ALA Executive Briefing
Mar. 23, 2012

Congress: No money for Pacific troop moves until study is complete
Stars and Stripes
Despite an end-of-the-month congressional deadline, the Secretary of the Navy recently told a Senate committee he does not know whether a contractor has been hired yet to conduct an independent review of plans to relocate thousands of Marines from Japan to Guam.More

Names: Chollet to replace Vershbow at Pentagon
The Cable
President Barack Obama recently announced his intention to appoint Derek Chollet to be assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, replacing Sandy Vershbow, who has already assumed his new role as deputy secretary general of NATO. More

Troops stressed to breaking point
The Washington Times
A recent Army health report draws an alarming profile of a fighting force more prone to inexcusable violence amid an "epidemic" of post-traumatic stress disorder, the mental breakdown attracting speculation as a factor in a massacre of Afghan civilians this month. Based on an exhaustive study of nearly 500,000 soldiers, reservists and veterans, the report finds that troops are more likely to commit suicide and violent sex offenses, and notes that as many as 236,000 suffered from PTSD since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.More

Blumenthal: Mabus appears to appreciate value of sub base
The Day
The possibility of closing the Naval Submarine Base in Groton may have local officials worried, but U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., recently assured business leaders the idea is dead on arrival. Blumenthal, speaking before about 100 people during a breakfast meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut at the Holiday Inn, said he believes Navy Secretary Ray Mabus would not support a proposal to eliminate the base.More

Is Lewis-McChord really 'most troubled base in the military'?
The Miami Herald
Is there something wrong with Joint Base Lewis-McChord? The question recently attracted wide media attention after a soldier stationed there for the last decade, 38-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, in a March 11 rampage. Reports have surfaced that trauma and stress from multiple combat tours, possibly mixed with alcohol, might have sent the married father of two over the edge.More

Iraq, Afghanistan vets see jobless rate tick up
The Washington Post via Current Mil-Tech News
Unemployment among Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans stood at 12.1 percent in 2011, a slight increase over the previous year, according to a recent report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By comparison, the unemployment rate for non-veterans decreased from 9.4 percent to 8.7 percent over the same period.More

Flavor, variety, new menu concepts drive cheese trends
Progressive Grocer
Sophisticated cheese flavors and varieties continue to develop along with the United States’ collective palate. That's according to What's in Store 2012, the annual trends report from the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association. Cheese embodies many top culinary trends, including local/farm/estate-branded ingredients, ethnic flavor interest, emphasis on children's nutrition and simplicity.More

How big is a portion?
The Seattle Times
How much should we eat? This seems like a simple question with a simple answer. But in a nation where two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese, better guidance is clearly needed.More

Store brands get e-coupon exposure
Supermarket News
Hannaford Bros., Weis Markets, Lowes Foods, Price Chopper and Supervalu are leveraging the network to build awareness of their store brands. Hannaford liked that SavingStar is a national paperless coupon service that lets users link coupons to their store loyalty cards, said Mark Bradeen, Hannaford's manager of promotions and online loyalty.More

Safeway and USDA team up for healthier Americans
Progressive Grocer
Safeway Inc. is joining forces with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, to improve the health and well-being of Americans. As a member of the USDA CNPP Nutrition Communicators Network, Safeway will work with a broad range of companies and industry organizations to develop and promote dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.More

Ethnic, local themes top 2012 deli trends
The Gourmet Retailer
International fare and regionally produced ingredients are the hottest trends in deli department foods. That's according to What's in Store 2012, the recently released annual trends publication of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, which reports that 82 percent of consumers enjoy visiting supermarket delis that feature newer and trendier items, regardless of whether they regularly purchase these items.More

Blueberries and apples tied to lower diabetes risk
Reuters via Fox News
Eating more blueberries, apples and pears may be linked to lower risk of diabetes, according to a new U.S. study. These fruits are loaded with flavonoids, a natural compound present in certain fruits, vegetables and grains, which some research has tentatively tied to heath benefits such as a lower risk of heart disease or cancer.More

Grocery stores pulling 'pink slime' from meat
"Pink slime" — that filler used to pump up the meat, has had some major response by America's second largest grocery chain. Safeway announced overnight it will no longer sell what the meat industry calls lean finely textured beef, nicknamed "pink slime" by the USDA scientists. More

There's more to fixing food deserts than building grocery stores
There has been a lot of talk about what's wrong with food deserts. First lady Michelle Obama, for one, says far too many people can't access the fruits and vegetables they need to be healthy. Last year, she helped persuade several major retailers, foundations and small businesses to bring more healthful food to neighborhoods where supermarkets are scarce. But researchers are finding that it's more complicated than "if you build it, they will come." A study finds that shoppers don't just care about cost and proximity to fresh produce — they also need choice and quality if they're going to buy it.More

Leftovers: Tasty or trash?
The Wall Street Journal
The food we throw away is getting more attention, as prices continue to rise. Still, it's a challenge for home cooks to resist the temptation to eat out or order in. It's hard work using up all the food we have languishing in our refrigerators, freezers and pantries. And it takes creativity to prepare leftovers that will appeal to picky eaters.More

Sears to close more stores
The Wall Street Journal
Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close 62 additional stores in the first half of this year, according to a regulatory filing. The retailer will shut 43 of its Hometown Stores, 10 of its hardware stores and all nine of its Great Indoors stores, Sears's annual report said. The closings are in addition to as many as 120 poorly performing Sears and Kmart stores the retailer has already announced it will close. More

