ALA Executive Briefing
Feb. 27, 2015

Officials: Army mulls cutting troops in Alaska
Stars and Stripes
The Army could remove the bulk of its forces in Alaska under cost-saving plans that will cut active-duty ranks by tens of thousands of troops, the military said.More

Tricare proposal splits veterans' groups
The Hill
The leaders of several prominent veterans' and uniformed services' organizations are split over a proposal to effectively abolish Tricare, the military's health insurance plan. More

The Military has overkilled alcohol with big collateral damage
Task & Purpose
The military needs to acknowledge that responsible alcohol usage is part of the solution, not a problem. More

First Command reports: Career military families resolve to live frugally in 2015
First Command Financial Services Inc. via Business Wire
The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 95 percent of middle-class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are responding to another year of uncertainty over defense downsizing and proposed cuts to their military compensation with a set of frugal New Year's resolutions. Active-duty families are expressing ongoing concerns about a variety of financial issues related to their military service. January survey results reveal that 78 percent of military respondents feel anxious about sequestration. More than half are concerned about their job security in the coming months, and roughly 4 out of 5 expect to be financially impacted by anticipated cuts to defense spending.More

Restoring the faith with our military
The Huffington Post
Navy veteran Jeremy Hilton writes: The "Pentagon benefit battles" of the last five years have created such a raw wound for our military families that military advocacy groups are having to remind them "You Are Not The Problem"; commentary more reflective of the post-Vietnam era. Thankfully, I don't think that attitude extends into most of America; ironically it seems to be an attitude held inside the beltway on parts of Capitol Hill, at DoD, think tanks and much of the media, states Jeremy Hilton, #KeepYourPromise co-founder.More

Would administration, commission proposals ruin the military retail system?
Stars and Stripes and Air Force Sergeants Association
Stars and Stripes carried a column by journalist Tom Philpott that reported on a claim that AFSA has been contending all along: If the DoD portion of President Barack Obama's FY 2016 Budget Plan is passed as is, the military commissary benefit as we know it would be destroyed. The article reports, in part, "The Defense Department's fiscal 2016 budget request would slash taxpayer support of base grocery stores by $322 million in 2016 and by $1 billion next year, enough to 'destroy' the shopping benefit, warns the American Logistics Association." As to the exchange system, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service says the proposals of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to consolidate the exchange system will not realize the projected overhead savings, and the contribution to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs would be slashed or eliminated.More

Fort Meade, Maryland: Healthy Base Initiative to launch new projects
Capital Gazette
As one of 14 Department of Defense pilot installations and sites selected for this initiative, Fort Meade, Maryland, received approximately $206,500 in funding to create health-based programs. "We're making a good first step and we have the support of Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and people in our corner who are really supporting this initiative," said Scott Myers, business operations officer for DFMWR. "So, hopefully going forward, we will be able to do things to [make] the community healthier." More

Shelf Stocking, Receiving/Storage/Holding Area, Custodial Operations at McGuire AFB Commissary, New Jersey
FedBizOpps.gov
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area (RSHA), and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), McGuire AFB Commissary, located at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement (PWS). The solicitation includes a base period (August 1, 2015, through July 31, 2016) and four one-year option periods. This acquisition is a 100 percent set-aside for HubZone Small Business concerns.More

Shelf Stocking, RSHA, Custodial Operations
FedBizOpps.gove
Shelf Stocking, Receiving/Storage/Holding Area (RSHA), and Custodial Services at the Fort Bragg North Commissary located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. More

Shelf Stocking, RSHA, Custodial Operations at Saratoga Springs, New York Commissary
FedBizOpps.gove
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area (RSHA), and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Saratoga Springs Commissary, located in Saratoga Springs, New York, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement (PWS). The solicitation includes a base period (September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016) and four one-year option periods. More

Meat Department Wrapper/Labeler/Scales
FedBizOpps.gov
The Defense Commissary Agency seeks sources to provide Auto-wrappers/Wrappers/Labelers/Scales to Commissaries worldwide. We anticipate this will be a multiple award contract with a base year and four option years. The current contracts supplying this equipment are: HDEC04-11-D-0006, HDEC04-11-D-0007, HDEC04-11-D-0008.More

This is what a zero-waste grocery store looks like, and it's amazing!
Greener Ideal
Sarah Burke writes: I've been a little giddy about the idea of zero waste ever since I read about 23-year-old Lauren Singer from NYC being able to fit the amount of waste she produced from the last two years in a mason jar! That was hard enough to imagine, but now there's an entire grocery store doing it, too! More

When it comes to food, 2015 is all about going local
By Archita Datta Majumdar
As we begin 2015, more and more businesses are proudly sporting "locally grown" signs and labels. From grocery stores and delis to hotels and restaurants, food businesses are buying and serving local greens and meats to their customers. The trend is picking up quickly because not only is the produce and meat fresher and cheaper, but it is also mutually beneficial for the overall local economy.More

Industry reps: DOD plan would destroy commissaries
FRA
The Defense Department's fiscal 2016 budget request would slash taxpayer support of base grocery stores by $322 million in 2016 and by $1 billion next year, enough to "destroy" the shopping benefit, warns the American Logistics Association.More

How Wal-Mart plans to lure shoppers back to stores
Business Insider
Wal-Mart is cutting back on store investments and spending more on e-commerce in the face of stagnant same-store sales and falling store traffic in the U.S. More

Shift on the horizon: New wine-drinking trends
By Archita Datta Majumdar
America retained its position as the No. 1 wine-drinking nation in the world with about 322 million cases of wine sold in 2014. Though this figure was only a 0.3 percent growth compared to the year before, it actually represents an 80 percent rise in wine sales over the last two decades. Growth was mainly seen in the sparkling wine segment, which showed increased sales of 3 percent to about 16 million cases. As wine continues to grow in popularity, this figure shows the rising trend for Americans. Move over beer — let wine steal the show.More

Fort Lee, Virginia, entry access changing
U.S. Army
To mitigate confusion and community frustration, the Directorate of Emergency Services is partnering with the Garrison Public Affairs Office in the launch of an intensified publicity campaign for the new Army-mandated gate access procedures that will go into effect here in April.More

2015 Exchange Impact Workshop: 'Elevating the Experience'
ALA
March 17- 18
Hilton Arlington Hotel
Arlington, Texas


If you do business with the Exchange, you do not want to be left out of this inaugural meeting. For the first time, more than 45 associates of the Exchange will be presenting their categories and collaborating in townhouse forum workshops to improve go to market strategies. From store repositioning discussions to individual category workshops, you do not want to be left out.

