ALA Executive Briefing
Feb. 3, 2012

CBO weighs in with a report on wages
The Washington Post
A report by the Congressional Budget Office will add fuel to the ongoing controversy about federal pay, and it is the workers who will feel the heat. The report compares private- and public-sector pay and finds that Uncle Sam's staff sometimes comes out on top. More

US Navy, Marines say more capable arms offset cuts
Senior officials from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recently said growing capabilities of new weapons systems could help offset cuts in defense spending that will shrink the number of ships and aircraft in coming years.More

Budget cuts may slash additional Marine units
Marine Corps Times
Massive budget cuts recently announced by the Pentagon will likely force the Marine Corps to slash an additional infantry battalion and some light armored reconnaissance elements while scaling back planned expansion of its special operations command, a Marine general said.More

Possibility of base closures triggers new anxiety for officials
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A recent suggestion by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that the military needs another round of base closures triggered a new wave of anxiety among state and local officials, including cities that surround Naval Air Station Fort Worth. Rarely do those civic leaders back down when it comes to defending their military turf.More

POS drives replenishment in Food Lion test
Supermarket News
Food Lion is working on changing the way CPG vendors such as PepsiCo replenish its distribution centers and stores by offering them visibility into current and expected consumer demand as reflected by store-level inventory and sales. "We're moving to a consumer-driven supply chain," said Scott Craig, director of supply chain at Delhaize America, during the Supply Chain Conference, sponsored by FMI and GMA. More

'Hire a Veteran' campaign salutes PepsiCo for putting America's real heroes to work after serving their country
Spike TV, a division of Viacom, recently featured PepsiCo in a public service announcement as part of its initiative to support veterans returning from service in the armed forces and to highlight their transferable skills as they transition to civilian jobs.More

Antibiotic-free meat not free of drug-resistant bacteria
If you're paying premium prices for pesticide- and antibiotic-free meat, you might expect that it's also free of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Not so, according to a new study. The prevalence of one of the world's most dangerous drug-resistant microbe strains is similar in retail pork products labeled "raised without antibiotics" and in meat from conventionally raised pigs, researchers have found.More

Warm January a mixed blessing for supermarkets
Supermarket News
An unusually warm and snow-free month of January favored retailers offering variety and convenience — and likely was a mixed blessing for supermarkets. More

Maintain and use collaborative grocery lists
The grocery store can be a rather unpleasant place if you're not prepared for it, but using collaborative grocery list apps with your significant other or roommates can make the process easier. Here's how to do it.More

Piggly Wiggly Carolina grows online grocery service
Progressive Grocer
After offering online shopping in 10 stores for the past four years, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. has expanded its "Click'n Shop" program to 26 more locations, for a total of 36 stores. Using the online shopping solution, Piggly Wiggly Carolina shoppers can buy groceries online and opt to pick up their purchases at the store or have them delivered. Shoppers can also access online circulars to view weekly sale items and then add them to their carts.More

Grocery shoppers can be both fiscally responsible, health conscious
Iowa State Daily
Grocery shopping can be a difficult task. For the fiscally minded, health-conscious individuals, grocery shopping can be a challenge in trying to stay within a budget while buying healthy food.More

Ecommerce sales to reach $200 billion in 2012
Luxury Daily
Ecommerce is continuing to increase about 17 percent year over year and will likely account for $200 billion in sales in 2012, according to a presentation at the Women's Wear Daily Digital Forum.More

Pet owners shopping around
Marketing Daily via MediaPost News
Pet product marketers and retailers might want to rethink their strategies due to an increasingly competitive marketplace, according to Packaged Facts. Pet owners are shopping around, says David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts. Data from Packaged Facts' September 2011 Pet Owner Survey data show that 47 percent of pet product buyers shop for these items at a variety of stores.More

Home Depot plans to accept PayPal in all stores
Internet Retailer
The Home Depot Inc. plans to begin accepting PayPal at all of its bricks-and-mortar stores by March, according to a spokeswoman for PayPal, the payments services arm of eBay Inc.More

