ALA Executive Briefing
Apr. 12, 2013

Obama's budget targets COLAs, federal retirement benefits
Government Executive
President Barack Obama's 2014 budget proposal will include a less generous formula for calculating federal retirees' cost of living adjustments, and ask federal employees to make higher contributions to their retirement pensions, a senior Obama administration official has informed members of Congress.More

New US defense budget means more financial uncertainty for Pentagon
The Obama administration is poised to roll out a 2014 defense budget that is billions of dollars higher than legally mandated spending caps, setting the stage for another year of financial uncertainty and turmoil at the Pentagon, defense analysts say.More

Hagel to defend 2014 budget ignoring cuts
Bloomberg Government via Early Bird
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will go to Congress this week to defend a $526.6 billion defense budget for 2014 that ignores the automatic cuts mandated by law. Doing so gives the Pentagon about $51 billion more to spend in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.More

Kroger CFO says supermarkets 'doing just fine'
Supermarket News
A dearth of publicly traded supermarket peers is obscuring the industry's underlying health from Wall Street, Michael Schlotman, Kroger's chief financial officer, said at an investor conference. "There is a dwindling number of comparative companies to look at in our industry, so everybody thinks our industry is dying," Schlotman said at the Morgan Stanley Restaurant & Retail conference, in response to a question about investor confidence in Kroger's ability to maintain its performance.More

Coupon use still prevalent among American consumers
Progressive Grocer
Ninety-five percent of Americans use coupons when shopping, while 73 percent admit to using coupons at least a couple times per month, according to a recent survey conducted by Boston, Mass.-based Linkable Networks. America is a country of deal seekers and technology enthusiasts, and it is no surprise these two are converging, according to the study.More

More parents purchasing organic products
The Gourmet Retailer
U.S. families are embracing organic products in a wide range of categories, with 81 percent now reporting they purchase organic at least sometimes, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2013 U.S. Families Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study. Additionally, the majority of those buying organic foods are purchasing more items than they did a year earlier, and new entrants to buying organic now represent 41 percent of all families – demonstrating increased interest in the benefits of organic food and farming.More

Supermarkets, pharmacies urged to shift from soda toward no- and low-calorie beverages
CSPI Newsroom
Supermarkets and pharmacies could help reduce Americans' rates of obesity and diabetes by increasing their marketing of no- or low-calorie alternatives to soda and other sugar drinks. Local public health officials around the nation are calling on those retailers to discuss a variety of means of promoting healthier beverages. "With supermarkets selling the lion's share of sugar drinks, your company and others clearly have an opportunity to promote your customers' health by encouraging customers to switch from high-calorie to low-calorie drinks," wrote the officials, as well as the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and other advocacy groups, to the chief executive officers of 14 top supermarket chains.More

Showrooming, not online transactions, is real threat to grocers
Supermarket Guru
The Food Institute Report recently noted that in an extreme move to prevent showrooming of its products online, an Australian gluten-free grocery store called Celiac Supplies in February began charging a $5 fee for "just looking" online. The fee is subsequently deducted from any orders placed, but the move makes clear retailers are threatened by the ease at which consumers can now compare prices and products online.More

10 retailers urged to pull potentially toxic products
USA Today
How safe is your shampoo, sofa or shirt? Health and environmental groups launched a national campaign on April 11 to prod 10 major retailers to clear store shelves of products containing hazardous chemicals. It says industry needs to act because U.S. government isn't.More

Commissary asks for patience during staff shortage
Fort Gordon Signal
The head of Fort Gordon's commissary says a little planning and a little patience will help customers weather the staff shortages now creating longer waits for shoppers. John Siddell, Fort Gordon commissary director, says a hiring freeze has left his store with 11 fewer cashiers than needed, creating longer lines to check out at the store.More

Wal-Mart strains to keep aisles stocked fresh
The New York Times
Michelle Obama visited a Wal-Mart in February to extol the fresh, healthy food in the company's grocery aisles. But Wal-Mart, Obama's corporate partner in a campaign to make food healthier and more affordable, has been running into problems with food that is not so fresh.More

2013 Scholarships for Military Children Program

The 2013 scholarship program closed in February. Recipients will be announced in early May. This year, a total of 4,657 students submitted applications, from which 670 recipients will be selected (14.4 percent selection rate). There will be at least one recipient from every commissary having a qualified applicant.

Fisher House Foundation, which administers the program, has paired the donor companies with commissaries based upon the dollar value of their donations to the number of recipients at a given commissary. Click here for the listing.

Please plan to attend the special scholarship luncheon, to be held on Thursday, March 25, at the Commissary Roundtable in Richmond, Va., where the companies whose donations have supported the 2013 program will be recognized, and attendees will have the opportunity to hear from two of the recipients.

