ALA Executive Briefing
March 11, 2011

Commission calls on Pentagon to scrap women in combat policy
Government Executive
The Defense Department should scrap its policy preventing women from being assigned to direct combat positions, a panel of military and civilian leaders has recommended. A commission looking at increasing diversity within the armed forces called certain combat exclusion policies regarding women an institutional barrier that "can affect their ability to reach the senior leadership ranks, particularly in the officer corps," said a recent report. More

OPM looks to boost hiring of military spouses
Government Executive
Husbands and wives of service members disabled or killed in the line of duty would be eligible indefinitely for noncompetitive appointment to government jobs, according to a proposed rule to be published the recent Federal Register. Currently, spouses can take advantage of a special hiring authority only within a two-year time frame after a service-related disability or death. More

Deadline extended for special military pay
Government Executive
Military members and veterans have until March 18 to file for special pay if their service was extended involuntarily between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009. The 2009 supplemental war appropriations law authorized retroactive stop-loss special pay of up to $500 for every full or partial month that military members served on stop-loss status.More

Report finds military leadership too male, white
Fayetteville Observer
The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said recently. Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women, the report by an independent panel said, quoting data from September 2008.More

US set to begin withdrawing Afghanistan troops in July
Los Angeles Times
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently said that the U.S. and its allies were on track to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July as promised, even as he sought to tamp down tensions with President Hamid Karzai over continuing civilian casualties. Although violence has been spiraling upward in several regions of Afghanistan recently, Gates said his talks with American commanders and Afghan officials had strengthened his confidence that the U.S. would be able to carry out President Barack Obama's pledge to begin troop pullouts later this year.More

Supermarkets gain rivals as drugstores, general merchandisers stock groceries
The Arizona Republic
Where do you buy your groceries? Chances are you're picking up the bananas and milk in a few different places. Consumers' continued quest for convenience and the recession-driven trend toward smaller orders are bringing fundamental changes to the food business. More

Report: Gluten-free momentum accelerating
MarketingDaily via MediaPost News
Sales of gluten-free foods and beverages, once considered specialty items, had a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent in the U.S. between 2006 and 2010, according to the latest report on this category from research publisher Packaged Facts. Packaged Facts, which previously projected that sales of gluten-free foods and beverages would reach $2.3 billion by 2011, has revised those estimates, putting the market at $2.64 billion in 2010. More

Safeway meets competitor prices
Supermarket News
Safeway is testing a new discount program that matches the competition's lowest prices. "Deal Match," running exclusively in Oahu, Hawaii, gives loyalty card holders the same prices Foodland/Sack N Save and Times Supermarkets advertise on dozens of frequently purchased items.More

LifeSource joins national grocers in the Great American Meat-Out
All across the country, participating grocery stores will offer sample alternatives to meat in order to widen consumers' conceptions of it. Most vegetarians are familiar with tempeh (made from fermented soybeans), tofu (isolated soy protein) or seitan (gluten), but new products that more and more resemble real meat frequently come to the market. This event helps consumers keep up with what's new.More

Giant-Landover aids military families
Progressive Grocer
Giant Food LLC and the USO of Metropolitan Washington have joined forces to support military families across the D.C. region. During the month of March, the Ahold USA division will host an in-store giving campaign asking for both monetary and food donations to benefit USO-Metro. The aim of the initiative, which runs at all of the chain's locations through March 31, is to establish a USO food pantry and fund other programs undertaken by the organization.More

Fair trade products more popular at mainstream stores
Earth 911
Third-party product certifier Fair Trade USA recently announced that sales of its Fair Trade products grew faster at mainstream supermarkets than at specialty and natural grocers in 2010. Fair Trade USA certifies products for environmental sustainability, employee working conditions and wages and community development.More

Shortage of grocers plagues Massachusetts cities
Boston Globe
Massachusetts ranks nearly dead last — third from the bottom nationally — in having enough supermarkets with fresh, nutritious food, according to a report recently released by the Massachusetts Public Health Association. The shortage is especially severe in lower-income communities, where many residents struggle with obesity and related ailments.More

Move over government, Walmart's the new regulator in town
Advertising Age
Manufacturers of everything from laptop computers to shampoo have been given some requests they dare not refuse: report their greenhouse gas emissions and establish targets for reducing them, invest in community-development activities where their plants are located, and participate in creating an index by which the consumers can judge how sustainable their products are. If they make food products, they're also required to reduce sodium 25 percent, sugar 10 percent and all vestiges of industrially produced trans-fatty acids by 100 percent by 2015. These may sound like government mandates, but they're actually not: they're from more than $400 billion Walmart stores, which also have become the biggest and most vigorous of a new breed of private-sector regulators.More

