ALA Executive Briefing
Apr. 25, 2014

McKeon to roll out last NDAA next week
The Hill
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-California, is preparing to unveil his last defense bill as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee next week, kicking off what is sure to be a contentious process as lawmakers decide what capabilities the Pentagon will keep during a time of defense budget cuts. The Armed Services panel will release the subcommittee inputs for the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — which authorizes spending on next year's defense programs — Tuesday, 24 hours before subcommittees start to discuss the plan. More

First lady announces veterans job site
The Hill
First lady Michelle Obama recently announced a new website designed to help military veterans, current service members and their spouses create resumes and connect with outside employers. The website, called the Veterans Employment Center, hopes to centralize job and veterans resources from across the government. It will include a database of public and private employment opportunities, a resume-builder, and career and training resources.More

House Republicans see opportunity in appropriations bills
National Journal
Republicans are stepping up efforts to insert special provisions — including some that are partisan or ideological —into fiscal 2015 appropriations bills, according to memos from Republican House leaders. Republican lawmakers have been encouraged by leaders to consider next week's House votes on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs as well as the Legislative Branch appropriations bills as the beginning of an "opportunity" to enact conservative policies through policy riders, many of which couldn't pass as stand-alone bills.More

DoD details planned cuts if budget caps remain
Defense News
The Pentagon has laid out plans for how it would cut $66 billion in procurement and research-and-development projects between 2016 and 2019 should US defense spending caps remain in place. The cuts would affect dozens of Defense Department programs. More

Recruits trending older in US military
USA Today
New recruits in the U.S. military are getting slightly older, with more than half of Army enlistees age 20 or above compared with a few decades ago when only a third were in the older age group, according to a recent RAND Corp. study. The trend is a boon for the military because older recruits have a greater tendency to re-enlist and achieve promotions at higher rates than those who join out of high school, the report says.More

Military produce group deploys IFCO RPCs
The Produce News
The Military Produce Group is showing its commitment to the environment by using reusable plastic containers from IFCO Systems for the shipment of fresh produce to dozens of commissaries. The Military Produce Group, which supplies fruits and vegetables to commissaries in the southern United States, is moving to RPCs from corrugated boxes for several commodities. This move furthers the Defense Commissary Agency's sustainability program.More

Construct new commissary facility, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Federal Busienss Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency, Acquisition Management Directorate Construction Design Branch (HQ DeCA/LEAAF), anticipates awarding a firm fixed price construction contract to construct a new 141,847 square-foot commissary at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The primary function of the new facility will be provided sales and processing of miscellaneous commodities and grocery items for the military community of the installation.More

Defense Commissary Agency Enterprise Business Solution
Federal Business Opportunities
The purpose of Amendment 0001 is to:

a) provide Answers to Questions Received During the Final RFP.
b) provide revisions to the Final RFP.

The proposal due date/time remains no later than 10 a.m., Central Time, on Thursday, May 8. More

For PepsiCo, size matters
Food Business News
Big sales may come from small packages. New mini soft drink cans and macro snacks helped drive growth for PepsiCo, Inc. during the company's first quarter. Smaller beverage sizes showed solid growth, with double-digit gains in the 7.5-oz mini cans during the quarter, as well as more-than-doubled sales of 12-oz glass bottles.More

US cereal U-turn: 10 percent upswing over next four years
Cereal makers can expect a turnaround year thanks to favorable consumption patterns and a booming young Hispanic population, says Packaged Facts. The U.S. breakfast cereal market will surge 10 percent between 2014 and 2018.More

Harris Teeter adds $99 annual option for online shopping
Charlotte Business Journal
Harris Teeter has added a yearly payment option for its growing base of online shoppers. The Matthews, North Carolina-based grocery chain will offer its Express Lane online shopping option for a flat fee of $99.95. That will allow shoppers to place orders throughout the year without incurring additional charges.More