Any questions should be addressed to Jim Weiskopf, Vice President, Fisher House Foundation.More

Greetings friends and members of the best chapter of the American Logistics Association ... Hampton Roads!

As co-chair and on behalf of the steering committee for the 2013 Jerry Jared HR ALA Gala in honor and memory of our dear friend Capt. Ollie B. Bates III, we would like to thank all of you for your support this year.

We were pleased to see such a large attendance by NEXCOM, MCX, CGX, DeCA HQ, DeCA and exchange directors/managers from our ALA zone as well as our resale industry family.

WOW!!!!!! The GALA fundraiser was a tremendous success! All net proceeds will go to the HR ALA Scholarship fund and various charities. The HR ALA annual scholarships are awarded to deserving students who are family members of the Military or the Military Resale System.

We would like to honor the following for a job well done; their enduring support is greatly appreciated.

Our Guest Speakers and honorees:

Thank you to our wounded warriors in attendance and the wonderful Bates family. Special thanks to Rear Admiral & Mrs. Bianchi (Ret) for their tireless support of our chapter and inspiring words.

Our Platinum Sponsors:

Hillshire Brands * Proctor & Gamble * Mid Valley

Our Gold, Silver and Patriot Sponsors:

*Del Monte * DIAGEO * MARS * RAPIDGate * Exchange & Commissary News * Nestle* Bisek * WebCo* Military Produce Group * Kimberly Clark * ACOSTA * DMI * S&K * Kellogg's * New Balance * Advantage * OSC * MDV/NF * Watt Spohn * Whirlpool

For our auctions: the contributors and those that made it happen:

U.S. SALES for countless items such as LG TV/2x Olympus cameras/Analon cookware/Coby tablet/Paula Deen/Electrolux, etc., PepsiCO for the Peyton Manning autographed Helmet, SONY Television, MARS for autographed jerseys/football from J. Bettis and B. Smith, Del Monte Foods for NASCAR tickets, ACOSTA for Seiko watches, Kimberly Clark Garmin GPS, Lego from WebCo, Watt Spohn for their numerous auction items Top Flight Golf Set/ Callaway bags & drivers/UA Glasses/ Solo luggage, Advantage for Yankees/ Ravens jackets, SMI for big T-Fal cook set ... the list goes on. Thank you all for your support!

Also our presenters: Ms. Tommie Draper (OSC) for her beautiful flower arrangements and eulogy of Ollie Bates III, Cory Belkov (WSU) eulogy of Dennis Lennon, Anne Wood (Webco), Ms. Heather Snowa (USSC), Stacey Cartwright (OSC) & Diane Maxwell (S&K)

Special thanks to Paul Wehner, Liz Markley, Alyson Barrett, Trish Jones, Dana Yeck and the MDV team for their boundless support. Mr. Louis P. Snyder of U.S. Sales for a phenomenal job as auctioneer!

Finally our steering committee. The very best you can work with. Job well done!

The ever-gracious Ms. Tommie Draper (OSC), Mr. Nick Cohen (U.S. Sales), Ms. Stacey Cartwright (OSC), Ms. Heather Snowa (U.S. Sales), Mr. J.D. Fenessy (Del Monte), Mr. Hank Sheffer (S&K) and Ms. Diane Maxwell (S&K).

Thank you,

Marc Michals
Commissary Specials / Judy Johnson Direct /
PH/TXT: 757-620-8418
Hampton Road's ALA BOD & GSA MemberMore

Next-gen retail? Hointer, Bonobos, and Dollar Shave Club
Creativity abounds in today's retail world. Whether online or in bricks-and-mortar, companies and people are creating new, innovative ways to bring their brands and visions to life. More importantly, they are redefining how customer acquisition can be achieved, often completely changing the playing field.More

Brands favor social shares over likes
Ad Week
Asking consumers to like an ad or post on Facebook — common practice among marketers for years — has, let's face it, become about as popular as Friendster. While Facebook has for some time now preached the gospel of shares to its advertisers, brands finally seem to be heeding the social giant's advice and ditching likes for shares in measuring their social media efforts. Some are even calling shares the new retweets.More

The trouble lurking on Wal-Mart's empty shelves
In Wal-Mart's culture, one of the company's central missions is to be an agent for its customers. That is, discover what the customers want or need and provide same. The last part of that mission is getting the goods onto store shelves. And according to reports in Bloomberg News, the New York Times and elsewhere, Wal-Mart has cut employee hours so deeply that it doesn't have enough associates on hand to get stuff from back-of-the-store staging areas to the shelves.More

