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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only September 26, 2014



When snapshots are misleading:

Measuring the savings at the military commissary
(Virginian-Pilot) When the Defense Department earlier this year proposed cutting more than 70 percent from the federal dollars provided to help run military commissaries, it provoked a fierce outcry among military personnel and their families.

    The fact is:

  • When conducting their annual price survey, DeCA compares over 37,000 items utilizing Nielsen; as opposed to a limited amount, like 20 to 30 items.
  • They take the average price over a 26 week period to normalize the price. Taking a price on a specific day or weekend — is distorted — since it could be on sale or being sold as a loss leader.
  • They use the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to compute the percentages that an average consumer will spend on each of their seven major categories comprised of: 1, Meat; 2, Produce; 3, Dairy; 4, Grocery Food; 5, Frozen Food; 6, Grocery Nonfood; and 7, Health & Beauty Care. In this way, they can weight the savings percentages for each of these seven categories to arrive at an overall savings percentage.
  • DeCA's 30.5% savings is worldwide; the savings varies based on where you live. For example in Hawaii the savings is 50%.
  • DeCA's survey also takes into consideration food tax vs. surcharge — some states or countries have large tax.

The outlook is bleak for funding:

New Army vice chief expects worse manpower conditions
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Michelle Tan
The Army's new vice chief expects in 2016 that sequestration will once again rear its ugly head, and that means thousands more force-cuts in the service.

Is there hope on the horizon?

Sen. Carl Levin: Military should not give up on sequestration
Read the Full Story
National Defense, Sandra I. Erwin
There is no chance that Congress will repeal sequestration before he retires, but Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., insists that lawmakers might find a way to relieve the military and civilian agencies from automatic budget cuts next year.

Sen. Carl Levin: 'We're gonna have an authorization bill'
Read the Full Story
Defense News, John T. Bennett
A key U.S. senator believes Congress will pass a Pentagon policy bill this year, but he cast further doubt on the upper chamber ever taking up its own version of the legislation.

Defense spending will be a key issue:

With national security emerging as top issue, candidates adjust strategies
Read the Full Story
National Journal, John T. Bennett
The shifting politics of foreign policy has scrambled the calculations for both parties ahead of the November elections. It has put some Senate candidates, unaccustomed to talking about national security issues, in an uncomfortable position, while elevating others with military experience and foreign policy bona fides.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association


Nonprofit groups honored for supporting troops, vets and families
Military Times
A housing facility that helps veterans with transition issues or addiction problems, a program that provides critical dental care to needy veterans, two programs that support military children and an entrepreneurship "boot camp" for veterans are this year's Newman's Own Award winners.
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Operation Homefront CEO resigns
Military Times
Operation Homefront Chief Executive Officer Jim Knotts has resigned to accept another position, according to officials with the charity that provides emergency financial and other assistance to families of service members and wounded warriors.
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Uniweb continually pushes the limits in creativity and potential of every product they create, providing cost-effective solutions to upgrade existing shelving and increase product facings in the same footprint, thereby enhancing sales volumes! Uniweb also engineers modular spaces which include cash or manager’s offices, secure rooms, and back offices.

Review finds few efficiencies in the Pentagon's joint basing plan
Defense One
The consolidation of 26 standalone military bases into 12 joint facilities has not resulted in increased efficiency nor cost savings, the Government Accountability Office said in a recent report that suggested the Pentagon re-evaluate the project.
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DOD tackles NFL over violence allegations
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has asked for an accounting of the Defense Department's ties to the National Football League, the Pentagon said, as the Obama administration leans on the NFL over its handling of players' alleged domestic violence.
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Lawmakers reject Pentagon bid to spend war funds on F-35s
Lawmakers have rejected the Pentagon's request to shift as much as $1.5 billion in war spending to buy eight new Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) F-35 jets and 21 additional Boeing Co. (BA) AH-64 Apache helicopters. The Defense Department asked for the additional jets and helicopters in a Sept. 8 request for permission to shift, or reprogram, about $2 billion in its war operations budget, partly to pay for expanded operations against Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria.
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ALA Members, Coalition, and Valued Associates in the News ...

Fifteen businesses and state and local government organizations received the 2014 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, the highest honor the Defense Department gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees. We congratulate ALA member General Mills Inc. for being among this year's recipients, who were honored in a Pentagon ceremony this week.

"By recognizing these 15 exceptional employers, the Department of Defense celebrates the contributions made by American employers to our citizen-warriors," said Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. "I commend these extraordinary employers for their unwavering commitment to service members and their families."

The 2014 recipients were selected from nearly 3,000 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists for going above and beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees. Last year's award winners met with President Barack Obama and senior Defense Department leaders as part of the award recognition.

