ALA Executive Briefing
Apr. 11, 2014

Reminder: The cost of war is borne by a small fraction of the population
The Washington Post
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan exacted a brutal toll on those who served, with a recent Washington Post-Kaiser survey of veterans finding an emotional cost that was far more widespread than previously recognized. Half of veterans said they knew a fellow service member who had attempted or committed suicide, while more than 1.4 million of the 2.6 million who served said they feel disconnected from civilian life.More

Can this man save the Pentagon?
The Daily Beast
It's easy to talk about change. But the military services, industry and Congress are all in favor of change as long as it doesn't threaten their interests, and are ready to hand out a beatdown to anyone who does not grasp that fact. But if you believe that technology can help solve the problems of national security, and that we can do better at applying it than we have done for the past 30 years or so, there is cause to raise a ragged cheer for the confirmation of Robert O. Work as Deputy Secretary of Defense, an event that should happen within days.More

SECNAV on sea pay, tobacco use, gender equity and more
Navy Times
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is pushing steps to boost quality of life for sailors and their families by expanding opportunities for women and paying sailors more for fleet duty.More

The growing shadow BRAC
Defense News
The conventional wisdom that there won't be another Base Realignment and Closure round is dangerously short-sighted. First, significant force structure and basing decisions are already occurring even without a formal BRAC round, what I call a "Shadow BRAC." Second, there is a much greater chance that President Barack Obama's request for a BRAC round in 2017 will be passed than most expect.More

Defense Information Systems Agency: Defense Commissary Agency Enterprise Business Solution
Please see the attached Final RFP, HC1028-14-R-0004 for the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) Enterprise Business Solution (EBS) requirement. The requirement for this EBS effort is a modernization of DeCA's resale business operations.More

Single racks, roll-in stainless steel
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as 100 percent total small business set-aside. The solicitation is for 66 single racks, roll-in, stainless steel to be delivered to Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and overseas locations. However, for overseas locations, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port.More

Renewal maintenance support for DeCA's Cisco Secure Access Control Server Vitual Software
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency issued a modification, P00002, to delivery order, HQC007-12-F-0031 against an existing NASA SEWP IV contract for a five-month extension for maintenance support for DeCA's Cisco Secure Access Control Server Virtual Software to co-term with DeCA's Prime Cisco contract. This modification was issued in accordance with FAR 6.302-1(c), Application of Brand Name Descriptions and FAR 6.302-1(b)(2), Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. More

Bridget Bennett
The Packer
Bridget Bennett, supervisory category manager of produce at Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, Va., describes her work in the produce industry as dynamic, challenging and rewarding. Bennett first became familiar with the industry and the Defense Commissary Agency as a shopper. As a young military spouse, Bennett began her career in the commissary as a cashier. "When I was promoted to produce manager, I knew that I had found a challenge that really intrigued me and allowed me to use my creativity," said Bennett.More

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam participates in Healthy Base Initiative
America's Navy
Events at Hawaii's largest Navy Exchange and commissary, the Mall at Pearl Harbor, kicked off the Healthy Base Initiative April 4 to promote healthy behaviors and healthy environments for military members and their families. The event included live hula dance exercises and live music by Sailors of the Pacific Fleet Band as well as representatives from Health and Wellness and local farmers. More

After decades, coconut oil re-emerges as a cooking trend
By Katy Bynum
For years, coconut oil was the go-to choice in many North American homes and commercial kitchens — used by the home baker for superior-tasting, flaky pie crusts and by the restaurant chef for deep-frying foods. More

Exchange-Commissary Merger eyed to stem store crisis
Crowds that shop daily in base commissaries and exchanges perhaps are oblivious to a confluence of forces threatening to dismantle their multi-billion dollar resale systems.More

Proposed AAFES and DeCA merger
According to a recent Military Update, the plan to cope with DoD budget cuts includes slashing taxpayer support of commissaries, from $1.4 billion a year down to $400 million by fiscal 2017.More

ALA NY's annual West Point Golf Outing this June!

The ALA NY Chapter is having its annual West Point Golf Outing on Monday, June 23. Proceeds from the event benefit the Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund.

We do not currently have an online registration process - any inquiries can be directed to me at this email address:


Joe Mugnai

Dear Suppliers,

The Exchange is testing this year three new exciting television marketing channels: Misses and Juniors Softlines channel at Fort Bliss, Operation Be Fit channel at Fort Belvoir, and a Health/Beauty channel at Tinker Air Force Base. The TV screen will be located directly in the section of where the category is housed. Therefore, the screen for the Health/Beauty channel at Tinker will be in the HBC section of the store.

The goal is to see what impact we have on sales lift and customer behavior. At the end of the year, the Exchange will decide which one out of the three channels to move forward with.