Military commissaries in south switch to RPCs
The Packer
Military commissaries in the Southern U.S. are now receiving fruits and vegetables shipped in reusable plastic containers supplied by IFCO Systems. The Military Produce Group, which ships produce from three distribution centers to 71 commissaries in the Southern U.S., has switched from corrugated boxes to RPCs for the shipment of several commodities, according to an IFCO news release. More

Frito-Lay to drive deep-ridged success wider in 2014-2015
Frito-Lay launched its first deep-ridged potato chip in the U.S. and Canada under its Ruffles brand in 2012. The company says it will roll out deep-ridged potato chips in more than 10 countries this year, and has plans to expand the snack concept even further in 2015 as its international patent on the design pends. More

Hispanic consumers driving breakfast cereal comeback
Progressive Grocer
Hispanic consumers are likely to support the renewed popularity of hot and cold cereals, following a steady drop-off among households between 2004 and 2013, according to new research from Packaged Facts. While consumers still believe breakfast to be the "most important meal of the day," recent trends have skewed in favor of cereal bars and chewy granola bars, which together increased more than 35 percent in the nine-year period. Yet a return to strength is anticipated for the $12 million breakfast cereal market. More

Store brand growth continues
Grocery Headquarters
The development that had been touted in some quarters as inevitable — shoppers' returning en masse to big brands — failed to materialize for yet another year. Instead, it was business as usual according to data provided to PLMA by The Nielsen Company for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2013 — national brands ceded market share as consumers continued to reach for quality and value in store brands.More

Plastic bag bans spreading across nation
Los Angeles rang in the 2014 New Year with a ban on the distribution of plastic bags at the checkout counter of big retailers, making it the largest of the 132 cities and counties around the United States with anti-plastic bag legislation. And a movement that gained momentum in California is going national. More than 20 million Americans live in communities with plastic bag bans or fees. Currently 100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of U.S. consumers every year — almost one bag per person each day. But this number will soon fall as more communities look for ways to reduce the plastic litter that blights landscapes and clogs up sewers and streams. More

How fleet tracking can help solve fleet management challenges
By Regan Billie
Many different types of businesses rely on fleets to get their products or services to their customers. For businesses that are dependent on their fleet, managing these vehicles can become one of the most costly challenges. More

Commentary: Defense civilian layoffs won't be pleasant, but they are necessary
Government Executive
(Rep. Ken Calvert in Government Executive) President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget would reduce the U.S. Army end strength to pre-World War II levels and would come on top of a reduced Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. More

Vitaminwater enters the energy-drink category
Coca-Cola Co.'s vitaminwater is entering the energy category with vitaminwater energy, a lightly-carbonated beverage that features a natural energy boost from green coffee-bean extract. It provides an option for those who could benefit from a natural energy kick. More

ALA NY's annual West Point Golf Outing is 2 months away!

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

NRF: Retail sales climb in March
Chain Store Age
Spurred by warmer spring weather, U.S. retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.8 percent adjusted month-to-month in March and 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation. More

Target expands subscription service tenfold
The Washington Post
Target is taking aim at rival Amazon by expanding a service that regularly delivers products to shoppers' homes. The nation's second-largest discounter started its subscription service in September by offering 150 baby products, like baby wipes and diapers, for delivery.More

Wal-Mart takes on money transfer companies with new service
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is launching a money transfer service in a direct challenge to the dominance of Western Union Co. and MoneyGram, aiming to broaden the financial services it offers to low-income customers and increase store traffic.More

Lululemon CEO looks beyond yoga wear for growth
Lululemon Athletica Inc, best known for its trendy yoga wear, hopes to drive growth in coming years by expanding its range of fitness-related apparel and accelerating international plans, its newly appointed chief executive recently said.More

Gap to test new order in store service later this year
Gap Inc. said some shoppers in stores later this year will be able to place orders for the retailer's expanded offerings online as part of the company's latest push to merge online and in-store operations. More