The Secretary of Defense Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 by the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve office to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. Since its inception, 190 employers have been honored to receive this award. For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit

Coalition valued associate member, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) government relations deputy director, Col (Ret) Mike Barron was quoted in The Virginian-Pilot article, Measuring the savings at the military commissary. The article compared commissary savings to local retailers in the Hampton Roads area. ALA has set the record straight as outlined in the President's Message, "When Snapshots are Misleading." But the article also addressed the Department of Defense proposal to drastically cut the commissary budget:

… In its budget proposal released in February, the Pentagon suggested decreasing the federal appropriation for commissary operations from $1.4 billion to about $400 million over three years. The change appears on hold for now.

U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Virginia Democrats, fought to maintain the current appropriation and other military personnel benefits until a review of those programs is completed in February. Congress now looks poised to approve a continuing resolution to extend current spending levels to the end of the year.

That's a relief to Barron and members of his organization.

"It was going to put the commissary really on a death spiral," he said of the administration's proposal. "And it's a critical benefit."

MOAA's advocacy and patron outreach is instrumental in the fight to protect the military resale benefit. This past year, MOAA testified before Congress, and rebuked the Pentagon's Slow the Growth budget-cutting catchphrase in a prepared document shared with every member of Congress, stating:

"Uniformed and civilian leaders have created a perfect storm, providing political top cover to slash pay and benefits with repeated, alarming — and noticeably misleading — statements on personnel cost growth." "This 'quadruple whammy' of capping pay, increasing out-of-pocket expenses for housing, consolidating TRICARE and slashing commissary benefits would be four giant steps towards repeating past insidious measures that led to retention and readiness problems."

MOAA also waged a #Budget Battle campaign, outlining the annual loss of purchasing power service members and their families would incur as a result of these drastic budget cuts; educated the military community through a live Virtual Town Hall, call to action alerts, publications, articles and blogs; and encouraged their members to Strom the Hill and write their Members of Congress.

MOAA's efforts played a critical roll in protecting military families' earned commissary and exchange benefits, and the military resale system as a whole. Proving the power of partnerships. We are grateful to count them among our Coalition valued associate members, and will continue to partner with them as we fight future Budget Battles.

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


Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website between 10 AM, September 18, 2014 and 10 AM, September 25, 2014:

DP #21, The K1/K2 Store Items Selected and the K3/K4/K5 Store Items Selected files have been updated by DeCA.
DP #22, Far East Shipper & Promotion Quantities.
DP #23, WW Promotion Package, Celebrate the Season Sale.
Winter Cocoa/Cider/Miscellaneous, Update #2.

14-79, Store Reset Dates — Ft. Hamilton.
14-80, Store Reset Dates — ARDEC (Picatinny).
14-81, Store Reset Dates — Columbus AFB.

Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 14-39.
DeCA September & YTD Sales Information.
Commissary Council September 17, 2014, Meeting Slides & ALA Meeting Notes.
CRV Values, September 21, 2014.

  • ALA Hampton Roads Chapter Oyster Roast & Golf Tournament, October 2, 2014. Contact Paul Wehner, MDV/Nash Finch, 757-858-9397 for additional information.
  • ALA National Convention, October 27-29, 2014, Hyatt Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. REGISTRATION OPEN
  • ALA New York Chapter Annual Holiday Lunch & Business Meeting, Thursday, December 4, 2014, Vabella Restaurant, New York City. Reservation form on the ALA Website.
  • 2015 Commissary Roundtable, April 29 – May 1, 2015, Richmond Marriott, Richmond, VA.


    Federal Business Opportunities

    Vocollect Hardware/Software Maintenance
    The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, IT Contracting Division, Hardware Section, 2300 East Drive, Scott AFB, IL 62225-5406, intends to issue a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial maintenance prepared in accordance with the format in Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice.

    The Defense Commissary Agency has a requirement for physical wall-to-wall dollar value inventories for the continental United States, Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico locations

    New Commissary Facility, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
    The Defense Commissary Agency, Acquisition Management Directorate, Construction Design Branch (HQ DeCA/LEAAF), anticipates awarding a firm fixed price construction contract to construct a new 141,847 square-foot commissary at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

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    Federal contracts awarded to companies in Alabama
    The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies as having been awarded to companies operating in Alabama.
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    Skippy returns to TV in comeback bid
    Advertising Age
    What would Annette Funicello think of this one: "Skippy Yippee!" That is the new tagline for Skippy, the 82-year-old peanut butter brand once pitched by Funicello and now seeking a comeback under a new owner and ad agency.
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    • One Credential – Access to Nearly 150 Military Installations
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    The Postal Service wants to deliver your groceries each morning
    Government Executive
    The U.S. Postal Service is always looking for fresh ideas to create new revenue streams, and it may have come up with its freshest one yet.
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    Seald Sweet, South African citrus help wounded veterans
    The Packer
    Seald Sweet International used South African citrus promotions to help raise money for wounded military members and their families.
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    Supermarkets urged to take high road on wellness
    Supermarket News
    Supermarkets need to step up their games in the face of mixed consumer reactions to their health and wellness efforts. That's the opinion of Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru, who urged new approaches during a presentation at Supermarket News educational event during Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore.
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    This is what your grocery store will look like in 2065
    Fast Company
    Grocery stores aren't really known for innovation; 50 years ago, a supermarket down the street might have looked basically the same as it looks today. But 50 years in the future — as the food system reacts to a changing climate, water shortages and shifting technology — you might find things at your corner store radically changed.
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    Why earning loyalty isn't just about earning points
    Supermarket News
    Customer loyalty has become closely identified with the programs of points, coupons and discounts that fill our wallets with plastic cards. So much so, the debate over the future of these loyalty programs gets quite confused. However, if you focus on earning loyalty, the debate becomes clearer.
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    New Army vice chief expects worse manpower conditions
    Army Times
    The Army’s new vice chief expects in 2016 that sequestration will once again rear its ugly head, and that means thousands more force-cuts in the service.

