26 May. We are excited to welcome Kye to our team!!

Jennifer Little
Divisional Merchandise Manager
Merchandising Directorate

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Gateway Military Sales, LLC announces worldwide realignment to better serve DeCA, EXCHANGE, the military resale channel of trade
Fast Growing Company Strengthens Resources

In a sweeping change, John Shelley announced that through an affiliation with Hood Canal Military Brokers, Gateway has developed an in-store merchandising and shelf stocking program that will provide superior in-store support for DeCA and EXCHANGE.

John Shelley said, "We have been using this platform in other areas of our military business, and the results have been spectacular. It is time to broaden it. The new Gateway team, with more than 600 experienced people, will provide all service components necessary to support our military customers. This change strengthens Gateway's Mission Statement: deliver brand name consumer products in the simplest way directly from our manufacturers to our military customer at a savings."

Michael Shelley, the Account Executive for EXCHANGE at Gateway, mentioned, "With a heavy emphasis on shelf stocking and product rotation at EXCHANGE, out of stocks were minimized, leading to increased sales. This same philosophy will now be spread throughout all our military customers."

Bill Isaac, Broker Manager at Gateway, a long time veteran with extensive knowledge of DeCA operations and the Military Distributor network, will be playing a key role in this transition. "The Gateway team has the means to set a new standard of excellence in terms of service to DeCA," stated Bill Isaac.

Debra Fields, head of the Gateway in-store merchandising team, has successfully operated Hood Canal Military Brokers for more than 20 years. In that time, she has grown Hood Canal Military Brokers from a local broker to an international powerhouse, handling mostly highly perishable items in the exchanges and commissaries. "We are excited about the opportunity to expand our services through this new and creative affiliation between Gateway and Hood Canal," said Ms. Fields.

About Gateway Military Sales, LLC
Gateway Military, LLC was formed in 2006 to provide additional consumer product choices at a savings to military Patrons who shop at the Defense Commissary Agency and the EXCHANGE. Gateway Military is located in the St. Louis, Missouri area and provides supply-chain management resources with sales & marketing programs that specifically deliver products to all facets of the strategic military resale channel of trade. Our approach to the business is built on trust. Trust is earned through the execution of commitment.

Web Page:

Gateway Military Sales, LLC
Bill Isaac, Broker Manager

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Wal-Mart former chief retiring from board
Chain Store Age
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. recently announced that its former president and CEO Lee Scott will not seek re-election to the company's board of directors. As well, current board member Chris Williams will not stand for re-election to the board of directors at Wal-Mart's Annual Shareholders' meeting on June 6.
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Survey: Most app users don't want to be tracked, receive push notifications while shopping
Chain Store Age
Survey results by location-based shopping platform Retale, which aggregates weekly circulars from more than 60 top-line retailers for mobile and digital devices, found that 71 percent of mobile app users don't like the idea of being tracked into a store via their smartphones. More than half (56 percent) say they are not interested in receiving push notifications while shopping.
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Apple broadens retail store recycling efforts
On Earth Day 2014 Apple used its 424 world-wide retail stores to carry the banner of the company's environmental initiatives, turning the stores' logos partially green and designating every store as a recycling drop-off location for electronics. The store involvement was part of a larger effort to explain and publicize the company's environmental progress.
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Whole Foods sources produce from store roof greenhouse
Supermarket News
Most retailers receive produce by truck, but Whole Foods Market can now receive it by elevator. The greenhouse that sits on the top of Whole Foods' Brooklyn, N.Y., store recently started harvesting from its crop of lettuces, leafy greens, herbs and seven types of tomatoes. This is the second rooftop hydroponic farm run by Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens, and the grower's first to be built on top of a retailer.
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RadioShack store operations executive resigns
The Wall Street Journal
Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack Corp. recently said its executive vice president for store operations has resigned, a little more than a year after joining the company. Troy H. Risch resigned from his post to pursue other interests, according to RadioShack's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other management members will assume Risch's responsibilities effective immediately, the company said.
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Millennials: Browsing more fun than buying
USA Today
They'd rather browse than buy. That, at least, is the word from 14-to- 34-year-olds surveyed by The Intelligence Group, a youth-focused research firm, for its quarterly Cassandra Report. This is the kind of stuff that drives retailers absolutely crazy. The report finds that young folks, increasingly, find the act of researching and browsing for a purchase far more compelling than the purchase itself.
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What's ahead for employment?
Retail's BIG Blog
Many economic discussions – especially those following the Great Recession – have focused on the short-term or immediate economy, particularly in regard to the labor market. However, longer term issues regarding investments, hiring and other business decisions cannot be lost in our thinking about the economy and its direction. While most of us don't necessarily think or plan 10 years out, it remains vitally important to economists, retailers, policymakers and the consuming public to think about the future while creating budgets, plans or sales projections.
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Ray Greenly Scholarship Program
NRF Foundation
Have you ever visited your favorite retailer's Twitter page and thought, "I'd love to manage their social media!"? Or, perhaps you've wondered exactly how retailers manage to bring their brick-and-mortar stores to life on a mobile app? Digital retail is a popular, fast-growing field in the retail industry that requires top performers – from app developers to social media gurus to Web designers. The Ray Greenly Scholarship provides financial support to students who have the potential to succeed in a retail career; especially in fields most relevant to digital retail such as marketing, ecommerce, computer science, advertising, business, graphic design, engineering, journalism, IT, etc.
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Amazon sales take a hit in states with online tax
In one of the first efforts to quantify the impact of states accruing more tax revenue from Web purchases, researchers at Ohio State University published a paper this month that found sales dropped for Amazon when the online charge was introduced. In states that have the tax, households reduced their spending on Amazon by about 10 percent compared to those in states that don't have the levy. For online purchases of more than $300, sales fell by 24 percent, according to the report titled "The Amazon Tax."
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Survey: Americans aren't keen on drones, Google Glass-like devices
Let's face it: A lot has changed in the past few years. Smartphones. 3D printers. Drones. Self-driving cars. It almost feels as though we're living in the future. According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, Americans expect this rapid pace of change to continue over the next 50 years. And while most of those surveyed think all this new tech will be a good thing, there are a few things the populace is wary about.
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Elizabeth Arden hires Goldman to explore sale
Elizabeth Arden Inc has hired Goldman Sachs Group to explore a sale and reached out to a small group of potential buyers, according to people familiar with the matter. The U.S. cosmetics company decided to gauge buyer interest after its share price has come under pressure in the last 12 months amid weak sales in North America, the people said.
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Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman join Fashion Project donation program
The Business of Fashion
It's no secret that the closets of today's fashion consumers are bursting with excess clothing, produced at significant social and environmental cost to the world. But calls for consumers to live leaner fashion lives present obvious challenges for retailers, some of which have responded by incorporating variants on this very message into their marketing strategies.
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Renewed reasoning for Coca-Cola to buy Monster Beverages
The Coca-Cola Co. showed a renewed interest in energy drinks this month with the introduction of vitaminwater energy. And at a time when Coca-Cola's growth is challenged, analysts are again raising the prospect of the beverage maker acquiring Monster Beverages, partially because of the benefits the purchase would bring, and partially because of the pain Coca-Cola would suffer if someone else bought Monster.
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How do you measure the success of your coffee program?
Convenience store retailers hoping to improve upon or even start from scratch with their own elevated coffee programs may want to consider a few basics. The first may be how to measure success.
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E-cig regulations gain traction, minimum age increases fail
With some state legislatures already adjourning their 2014 legislative sessions and other states nearing adjournment, there are varying outcomes on bills to increase cigarette and tobacco taxes, assess a tax on electronic cigarettes, prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and raise the legal age to purchase tobacco product. A state-by-state update on bills, which have either been passed and signed into law or failed due to a vote or the adjournment of a state legislative session, is as follows.
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Hillshire Brands to acquire Van's Natural Foods
The Hillshire Brands Co. and private-equity firm Catterton Partners have announced that Hillshire Brands has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Catterton portfolio company Van's Natural Foods. Van's is a leading "better-for-you" food brand offering multiple product lines in frozen breakfast and snack foods.
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Retailers give E-OK on FDA's e-cig proposal
It could have been worse. Much worse. That was the prevailing sentiment circulating among tobacco retailers in response to the proposed deeming regulations recently released by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.
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2 child development centers break ground
Ft. Meade SoundOff
Children from Fort Meade's Child Development Centers and their parents recently joined Bert Rice, director of the Directorate of Public Works; Martha McClary, director of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley; Francisco Jamison, Child, Youth and School Services administrator; Derrick Troutman, acting child administrator; and Sarah Bonise, acting director of CYSS, to break ground for two more child development centers.
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Military to close Eagleglen Golf Course in Anchorage
Anchorage Daily News
The military recently said it will close Eagleglen Golf Course this season, leaving Anchorage with three 18-hole golf courses. In a press release announcing the closure of one of Alaska's premier courses, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson said it couldn't justify keeping all three of its courses open. JBER said it had considered a variety of options, such as raising greens fees as well as closing one or both of the 18-hole courses at Moose Run, before determining that closing Eagleglen was the best option.
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