Costco seeks to delay retail price increases
Supermarket News
Costco Wholesale Corp. plans to hold the line on inflationary price increases for as long as possible before passing them along, Richard Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said recently. The company takes advantage of every forward-buy opportunity manufacturers offer when a price increase occurs, he said, "as we assume many retailers do. But then we probably hold the price longer than anybody else."More

Cartoon branding affects kids' cereal choice, regardless of taste
HealthDay via Bloomberg Businessweek
Children prefer cereals that feature popular media characters such as Shrek on the package, regardless of how they taste, researchers say. "This tells us what we've probably already guessed: young children are going to be more likely to enjoy their cereal if it has one of their favorite characters on it," said Keri Gans, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, and author of the forthcoming book, The Small Change Diet.More

Walgreen to sell pharmacy benefits business
Chicago Breaking Business
Walgreen Co. said recently it will sell its pharmacy benefit management business, which increasingly has conflicted with the drugstore giant's push to get consumers to fill their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company will sell Walgreens Health Initiatives for $525 million in cash to Catalyst Health Solutions Inc. The deal is expected to close in June.More

For better or worse?
Convenience Store News
In 2003, Convenience Store News reported on an emerging and dynamic trend starting to take hold in the convenience channel — major oil companies, faced with a more assertive marketplace, were unloading large chunks of their "financially frail" retail holdings. Many years have passed since then — yet the game is still in play. What once was an emerging trend has grown into an industry-transforming movement.More

Exchange benefit endures for retirees
Black Anthem Military News
The Exchange Retiree Advisory Council has drafted a new charter and committed to a new focus for 2011. The group recently convened at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's headquarters in Dallas to discuss opportunities to focus efforts on behalf of the largest group of authorized exchange patrons — retirees.More

Sam's Club to add three private labels
Kantar Retail
Sam's Club has announced that it is going to introduce three new food and health and wellness private labels in 2011 and 2012. The lines are:


Sweetbay launches value focused private brand
Kantar Retail
Delhaize banner, Sweetbay Supermarkets will launch "My Essentials," a new private brand targeted to beat competitor's branded products and prices. The new products not only have lower sodium and sugar, and are trans-fat free, but they are tested to beat competitors' taste as well as performance.More

Kohl's opens 9 new stores creating more than 1,200 Jobs
Recently, Kohl's Department Stores marked the grand opening of nine new stores across seven states, bringing more than 1,200 jobs. "We are pleased to be in a position to create more than 1,200 jobs, as Kohl's continues to grow and build market share in a challenging economy," said Kevin Mansell, Kohl's chairman, president and chief executive officer.More

Target Clinic is expanding in Minnesota, Illinois, Florida
Kantar Retail
Target Clinic is adding eight new locations by the end of July 2011 in the Minneapolis- St. Paul, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale-Davie areas. The following are just a couple of the new locations.More

Pop-up retail gains favor in DC with Garment District, Mount Pleasant Temporium
The Washington Post
There was no certainty that the Temporium, a temporary "pop-up" retail boutique featuring 17 local designers, would take off when it launched in July. Not only did it, well, pop up during the dog days of summer, one of the slowest sales periods for retail, but the concept of opening a store for a few weeks was pretty much unheard of in these parts.More

The retail store of the future
The Street
The Internet killed the music business, ruined the newspaper industry and effectively has brought the publishing world to its knees, and for years there has been speculation it would do the same to bricks-and-mortar retail stores, as consumers began to flock online for their shopping needs.More

10 ways brands can target moms by fusing online advertising and social media
A study recently released by Burst Media looking at "What Mom Likes Online" generated interesting findings. Among them: "Most moms say online ads promoting products geared towards the family and home fall flat" and "Moms found these ads 'irrelevant or distracting,'" but that "Online ads that offer product coupons, sales promotion codes and/or other incentives resonate better with moms."More

Target continues expansion of medical clinics
Star Tribune
After years of sitting on the sidelines as CVS and Walgreens rapidly opened medical clinics nationwide, Target Corp. recently said it will open eight new Target Clinics by the end of July, including four in the Twin Cities. It marks the second eight-store burst in six months for the Minneapolis-based retailer, after expanding into Chicago and Palm Beach for the first time in September.More

Banks, retailers clash over move to cap debit card 'swipe fees'
PBS Newshour
VideoBriefBanks, retailers and lawmakers are preparing for a showdown over hidden "swipe fees" banks charge retailers when consumers make debit card purchases. Judy Woodruff talks with the American Bankers Association's Nessa Feddis and the National Retail Federation's Mallory Duncan about the battle over fees and the impact on consumers.More

Franchises that are going green
Food & Drink
Going green is one of the major trends every type of business is adopting in the new millennium and fast food franchises are no exception. Starbucks, Arby's and McDonald's are among the top of the list when it comes to fast-food places implementing sustainability practices.More

Using Facebook to capture customers
Harvard Business Review
A central tenet of retailing is to put stores near customers. Now that 600 million potential customers are on Facebook, retailers are flocking to the site and aggressively experimenting with new communication strategies. The following are five ways they're connecting with customers on Facebook.More

2011 Exchange Roundtable

March 28 - 30
Omni Mandalay
Irving, Texas

Online registration is now open! Click here to register now!