Sam's Club looking to spark electronics sales
Wal-Mart-owned Sam's Club is out to win more sales of consumer electronics, and says it expanding its warranty coverage. Members who buy a TV priced at $500 or more gets a $99 four-year SquareTrade protection plan that includes delivery, set-up, haul-away and recycling of their old TV. The deal also provides a guaranteed buyback program that allows members to trade in their TV within six months, and get to half of its price back on a gift card.More

NPD: Women's apparel sales up 3.7 percent in 2013
Women's Wear Daily
Online purchases, outerwear and tailored merchandise pace sales gains. (Subscription required.)More

Rising food prices pinching consumers
USA Today
Two months of sharp increases in food prices show grocers are starting to pass along their higher wholesale costs to consumers. Retail food prices rose 0.4 percent in March, the same as in February and the largest amount since September 2011. By comparison, the prices of all consumer goods rose 0.2 percent in March and 0.1 percent the month before, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.More

Industry's new millstone: Currency fluctuation
Women's Wear Daily
The currency bogeyman is back, and has plans to wreak increasing havoc on European luxury — and high-street — companies' global revenues. (Subscription required.)More

Study: Millennials show brand loyalty
Chains Store Age
Despite their reputation as being jaded by branding efforts, a majority of millennials consider themselves brand-loyal. According to a new survey of Millennial consumers from marketing data provider Adroit Digital, 64 percent of millennials are more brand-loyal or as brand-loyal as their parents, with 24 percent considering themselves to be more brand-loyal than their parents.More

Family Dollar: Is bad news for store good news for US economy?
The Christian Science Monitor
By the looks of things, Family Dollar – a mainstay American dollar store franchise – has been doing bang-up business: newly built storefronts have been opening in rapid succession. It's that expansion that made the news that Family Dollar is now suddenly retrenching by closing 370 stores so surprising. More

Retailers love millennial women
Social Media Today
With an estimated purchasing power of $2.45 trillion worldwide by 2015, it's no surprise that the millennial generation (demographic cohort born between 1980 and 2000, also known as Gen Y) has become the most sought-after target segment for Internet retailers. But retailers are particularly interested in millennial women, who bring in the highest volume of referral traffic to their e-commerce stores.More

Macy's CEO talks 20-somethings, Amazon and the future of malls
BuzzFeed Business
Macy's has been on a tear since Terry Lundgren took over as CEO a decade ago. Lundgren believes part of Macy's success in an extremely competitive environment, especially for department stores, stems from its practice of giving district managers the power to stock merchandise they believe will appeal to local shoppers, making each location unique and quick to identify trends. More

Walk-in urgent-care companies are providing relief to retail landlords
The Wall Street Journal
People with relatively minor health problems—say, the flu or a deep cut—aren't the only ones getting relief from growing walk-in "urgent care" companies such as CityMD and PM Pediatrics. These companies also are providing a little tonic to retail landlords.More

Millionaires prefer Costco, Target, Home Depot
A new survey of America's wealthiest 10 percent reveals a strong optimism about the months ahead, and a continued commitment to their favorite things: Cautious spending, aggressive saving, and shopping at Costco, Target and the Home Depot. More

Tailoring to the new male consumer
Retail's BIG Blog
Men's fashion is one of the hottest segments in retail today. And in the last few years, men have stepped-up their shopping and taken a greater interest in their appearance, which has helped spur innovation across the industry.More

Why prices are jumping at the gas pump
CBS News
The summer driving season is fast approaching, and with it the annual hike in gasoline prices. But many parts of the U.S. are already contending with unexpectedly high prices at the pump this month, weeks ahead of schedule. According to, the national average for gasoline rose another 2.3 cents this past week to $3.63 per gallon — or around 12.1 cents per gallon higher than the same time last year. A number of factors are behind this jump at the pump. According to AAA, lower gas inventories plus a release of pent-up demand after an unusually brutal winter have combined to boost prices in 46 of 50 states.More

Answering the call for better food choices
Convenience Store News
Consumers are running faster than ever before, and their overburdened schedules and on-the-go lifestyles have shifted the landscape of the convenience store industry. Coupled with consumers attempting to make healthier choices and their desire to reduce fat and calories while boosting protein content, the convenience stores of old are stepping into a new arena. The most successful convenience store operators capitalize on these two consumer motivators. Recognizing that the average consumer cannot change the pace of their lives, these savvy retailers have expanded their offerings to include healthier options to the traditional convenience fare.More