A breakfast run for the border: Taco Bell starts slinging eggs in the morning
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News
Taco Bell, the fast-food chain that caters to late-night snacking, is making a play for the breakfast crowd. The Mexican-style restaurant chain recently introduced a breakfast menu at almost 800 restaurants, mostly in nearly a dozen Western states, including California. The rollout adds to the scramble among fast-food heavyweights competing for the morning allegiance of on-the-go consumers. More

UPS sees improving US economy
The atlanta Journal-Constitution
Shoppers were willing to spend this holiday season, particularly online, UPS executives said. That shows the U.S. economy is getting better, even as the economies of Europe and the rest of the world continue to struggle.More

Pep Boys to be acquired in $791 buyout
Chain Store Age
The Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack, has agreed to be taken private by private equity firm The Gores Group for about $791 million. The total transaction, including debt, is valued at about $1 billion.More

Valentine's Day spending to near $18 billion
Progressive Grocer
Consumers this year are set to spoil their friends, family and loved ones this Valentine's Day in a very big way. According to NRF's 2012 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGinsight, the average person celebrating the holiday will shell out $126.03, up 8.5 percent over last year's $116.21 and the highest in the survey's 10-year history.More

Wendy's reports strongest sales growth since 2004
Business Wire via MarketWatch
The Wendy's Co. recently reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Jan. 1, highlighted by the strongest same-store sales growth since 2004. More

Store brands step up their games — and prices
The Wall Street Journal
Every year, U.S. shoppers buy more generic goods, many of them trading down from more expensive, name-brand labels to save money. But consumers are developing loyalty to store brands for reasons besides price, and that could be a problem for food and consumer products companies as the economy rebounds. (Subscription required.)More

Food industry urged to embrace new growth paths
Supermarket News
The food industry needs to take bold steps — in everything from data practices to supply chain — in order to jump-start growth in the face of unprecedented hurdles, said John Compton, CEO, PepsiCo Americas Foods and Global Snacks Group.More

Banana Republic offers career perks to military
Marketing Daily via MediaPost
Banana Republic is unveiling a special program aimed at helping those in the military find civilian employment, including a special 50 percent off promotion for service members and their families, and resume-writing and wardrobe workshops around the country. Called "Our Duty to You," the program is meant to flex the brand's expertise in workplace style.More

Secretary of the Army reaffirms support for soldiers, families
U.S. Army
Secretary of the Army John McHugh reaffirmed the Army's support to soldiers and families during a visit to the headquarters of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command on Jan. 11. Although there will be many changes coming to the Army, said McHugh, "What won't change is our commitment to taking care of Soldiers and families."More

Year in review: USAG-HI supports Hawaii's Army family
U.S. Army
For U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, 2011 focused upon resiliency, net zero goals and operating within fiscal constraints, among other initiatives. Directorates and offices achieved numerous milestones, from hosting the 40th Fourth of July Spectacular, to surpassing Army Emergency Relief goals, to supporting Army Force Generation, called ARFORGEN — the Army's core process of building trained and ready forces — with innovation.More

Army's biggest stateside lodging facility nears completion at Fort Lee
U.S. Army
The corridors in the 1,000-room lodging facility at Fort Lee aren't just long, they're Army long. Starting most likely in the fall, the two miles of hallways in the seven-story building will be accommodating initial traffic from military guests at the largest Army lodge in the continental United States.More

Army releases 2012 Modernization Plan for Research, Development and Acquisition
U.S. Army
The Army recently released its Modernization Plan in support of the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) President's Budget Request for Army Research, Development and Acquisition equipment funds. The Modernization Plan is a blueprint for the Army's priority equipment necessary for our soldiers to succeed in current operations and to prepare for missions in a complex and unpredictable future. More

LivingFit helps Airmen, families reach weight loss goals
Air Force Services Agency
A new year often begins with resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. Air Force services officials recently launched a new program designed to help Airmen and families accomplish this common goal through proper nutrition and activity.More