The good news is that we have an opportunity for you to submit your national ads for broadcast. There is no cost for you to participate during the test (through end of 2014). Ads will repeat approximately every 15 minutes. This is a great opportunity for you to reach customers at the very moment they are making their product decision. Both digital signage studies and our own internal survey found that screens, such as these, have the following benefits:

This is a great opportunity to feature all the wonderful advertising that is already created for National TV advertising. If you would like to participate please start submitting your advertising to me for my respective categories. I ask that you title the message in the following manner: Tinker Health/Beauty Channel Advertising – Brand XYZ start date 1 May

Since this can be time sensitive it would be best to follow the naming convention of the subject line as laid out above.

Based on installation of the screens the target date for the start of this program is 1 May so please start sending in your ads. Once submitted to me please follow the attached instructions for upload to the ftp site. No advertising will be featured until coordination between our Digital Media Networks team and the buyer has occurred. Featured advertising will also be worked according to the most current product assortment selection at Tinker. To submit an ad or video, please refer to the attached document for video specifications and how to deliver the file. If you have an assigned air date or time sensitive ad, please make sure we have it no less than 10 business days prior to the start.

Thanking you in advance for your participation!

Lisa Olivares
Buyer, Merchandising Directorate
Army & Air Force Exchange Service
214-312-3239 More

Macy's plays to Gen Y with original programming
As part of its intensifying efforts to connect with Millennials, Macy's is adding original programming to the mix, debuting a new video series called "The Next Style Star." To produce the 10-episode series, the retailer is partnering with Maker Studios, which bills itself as the largest producer and distributor of online video content for Gen Y.More

An open letter for retailers: Stop personalizing TO customers, personalize WITH them
Dear Forward-Thinking Retailer,

First of all, kudos to you for realizing the importance of personalization. You recognize that the best way to engage and gain your customers' loyalty is to give them tailored experiences, rewards and offers. That's why you've invested in collecting data, segmenting shoppers, and serving up the best and most relevant messages.

While that's all well and good, there's just one caveat I'd like to bring up: Going about personalization the wrong way can do more harm than good.More

Brookstone files for bankruptcy with offer from Spencer's
The Wall Street Journal
Brookstone Holdings Corp., the specialty retailer famous for massage chairs and travel electronics, filed for bankruptcy-court protection Thursday with a plan to sell its business to another retailer for $147 million. An affiliate of Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc., the parent of gift-shop chain Spencer's, has agreed to serve as the stalking horse, or lead bidder, for Brookstone's assets.More

J.Crew grads strike out on their own
Bloomberg Businessweek
It wasn't until Emily Sugihara quit her job as an assistant designer at J.Crew that she started winning accolades from Mickey Drexler, the company's chief executive officer. After she left the rebounding American retailer in 2006, Sugihara and her mother parlayed a sewing hobby into a business selling affordable nylon and canvas bags. She mailed some free samples to former colleagues; eventually, the clothier decided to stock Baggu's $9 shoppers in a rainbow of colors as part of its In Good Company program, which is devoted to third-party collaborations. More

Sam's Club releases survey on 'Microbusinesses'
The New York Times
Sam's Club recently announced that it had joined with Gallup to release quarterly surveys on the country's smallest businesses, as it released the results of the first such survey. The tiny businesses surveyed by Sam's Club, the warehouse club chain, are just the sort of customers who might need 25-pound bags of flour or 1,000 little packages of ketchup on a regular basis.More

Congress votes to bring 'full-time' definition back to 40 hours
Fast Casual
The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted in favor of HR 2575, AKA the Save American Workers Act, which would bring the definition of a full-time employee back to 40 hours a week. The definition was changed to 30 hours under the initial Affordable Care Act bill. Nearly every restaurant and retail organization supports the SAW Act, which was introduced by Congressman Todd Young, R-Ind. In a statement recently released, the National Restaurant Association called HR 2575 a "key vote" and top priority for the industry.More

NRF: With winter weather behind them, retail employment grows in March
National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation recently issued the following statements from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in response to the March jobs report: "After a long, harsh winter that put many retailers at a disadvantage in terms of inventory control and staffing their stores, merchants are eager to move forward with their spring hiring and operational plans," said Matthew Shay. "Though we can report relatively positive figures for March, there's still noticeable slack in the labor market; in order to see momentum in economic growth through 2014, it's imperative our leaders in Washington put job creation and the economy back at the top of their agenda, giving businesses the confidence they need to grow and invest."More

Mattress Firm completes acquisition of Sleep Experts
Chain Store Age
Mattress Firm Holding Corp. announced it has completed its acquisition of the outstanding partnership interests in Sleep Experts Partners. With the acquisition, Mattress Firm expects to operate an additional 55 stores in the Dallas and Austin markets, two of Mattress Firm's core markets.More

5 minutes with Nordstrom's Vice President of Customer Experience
Retail's BIG Blog
It's been refreshing to see Nordstrom, known for its in-store customer experience, thrive both online and off while bringing digital to the physical store experience. And while it may be a top buzzword this year, innovation — beyond making Nordstrom a compelling place to shop — also makes it an exciting place to work.More