Agenda highlights
We have an exciting agenda planned that you will not want to miss! One of our guest speakers will be Denise Austin! Denise is a pioneer in the exercise and sports industry. A 5-foot-4-inch dynamo, she has sold more than 20 million exercise videos and DVDs, authored more than 10 books on fitness and starred in the longest running fitness show in the history of television. Denise's trademark zest for life, positive outlook and can-do attitude have endeared her to millions of fans across the country — and around the world — and earned her the reputation as "America's favorite fitness expert." A multimedia talent, Denise is a top-selling author and a highly sought-after speaker and TV personality. Her upbeat energy and unique ability to make people feel that she's right there with them, cheering them on, have inspired the millions who watch her on television, read her books, or follow her videos and DVDs.

Industry hotel reservations
The Omni Mandalay, 221 East Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, Texas, 75039, is the headquarters hotel for this meeting. The Omni Mandalay is offering a discounted group rate of $149, plus tax. To receive the discounted group rate, contact the hotel at 800-843-6664 and identify yourself with the American Logistics Association 2011 Exchange Roundtable. Reserve your room by March 5 to secure a reservation at the discounted group rate. Hotel rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, and attendees are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible for best availability.

Government/Military hotel reservations
The headquarters hotel for this meeting is the Omni Mandalay Hotel, 221 E. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, Texas, 75039. The prevailing government per diem rate is $107, plus taxes. Instructions on reserving a government/military hotel room will be provided when your registration is received by ALA. GPD rooms are available only to those persons who work in a government agency involved in the military resale system, and you will be asked to present proper ID upon checking in. All GPD reservations must be completed by March 5.

Cancellation policy
Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. Cancellations received by Feb. 28 will receive a 100 percent refund. Cancellations received after Feb. 28 but before March 14 will be subject to a $150 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after March 14 or for "no-shows." Cancelled registrations may be transferred to individuals within the same company, upon written request. Cancelled registrations may not be transferred to another ALA meeting. Any cancellations because of a family or medical emergency must be submitted in writing by March 18 to receive a refund. Cancellation refunds will be processed post-meeting by original method of payment.More

2011 Exchange Roundtable golf tournament

The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the American Logistics Association will be hosting a golf tournament in conjunction with the Exchange Roundtable on March 28.

Spend a day of fun with more than 100 golf enthusiasts from industry and government at the Hackberry Creek Country Club on March 28. Registration starts at 10 a.m. with a noon shotgun start. Space is limited to the first 144 golfers that register and pay.

Hackberry Creek Country Club is an 18-hole private country club designed by the legendary Byron Nelson. It recently celebrated its 25th year of providing a beautiful setting for family fun and upscale business entertaining. Hackberry Creek has enjoyed critical acclaim with Avid Golfer magazine's "Best of Private Clubs." Visit for directions and more information about the club.

Special guest golf pro Scotty Robertson will be on the longest hole to hit a drive for each team. Robertson's unorthodox style of play has led NBC's "Dateline Show" to describe his particular golf game as "Lightning in a Bottle." For more information, go to

The tournament will be a best ball/scramble format with first and second place prizes for two flights. Prizes for longest drive and closest to pin will also be awarded.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for lunch, dinner, the 19th Hole Awards Ceremony, hole sponsors, longest drive and closest to pin. Co-sponsorships are also available. Please see the registration form for more information.

Player fees for industry are $125 and the government rates are $75. This includes:

* Box Lunch * 19th Hole Reception & Dinner * Snacks & Beverages
* Greens Fees * Cart Fees * Range Balls

Please fill out the attached registration form and return it no later than March 25.

Please join us after your spectacular round of golf for the awards reception and auction. Proceeds from the auction benefit the AREA Scholarship Fund. Donated items are always welcome and very much appreciated. If you're interested in donating items for the auction, please contact Julie Fox at or 469-221-4122.More

How to really help military families
USA Today
Over the past decade, countless Americans have stepped forward to support service members and their families, knowing that wartime tests their resolve and that of the country. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have made this their cause, too, including a recent public pledge to support military families.More

Survey: More spouses satisfied with Army life
Army Times
Army spouses increasingly are satisfied with their way of life, supportive of their soldiers' careers and generally coping better with deployments. In fact, they want to stay in the Army more than their soldier spouses. Nevertheless, there are some signs of fraying in the force, according to recently released results of the latest Army family survey.More