Fuddruckers beefs up customer service with mobile on-the-spot feedback
Mobile Commerce Daily
Fast casual restaurant chain Fuddruckers is leveraging mobile at multiple locations to support customer service by making it easy for consumers to provide feedback on the spot. Customers at over 115 Fuddruckers locations will be able to provide feedback on their dining experiences by visiting a mobile-optimized site, scanning a QR code using a smartphone or tablet or via SMS. The benefit of using mobile for customer feedback is that it is convenient for customers and enables businesses to get instant feedback.More

Want better email revenue? Send late at night
In everyday life, most people don't want to be bothered late at night. But the opposite seems to be true when it comes to email. According to a Q4 2012 analysis by Experian CheetahMail of its North American clients' email campaigns, emails sent late at night outperformed emails sent any other time of day.More

American Greetings agrees to go private
Internet Retailer
American Greetings Corp., which sells digital greeting cards and related products online, recently announced it has reached a deal to be taken private by a buyout group owned by the Weiss family, which dominates top management of the company. The deal is valued at $878 million, including the e-retailer's debt obligations.More

Macy's, others turn stores into online fulfillment centers
A number of major retail chains are now expanding their capacity to fulfill online orders from stores, essentially turning their hundreds of retail locations into local distributions centers. The benefits include faster delivery of merchandise and the leveraging of existing store personnel.More

Women shop online, but still buy in stores
Women favor shopping online, and have a big influence over what men buy. The second annual "SheSpeaks/Lippe Taylor Women's Buying Behavior Index" talked to 2,152 women over the past two months to get a pulse on buying habits and forecast purchasing trends of American women. Among the findings: stores are no longer where women start researching products. More

The intelligent retailer's world of insight
In this benchmark report, top retailers offer their input on the value of implementing an enterprise-wide BI strategy that ensures each department is operating from the same consistent set of real-time data. Research findings focus on current business challenges and opportunities, organizational inhibitors, and the technology that enables retailers to receive and react to information faster.More

The opportunity for business intelligence enhancements in retail: The rise of mobile?
As mobile handheld devices, product data and online shopping proliferate, retailers are in a position to learn more about their customers and their own business than ever before. However, many retailers do not have the tools or the competency required to access this information where it would be most helpful. More

High performance retail: The art of the possible
The possibilities are endless with the advent of high-performance retail. Marketers and IT can not only digest data, but analyze and act on it within minutes to create a more personalized experience for shoppers, forever changing the way retail and CPG operate. This paper shows real-world examples of HPR at work and provides details on how to get started.More

Layer on the hot looks with this season's must-have accessories
The Globe and Mail
A common fashion perception used to be that, as the temperature rose, layers were shed. In particular, spring fashion relied heavily on the statement shoe or bag to anchor the season's flimsy fabrics and soft silhouettes. This year, however, designers have, somewhat surprisingly, decreed light outerwear — including jackets, car coats, trenches and other toppers — the new warm-weather accessory.More

Apps change the way we shop
The Republic
VideoBriefToday's smartphones can search the Internet, make price-check comparisons and shop online. Tomorrow's smartphones will make in-store shopping more convenient, quick and cost-effective. They will give us instant coupons while we walk store aisles and can take the place of cash registers. Wait. Tomorrow is already here. Mobile devices are continuing to revolutionize how people shop, with a growing list of innovations being tested around the world.More

Both parties point fingers over sequester after dismal March employment report
The Hill
A disappointing March jobs report recently released has ramped up the debate over the sequester. The White House and Democrats argue the dismal report shows the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts are already hurting the economy, just as President Barack Obama warned. More

How organizational structures are changing — and which questions to ask in the process Blog
In any industry — and especially in retail — evolution comes with the territory. More often than not it's a visible change, something customers can tangibly see or feel. But as's March webinar about designing the retail organization of the future showcased, retail executives are actively thinking about — and taking action on — how their internal structures should reflect consumer expectations.More

Target moving into home furnishings
Dow Jones Newswires via Pioneer Press
Target Corp. hopes home is where the sales are. The mass merchant has launched a new line of home furnishings and expanded the amount of space dedicated to those products in its stores. Target hopes the increased focus will tie in nicely with the spring season, when many homeowners look to spruce up their houses, and the improvement in the housing market. More

How brands are passed down — and up — between generations
Teens might prefer to hit their favorite stores with friends, but they're not afraid to buy the same brands as their parents. In fact, teens think it's cool to share a passion for a brand with mom or dad. More