Neiman Marcus unveils top management roles
Women's Wear Daily via Fashion Snoops
The Neiman Marcus Group is tearing down the silos and getting channel agnostic. In a major management change at headquarters, the Dallas-based luxury retailer will today reveal it's merging its store and online merchandising and planning teams into a single organization. Beginning April 14, the blended organization will be run by Jim Gold, who has been named president and chief merchandising officer of the Neiman Marcus brand. Gold has been with Neiman's since 1991, serving most recently as president of specialty retail for Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC.More

Brookstone's bankruptcy woes don't mean the mall's dead
Brookstone, everyone's favorite massage chair retailer, is on the brink of bankruptcy. That news last week came on the heels of pizza chain Sbarro's Chapter 11 filing. While Brookstone and Sbarro failed for lots of reasons (like lots of debt and food that tastes like cardboard, respectively) their downfalls have given consumers good reason to resume the death of the shopping mall drumbeat. Sure, there are some shopping mall staples that are suffering. But it's wrong to write off the shopping mall altogether. The shopping mall is changing; it isn't dead.More

The 9 most counterfeited products in America
24/7 Wall St.
While government agencies do their best to crack down on counterfeit goods, they only manage to catch a fraction of the fake products that enter the United States. Still, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection values that seized fraction at staggering amounts. The value of counterfeit goods seized rose by 38.1 percent in 2013, from $1.2 billion in 2012 to $1.7 billion last year. More

The Pantry names Dickson chairman
Southeastern convenience store chain The Pantry Inc. has announced that its board has elected Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson, former chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., to serve as chairman effective April 2, 2014. He replaces Edwin J. Holman, who has been chairman since Sept. 2009. More

Convenience stores saw record in-store sales in 2013
U.S. convenience stores reached record in-store sales in 2013, with sales climbing 2.4 percent to $204 billion. Combined with motor fuels sales of $491.5 billion, overall c-store sales were $695.5 billion, according to figures released by the National Association of Convenience Stores. The association announced the industry's 2013 numbers at the NACS State of the Industry Summit, a two-day conference that reviews and analyzes the industry's key economic indicators.More

Welcome to the c-store 'Twilight Zone'
When Speedway's Glenn Plumby presented this year's NACS State of the Industry Summit numbers, he joked that the convenience store channel had clearly entered the Twilight Zone. According to Todd Hale, Nielsen's senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights, it is not alone. "You guys aren't the only industry in the Twilight Zone right now," Hale said as he kicked off his "Understanding the Convenience Shopper 'Superconsumer'" general session at the event in Rosemont, Ill. "Retailing in general is having some tough times."More

Watch out for these c-store 'disruptors'
The indications are good that the economy is on the mend, although convenience store retailers still have plenty of disruptors that can stymie future growth. That was the message of Dr. David Nelson, founder of Finance & Resource Management Consultants Inc. and professor of economics at Western Washington University, during his annual presentation on the economic outlook at the 2014 NACS State of the Industry Summit.More

New DoDEA chief has a military parent's perspective
Military Times
As a retired Army colonel, Thomas Brady brings a unique perspective to his new role as director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, which operates 191 schools for military children around the world. Eight of his family members have attended DoD schools: his wife, Lisa, his five children and two of his seven grandchildren. Of his six grandchildren now in school, all are in public schools. "That's an important focus of mine ... not only the 82,000 students we have in DoDEA, but to be keenly aware of the 1.2 million sons and daughters in local schools and what we can do to help them," said Brady.More

Coast Guard Commandant Papp to receive Arleigh Burke Award
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. will receive the 2014 Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award at this year's Sea-Air-Space Exposition. Selected for his "outstanding leadership, personal integrity, professional achievement and unselfish dedication to America," Papp will be presented with Navy League's highest honor at the Sea-Air-Space Banquet on April 8 at the Gaylord Convention Center at National Harbor, Md. Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, will deliver the keynote address that evening.More

ACAP equips Soldiers to find civilian jobs
U.S. Army
As Fort Sill's Army Career and Alumni Program entered the second week of evaluating the pilot curriculum of the Transition Assistance Program, they had a special visitor — the program's top director. Walter Herd serves as Director of the Army Transition Office, which is part of the Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky. Herd's program has developed new resources for the enhanced TAP pilot, which revised the 22-year old program in response to President Barack Obama's executive order issued Dec. 29 of last year mandating that Soldiers who are transitioning out of the Army begin the pre-separation counseling at least 12 months prior to their separation date. More

Are you a Wounded Warrior transitioning to civilian employment?
IMCOM wants YOU!

U.S. Army
There are vacant positions throughout the U.S. Army Installation Management Command which need to be filled so IMCOM can provide world-class customer service and deliver programs and services to soldiers, civilians, and families. Throughout the command, about 40 percent of civilian employees have served in uniform. Use the resources below and join the team today! More