ALA Executive Briefing
May. 4, 2012

200-plus disabled military await another fight at Warrior Games
Colorado Springs Gazette
The First Lady is coming to Colorado Springs. So are the British. With loads of bragging rights on the line, they'll be joined by disabled military for the Warrior Games. More

Obama reelection campaign to target a new voter set: Military families
The Washington Post
President Barack Obama and the first lady recently greeted soldiers at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., at a time when his reelection campaign is focused more intently than ever on a novel and potentially fruitful voter set: military families.More

Biden gets a new national security advisor
The Cable
Recently, Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech defending the Obama administration's foreign policy and attacking the foreign policy views of Mitt Romney in New York. Back in Washington, Biden took on a new top staffer to advise him on national security and foreign policy going forward. As part of a set of ongoing staffing changes in the national security leadership at the White House, Biden got a new deputy national security adviser April 30, Pentagon official Julianne Smith. More

US agrees to reduce size of force on Okinawa
The New York Times
The United States and Japan have reached agreement on a long-simmering dispute that calls for the American military to reduce the number of Marines on Okinawa by 9,000 and begin returning land to the government there, senior officials recently announced. More

Survey: Fresh-cut is in and canned is out
Fresh Fruit Portal
Consumer demand for fresh-cut fruit and vegetables increased significantly last year, according to a recent survey from the Hartman Group commissioned by the Produce Marketing Association.More

Impact of Target PFresh seen as minimal
Supermarket News
The PFresh food sections offered by Target Corp. in two-thirds of its discount stores are having only a minimal effect on traditional supermarkets, industry observers told Supermarket News — and they question whether that will change much going forward.More

Study: Shoppers diversify stores, add trips as food costs climb
Progressive Grocer
Food prices continue to rise, reflecting higher input costs, while consumers do their best to spend less on staple goods, according to What's in Store 2012, an annual trends publication of The International Dairy- Deli-Bakery Association. All types of retailers are reacting with more food offerings as shoppers hunt for the best deals to get more bang for their buck.More

Online retailer earns USDA-certified organic status
The Gourmet Retailer
Mile High Organics in Boulder, Colo., has become one of the first online grocery retailers in the United States to receive USDA organic certification, the company announced April 25. The voluntary USDA organic certification guarantees that Mile High Organics' food meets its standards, such as the food is grown without synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides or growth hormones. The food also has to be stored away from conventional foods. It is these audited processes that ensure consumers that all products are properly documented all the way from source to each household.More

Kashi cereal's 'natural' claims stir anger
USA Today
How natural are Kashi natural cereals? Kellogg is facing anger on social media sites because of complaints that its popular Kashi brand of cold cereals doesn't live up to the company's "natural" billing on ads and boxes.More

Grocery stores nationwide and Produce for Kids® partner to encourage healthy eating, help local children
Produce for Kids® is gearing up for its annual Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign, working with 16 supermarket grocery store chains across the country to help raise money for local children's hospitals. Celebrating a milestone 10th birthday in 2012, everyone is invited to the celebration full of healthy meal ideas, a great cause and a media partnership with 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout®.More

Spring Edition: A guide to the farmers' market
The Huffington Post
Spring has arrived and that means the seasonal produce at farmers' markets is getting more colorful and diverse. It's a great time to venture away from what you normally buy at grocery stores and try new and fresh foods that may be foreign to your taste buds. If you are a farmers' market novice, or go once a week, let this be a good starting point for your visits.More

Now on sale at Costco: Mortgages
Not only can Costco shoppers find bulk-packs of chicken wings, 24-rolls of toilet paper and large-screen TVs at a discount, they can now land themselves a mortgage. After a year of testing, Costco is rolling out a full-service mortgage lending program on its website in partnership with First Choice Bank, a New Jersey-based community bank, and 10 other lenders.More

New laps of luxury: High end apparel boosted by established, emerging markets
Women's Wear Daily
If it is good to be rich, it is just as good to be a business that caters to the sector. The luxury apparel market is alive, well and growing worldwide. "The mood is positive," says Planet Retail's Isabel Cavill, senior retail analyst. "The key driver of growth is ultimately from emerging markets as well as affluent U.S. shoppers."More lets you pay with cash when shopping online
AllThingsD recently launched "Pay with Cash," a new feature that enables users to place orders online and then pay for them at a nearby Wal-Mart. In an interview, Joel Anderson, president and CEO of, said the new feature is targeting people who don't have access to debit or credit cards.More

Report: Mexico's federal watchdog to investigate Wal-Mart Mexico permits
Chain Store Age
A recent Wall Street Journal report said the Mexico's Ministry of Public Functions — the country's public-sector watchdog — will investigate new-store permits secured by Wal-Mart's Mexico division, Wal-Mart de Mexico. The agency is looking for misconduct on the part of federal government employees in granting construction and other permits.More