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    read more
    US House could vote to avert government shutdown
    Defense News
    The U.S. House soon could vote on a spending measure that would keep the Pentagon and other federal agencies funded while lawmakers hit the campaign trail.

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    read more
    Concerns arise about opening online exchanges to veterans
    Marine Corps Times
    While giving all honorably discharged veterans online exchange shopping privileges would be an added benefit, there are questions within the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments about whether some of the profits should also go back to veterans' programs.

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    read more


    Articles from Chain Store Age
    Home Depot puts breach costs at $62 million; 56 million cards at risk
    Home Depot Inc. confirmed that some 56 million payment cards were likely compromised in a data breach that went undetected for five months.

    Report: Sears needs $4 billion to avoid 2016 collapse
    A $400 million loan Eddie Lampert, the CEO and largest shareholder of Sears Holdings Corp., is making to Sears this month reportedly is only enough to last the struggling retailer for three months.

    Study: Poor, slow Web images affect engagement
    Default image formats, used by up to 95 percent of all websites, do not deliver the highest level of user satisfaction.

    GNC names chief marketing and e-commerce officer
    GNC Holdings named Jeffrey R. Hennion as executive VP, chief marketing and e-commerce officer. Hennion most recently served as president and CFO of mobile commerce provider Branding Build.

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    Wal-Mart's solution for annoyed holiday shoppers: More cashiers
    Wal-Mart Stores will staff more cash registers than ever this holiday season in a bid to address a big, chronic customer complaint: long waits in checkout lines.
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    Target handpicks brand partners for sustainable 'Made to Matter' push
    Advertising Age
    It's green-friendly, but Target's latest marketing initiative runs on cut-throat competition, too. To join the program — "Made to Matter," a collaborative effort with natural, sustainable and organic product brands — companies need to pass muster with some critical judges.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Obama push to hire veterans into federal jobs spurs resentment (The Washington Post)
    House approves bill to make it easier to fire senior executives (Government Executive)
    Fresh produce defense contracts awarded in August (The Packer)
    Commentary: Please, not another continuing resolution (Defense News)
    C-suite exclusive: Pilgrim's Pride still on the prowl (Food Business News)

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

    Corporate dress codes relax in an age of tattoos, piercings
    Starbucks, Wal-Mart and PetSmart ask themselves whether letting workers dress more casual will help with retention — or scare off customers.
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    CE buyers like to go in-store to buy
    Despite the ease and availability of online purchasing, consumers still prefer to have a hands-on experience when it comes to consumer electronic products.
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    Strong holiday hiring expected this year
    Chicago Tribune
    Holiday hiring this year could reach prerecession levels, according to a recent report. Demand for seasonal workers could reach levels not seen since before the recession, thanks to increased consumer spending and job growth across industries, according to the report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global consultancy.
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    Articles from Convenience Store Petroleum
    Pilot Flying J: Racketeering claims inadequate
    Company, preparing for November hearings, seeks dismissals

    How many fuel centers does Kroger have?
    Offers gas at 2,000 sites in 37 states at its supermarkets, convenience stores

    Sales heating up
    Latest VideoMining heat-map study shows boosts in traffic, buyers and sales, but opportunity remains on forecourt

    Wawa's Florida 50
    Celebrating its 50th c-store in Sunshine State; revealing plans for next 50

    Murphy USA leads Iowa E15, E85 rollout
    30 gas stations starting to offer ethanol blends in Hawkeye State

    Sheetz establishes EV corridor
    Charging stations in central Pennsylvania offer 25-minute charge

    7-Eleven looking for franchisees in Northeastern Ohio
    Seeking operators for 37 c-stores that were part of Easy Trip acquisition

    Family Dollar rejects Dollar General's 'illusory' offer
    Will cross-promote in stores, chain says

    Royal Farms scores name rights to Baltimore arena
    Board reaffirms "closing certainty" of Dollar Tree deal

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    Kentucky: Military retiree day offers free services, information
    The Fort Campbell Courier
    As a tribute to those who have served our nation, the Fort Campbell Retirement Services Office in Kentucky will host Retiree Appreciation Day. The event is scheduled from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. EDT, Sept. 27, at Cole Park Commons. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Retiree Appreciation Day is open to all area retirees, including those from sister services, and provides a way for retirees to reconnect with their military Family.
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    Texas: Fort Hood calendar of events
    Fort Hood Sentinel

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