Teens shopping resale, because paying retail is not cool
The Harford Courant
The concept isn't news to savvy teens who have discovered the allowance-stretching benefits of "popping tags" secondhand — but not in their mother's resale stores. Around the country, high school and college students are buying and selling brand-name fashions and accessories at teen-exclusive emporiums with names like "It's All Good," "The Dresscode," "Urban Xchange" and "This Ain't Your Momma's Closet."More

Boscov's Supply Chain SVP: Execs must 'think outside the norms of their company'
Retail's BIG Blog
Though the threat of a major port strike was recently averted, retail executives continue to face mounting challenges in managing increasingly complex global supply chains. Read on for the three biggest concerns for retail supply chains, the impact of emerging technologies, and how the retail supply chain business is evolving, according to Larry Bergman, senior vice president of supply chain and operations for Boscov's Department Stores.More

Report: Amazon will cement its position as major retail price setter
Chain Store Age
Amazon will cement its position as major retail price setter for years to come by exploiting its logistics opportunity, according to a new ResearchFarm report. The report predicts that that Amazon will focus on logistics in the future and become a major 3PL provider by increasing the fulfillment center footprint, linking up the various international marketplaces and adding front-end capacity such as the locker roll-out.More

IBM forecast: Jewelry sales to shine this year
Chain Store Age
Jewelry sales are expected to grow more than 11 percent in the second quarter and 9 percent overall this year, according to a new IBM Big Data-based forecast. According to the analysis, improved consumer confidence, lower unemployment and enhanced stock dividends from fourth quarter 2012 have combined to leave people ready to start spending on luxury items again, like jewelry.More

JC Penney's CEO steps down
MSN Money
The train wreck that was Ron Johnson's tenure at J.C. Penney is over. Johnson has stepped down from the top spot nearly 18 months after charging in with big plans to overhaul the retailer and its long-established business model. His predecessor, Myron Ullman, is returning to lead the company.More

J.C. Penney ousts chief of 17 months
The New York Times
After a troublesome 17-month run, Ron Johnson is out as chief executive of J. C. Penney, and with that, the most closely watched revival effort in retail in recent memory is in danger of disintegrating. The company's board recently said Johnson, who engineered Apple's retail strategy, is leaving Penney and that Myron E. Ullman III, who had been C.E.O. at the retailer for seven years until Mr. Johnson took over, has returned to the helm. More

Costco, Macy's eye China e-commerce
E-commerce is quickly gaining traction as a quick and affordable entree to China's vast retail market, with US giants Costco and Macy's both reportedly planning big new moves into the space. Their strategy reflects an emerging trend that has big western chains circumventing the traditional retailing route into China, seeking to avoid the big costs and risks that have led to big losses and retreats for names like Best Buy and Home Depot.More

Wal-Mart takes its TV fight local
Advertising Age
Once it became a true national retail presence in the late 1990s, Wal-Mart had a big advantage over regional competitors: It could buy national TV, and they couldn't. Now Wal-Mart is giving up some of that edge as it plows a growing portion of its TV budget into spot, rolling out price-comparison ads against local retailers in 60 markets this year, up from 50 last year. It's part of a plan that will see Wal-Mart produce an eye-popping 1,500 TV ads in 2013.More

J.C. Penney's post-Johnson options seen to include sale
VideoBriefJ.C. Penney Co. made a radical break with tradition by hiring Silicon Valley wunderkind Ron Johnson as chief executive officer. With Johnson gone, the chain may have to pursue more radical options, such as selling itself. More

3 ways to painlessly improve profitability in 2013: Refrigeration
By Jay Fiske
How many refrigeration systems do you have in your store? You might be surprised. Start off with the walk-in cooler and freezer in your storeroom and add in the merchandising refrigerators and freezers, ice machines and drink machines. It's easy to understand why 55 percent your energy load is devoted to refrigeration. Following are some tips that may help you take the energy bull by its horns, but let's first talk about the nature of refrigeration.More

AAA Fuel Gauge Report: Relief at the pump reaches every state
Convenience Store News
Fuel prices continue to fall and this time, motorists in every state are seeing a difference at the pump. Monday's national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.59 — 4 cents less than one week ago, 11 cents less than one month ago and 34 cents less than one year ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.More

Spotlighting the advantages of the Compensation and Benefits Survey
Retail's BIG Blog
The U.S. Retail Compensation and Benefits Survey — you've heard of it of course, but what the heck is it, and how can it help your company? While it's not meant to be a secret, the study has done quite a good job at staying under the radar as the "secret weapon" for more than 150 retailers' HR practices.More

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation A to Z — M is MWR, the History

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation provides a variety of programs and services that create an environment where Soldiers and Families can thrive. The Family and MWR programs are proof of the Army's commitment to support and care for all who defend the nation and their family members. More