For further information about the workshop, click here. To register and view the preliminary agenda, go to www.ala-national.org. Space is limited, so register today! The choice to be involved is yours.More

Americans feeling less satisfied with shopping experience
NBC News
U.S. consumers are generally less satisfied when they go shopping, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index report released recently. Overall satisfaction with the retail experience dropped for the first time in four years. The overall decline was about 1.5 percent. Brick-and-mortar stores had flat or lower scores. Only online retailers are up from a year ago. More

How Wal-Mart plans to lure shoppers back to stores
Business Insider
Wal-Mart is cutting back on store investments and spending more on e-commerce in the face of stagnant same-store sales and falling store traffic in the U.S. More

West Coast ports come back to life
Bloomberg Business
Ports are coming back to life along the U.S. West Coast after dockworkers resolved a nine-month labor standoff, though the cargo backlog from ships waiting offshore may take eight weeks to clear. More

Retailers wrestle with the future of shopping
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Retailers want their shoppers to have the same experience whether on the phone, on the computer or in the store. One inventory, one unified customer service experience, one checkout. It can mean pick-up in store, ship from store, click and collect, order in-store or a number of other options that make it painless to get what you want, wherever you are, when you want it.More

Touring a new Amazon fulfillment center: Could robots eventually replace humans?
Charlotte Business Journal
Bright orange, 700-pound robots that look a bit like oversized Roombas zip along the floor of the warehouse with giant storage cages full of products on top of them. The Kiva drive robots, which are everywhere in Amazon's new DuPont, Washington, fulfillment center, can carry up to 3,000 pounds.More

How Wal-Mart's CEO came to support a $1 billion wage hike
Bloomberg Business
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon helped set the stage for the recent $1 billion pay increase almost a year ago in Orlando, Florida, when he rallied managers to reverse a slide in customer service. More

Who's at risk in the Los Angeles port slowdown
Bloomberg
Piper Jaffray has an interesting report out this morning on the effects of the port slowdown in Los Angeles. While much of the discussion has been about the impact on perishable goods, as the dispute drags on, it is now impacting apparel and footwear. More

Best Buy is opening a tech office in Seattle
StarTribune
Best Buy is expanding into Amazon's home turf. The Richfield, Minnesota-based electronics retailer is opening a technology center in Seattle this spring as it looks to drive growth through innovation on its online and mobile platforms. More

NRF survey: Americans planning to save, not splurge, with tax refunds this year
NRF
Playing it safe and planning ahead, Americans plan to stash their tax refunds into savings this year. According to the National Retail Federation's annual Tax Returns Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 47 percent of those expecting a refund plan to put the money into savings, the highest percentage in the survey's history. More

Kohl's ranks third nationally in customer satisfaction
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Kohl's Corp. ranks third in customer satisfaction out of more than a dozen of the country's largest department and discount stores, the latest edition of an annual benchmarking study shows.More

Neiman Marcus' CMO hones its digital edge
MediaPost
To many people, Neiman Marcus still evokes the luxury retail clichés, like its $31,000 crocodile handbags, $600 moisturizers or over-the-top his-and-her holiday gifts. But to core fans, Neiman Marcus' digital strategies are as cutting-edge as its fashion collections: Precise, personal and unexpected. More

Shoppers feeling a bit better
CSP
The U.S. economy made significant positive strides in 2014, but improvements are taking longer than expected to ripple through the population, according to IRI's Q4 2014 MarketPulse survey.More

Lil'Drug Store names Doran & Ward 2014 Supplier of Year
CSP
Lil'Drug Store Products Inc. has named Doran & Ward Printing & Packaging Co. as its 2014 Supplier of the Year. The award recognizes Doran & Ward for its excellence among all of LDSP's suppliers of four critical expectations: solid cost value, exceptional product quality, outstanding customer service and strong positive impact on LDSP's business.More

Retailers wary of Monster distribution transition
CSP
Change is always difficult. With the transition of much of the distribution of Monster energy drinks from beer distributors to 100 percent via Coca-Cola bottlers just beginning, many retailers are understandably nervous.More

2015 Beverage Report: Brewed and fermented
CSP
Beer grows on back of imports, craft and cider.More

Sheetz set to open 500th convenience store
CSP
Major regional, family-owned convenience-store chain Sheetz Inc. will celebrate the opening of its 500th C-store on Feb. 24. All Sheetz locations will give away free coffee and fountain drinks that day, and the company will hold a grand-opening event at the new store in Thomasville, North Carolina.More

Maryland: Healthy Base Initiative to launch new projects
Fort Meade Soundoff
A 24-hour fitness center and new cardio machines are two of the projects that Fort Meade, Maryland, will undertake with its remaining Healthy Base Initiative funding. The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will use the funding to transform Murphy Field House into a 24-hour fitness center. Funding also will be used to purchase new treadmills and elliptical machines for Gaffney Fitness Center. More

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) RFI
FedBizOpps.gove
Please click "Read More" for full details.More