Why in-queue merchandising matters
Retail Customer Experience
In-queue merchandising is, essentially, a waiting line comprised of stanchions, racks, baskets, signage and other accessories designed to create displays that present products for sale. Besides the physical products, these displays can be used for advertising and promotional opportunities that create brand awareness and further other marketing goals. There are numerous benefits to implementing in-queue merchandising strategies including maximizing otherwise unused retail space, facilitating customer flow, increasing customer satisfaction, and boosting company profits.More

Renewed reasoning for Coca-Cola to buy Monster Beverages
The Coca-Cola Co. showed a renewed interest in energy drinks this month with the introduction of vitaminwater energy. And at a time when Coca-Cola's growth is challenged, analysts are again raising the prospect of the beverage maker acquiring Monster Beverages, partially because of the benefits the purchase would bring, and partially because of the pain Coca-Cola would suffer if someone else bought Monster.More

Don't get smoked out by e-cig regulations
With anti-electronic cigarette regulations running rampant on the state and local level, it's no surprise that local legislation was a hot topic of the "Smoking Out Electronic Cigarettes" session at this year's NATO Show; however, it was a little surprising that competing e-cigarette companies like Logic, Lorillard, NJOY and Reynolds are uniting to combat unfair regulations.More

The 'Walmart 200' & beyond: Murphy USA's 5 key strategies for growth
High-volume fuel retailer Murphy USA Inc. still sees plenty of opportunity in its long-term partnership with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as well as in expanding beyond the small-kiosk, tobacco-centered model, president and CEO Andrew Clyde told analysts April 15 at its first analysts day event, presenting the company's plan for growth in the coming years following its recent spinoff from Murphy Oil Corp.More

How Sheetz comes up with new ideas
VideoBriefFrom a double drive-thru to a new fuel-free, grocery-heavy store, President and CEO Joe Sheetz discusses how data collection has changed project development at one of the industry's leading chains.More

Week of Wawa Exclusive: 8 highlights from 'The Wawa Way'
The top-line takeaway from this celebratory book by former Wawa Inc. President and CEO Howard Stoeckel (with Bob Andelman) is that this company was bound to succeed. Fully titled "The Wawa Way: How a Funny Name & 6 Core Values Revolutionized the Convenience Business," the first-person book was published to coincide with the privately owned convenience store chain's 50th anniversary in retail.More

Where do convenience stores rate on loyalty programs?
Convenience store shoppers are avid members of loyalty programs, though participation in c-store programs lags that of the grocery and drugstore channels, according to two General Mills Convenience & Foodservice research projects focusing on loyalty programs across retail channels to identify ways that c-store retailers can build programs that resonate with their shoppers.More

Largest solar array on US military installation to be developed
U.S. Army
The U.S. Army recently announced plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25 percent of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca, Arizona. "This will be the largest solar array in the department of defense on a military installation," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.More

Soldiers have options to explore before Army restructure
U.S. Army
The Army is restructuring from 510,000 active-duty Soldiers to 490,000 in a number of ways. Natural attrition through End Term of Service dates is one, but there are also programs to make sure quality Soldiers stay in. "We may have Soldiers that are qualified to re-enlist, they meet that basic eligibility that we look for, but now we have to go a little deeper. And, even though they may be qualified, are they the 'best' qualified for continuous service?" said Sgt. Maj. Russell Paradis, Fort Sill command career counselor. More

Vice Chief to IMCOM: What you do vital to Army
U.S. Army
Vice Chief of Staff General John F. Campbell met with senior leaders and some very junior members of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command immediately following IMCOM's change of command ceremony on April 8. The message to both groups was remarkably similar: Remain resilient, watch your fellow Soldiers' backs, and realize what you're doing today is vital to the Army. More