Sears takes out clothing department from 10 stores
Kantar Retail
Sears Holdings stated it would remove all clothing from 10 Sears stores and bring in other merchandise that shoppers want. The new offerings, which are limited to these 10 locations, include mattresses and recliners. More

Kantar study finds Wal-Mart widens price lead over Target
Chain Store Age
For the second consecutive time, Wal-Mart's overall branded basket registered as less expensive than Target's, according to Kantar Retail's semi-annual pricing study. Though the baskets of the two retailers still closely contend, Wal-Mart's basket was less expensive, with the result driven primarily by the retailer's edible grocery sub-basket. More

Online retail spending at $200 billion annually and growing
The Wall Street Journal
Americans spent more than $200 billion on online shopping in 2011 and are expected to shell out $327 billion on Internet stores by 2016. That's the estimate from a report recently released by Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, who also predicts that online sales will make up almost 9 percent of overall retail sales by 2016, up from 7 percent.More

Wawa countdown: A matter of months
Tampa Bay Times
Cultlike followers from the land of Wawa are close to getting their fix. The popular Philadelphia gas and convenience store chain named for a wild goose has a half-dozen stores under construction around Orlando slated for a July 18 opening and a half-dozen more locations lined up in the bay area to open by this time next year.More

Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Kohl's lead 50 years of retail revolution
Advertising Age
The year was 1962. John F. Kennedy was president. The nation was increasingly engaged in Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Johnny Carson became host of the "The Tonight Show," Marilyn Monroe died and the Rolling Stones made their debut in London. And in quiet cities across Middle America, a retail revolution was taking place.More

Study: Consumers continue to seek value in 2012
Drug Store News
While consumers will continue to define value based on price, other key trends — including new product development, technology, store layouts and shopping patterns — will drive the market in 2012, according to SymphonyIRI research. More

Why calorie counts on menus aren't useful
The Atlantic
Two years ago, the federal government required restaurants with 20 or more locations to provide nutrition facts on their menus, ostensibly to curb the increasing prevalence of obesity. Can these calorie labels help diners make smarter food choices? More

CSNews study: How females shop convenience stores
Convenience Store News
While men still shop convenience stores more often than women, new research conducted by Convenience Store News clearly suggests that convenience stores would attract more female shoppers if they offered more coupons and loyalty/frequent shopper programs. More

Study: Americans shell out more for Easter
The Gourmet Retailer
According to the National Retail Federation's Easter spending survey, conducted by BIGinsight, Americans will spend an average of $145.28 on everything, including candy, food, decorations and apparel, this year, up 11 percent from $131.04 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $16.8 billion. "Though the price of gas is on everyone's mind, Easter is one of the few holidays some consumers are willing to stretch their budgets, especially because many children look forward to treats and new outfits on Easter morning," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.More

Exchange employment a quality-of-life issue for military spouses
Goodfellow Air Force Base
The job outlook for military spouses continues to trend in the right direction at Army & Air Force Exchange Service facilities. Fresh off Military Spouse Magazine's selection of the Exchange as one of the "best places for military spouses to work" for hiring in 2010, the Exchange is reporting even stronger numbers for 2011. In the past 24 months, the Exchange hired 11,165 military spouses, 5,032 in 2010 and 6,133 in 2011, with 2,308 receiving promotions and 131 deploying in support of troops in contingency locations.More

Exchange Council Action Brief

ALA Exchange E-Blast week 3/19/12

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About the U.S. Army Installation Management Community:
IMCOM handles the day-to-day operations of U.S. Army installations around the globe — We are the Army's home. Army installations are communities that provide many of the same types of services expected from any small city. Fire, police, public works, housing and child care are just some of the things IMCOM does in Army communities every day. We endeavor to provide a quality of life for soldiers, civilians and families commensurate with their service. Our professional workforce strives to deliver on the commitments of the Army Family Covenant, honor the sacrifices of military families and enable the Army Force Generation cycle.

Our Mission:
Our mission is to provide soldiers, civilians and their families with a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their service.

Our Vision:
Army installations are the Department of Defense standard for infrastructure quality and are the provider of consistent, quality services that are a force multiplier in supported organizations' mission accomplishment, and materially enhance soldier, civilian and family well-being and readiness.

To learn more about IMCOM:

Westphal thanks IMCOM for supporting soldiers, families
U.S. Army
"We put our hearts and souls into our installations," Joseph Westphal, undersecretary of the Army, told members of the Installation Management Community, March 7. Through lessons learned, he said, improvements have been made to the way the Army delivers services to Soldiers and their families.More

Deploying MARFORRES Marines families to receive Webbooks
Marine Corps Community Services
Ten pallets of litl LLC Webbooks have been delivered to Marine Forces Reserve headquarters to be distributed to the families of 950 Marine privates to sergeants. These Webbooks were provided through a corporate sponsorship between Marine Corps Community Services and Operation Homelink. More

Services strikes down barriers
Air Force Personnel Center
It's 15 pounds, glows in the dark and can 'strike' down the competition with a slight move of the thumb. As part of continuing efforts to support Air Force wounded warriors, Air Force Services Agency officials recently purchased and distributed 85 remote controlled bowling balls and ramps for installations worldwide. The purchase makes the Air Force both the single largest purchaser of the bowling balls and the first service within DOD to purchase and distribute them.More