Apple rides iPhone frenzy
The Wall Street Journal
Apple Inc.'s quarterly profit nearly doubled as iPhones and iPads continued to fly off shelves, putting to rest recent worries that the company can't maintain its momentum. Shares recently gained more than 7 percent, or $40.55, to $600.83 in after-hours trading — after falling in 10 of the past 11 regular trading sessions amid concerns about a potential iPhone slowdown. Instead, iPhone shipments jumped 88 percent in the quarter, as Apple continued to penetrate new markets like China.More

How social and mobile are changing the face of online (and offline) retail via NRF's Digital Division
In a recent half-day digital retail marketing workshop in San Francisco, a team of experts presented a new study from and The Partnering Group on social media and mobile use in retail and e-commerce. Learn the latest on consumer usage and attitudes toward social media and mobile platforms as shopping tools along the path to purchase. Registration for this workshop is free for all retailers.More

Family Dollar is building on brand strategy
Charlotte Business Journal
Family Dollar Stores Inc. will add more than 1,000 products to its shelves in the upcoming months. And national brands will play a key role in the discount retailer's efforts to broaden its customer base.More

For Wal-Mart, sustainability is slow going
Advertising Age
After years of leading the sustainability charge for much of the retail world and its supplier base, Wal-Mart Stores is finding that progress can be slow, even though it commands the most purchasing clout in the world. More

A general store race is on
The Wall Street Journal
Dollar General Inc., whose discount stores have stolen bargain-seeking shoppers from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is trying to grab a share of the grocery business. The idea behind entering the notoriously low margin business? That stocking fresh food and more refrigerated products in midsize stores will drive shoppers to visit more frequently — and increase how much they spend on standard dollar-store fare, from corn chips to children's clothing. (Subscription required.)More

Yum selling US Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC units to franchisees
Fox Business
Yum Brands Inc., the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is selling hundreds of its U.S. restaurants to franchisees in an effort to further distance itself from the volatility of the owner-operated restaurant business. The Louisville, Ky.-based company, which now earns the majority of its profits internationally, plans to reinvest the money from sales of its domestic restaurants in building new ones in countries such as China and India, where economic growth is stronger.More

Report: Millennial shoppers hard hit by economic downturn
Chain Store Age
Millennial shoppers (consumers ages 18-34) now represent the highest percentage of Americans who do not have enough money to cover their basic needs according to WSL/Strategic Retail, a leading authority on shopper behavior and retail trends. The finding, which noted that nearly 25 percent of this young adult market say they are not able to make ends meet — as compared with 17 percent of adults ages 35-54, and only 13 percent of those age 55 and over — was revealed as part of the company's How America Shops MegaTrends report, Moving On 2012.More

Retail clinics poised for dramatic expansion
Chain Store Age
Retail clinics and big-name medical centers are poised for dramatic expansion, according to two well-known speakers at the American Telemedicine Association's annual meeting in San Jose this week. Smartphones, medical centers of excellence, automated clinical labs and digital medical devices will transform retail-affiliated clinics into global ports of entry to some of the best healthcare in the world at dramatically lower costs to patients, physicians, employers, governments and insurers, according to Ronald L. Hammerle and Jay H. Sanders, M.D.More

Best Buy Connect service to end June 1
Kantar Retail
Best Buy Connect, Best Buy's private label mobile broadband service, is no longer accepting new activations, and service for current subscribers will end June 1. More

Microsoft to take stake in Nook unit of Barnes & Noble
The New York Times
Microsoft recently announced it would invest $300 million in Barnes & Noble's Nook division for a 17.6 percent stake. The deal values the e-reader business at $1.7 billion. The move by Microsoft will help bolster the standing of Barnes & Noble's fastest-growing unit. The bookstore giant had said this year that it was exploring strategic options for the business, including a potential divestiture or strategic partnership.More

Target readies 'Shops' kickoff
Women's Wear Daily
The Shops at Target, one of the mass retailer's biggest merchandising initiatives in recent years, will be unveiled on Sunday at all 1,763 Target stores in the U.S. (Subscription required.)More

Will retailer troubles trump the weather blame game?
Europe's economy and changes at J.C. Penney may give the weather blame game competition when retailers release their upcoming sales and earnings reports. More

Consumer spending rose at a slower pace in March
The New York Times
Americans increased their spending more slowly in March, suggesting that some people were worried that their paychecks were not growing fast enough.More

Happy birthday, retail! Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Kohl's turn 50
Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Kohl's are celebrating a milestone 50th anniversary this year. It's hard to believe all four were founded in the same year, but combined these stores changed the way America shops. Happy birthday to modern retail!More

Video saved the convenience store
CSNews Retail Technology
Convenience store retailers intrinsically fulfill a consumer need, have a longstanding hold in the retail sector and above all, are consistently profitable. However, like all retail markets, the convenience store landscape is changing as consumers demand a more robust array of stock items, and safety continues to be a competing concern, affecting customer loyalty.More

Coke explored talks with Monster
The Wall Street Journal
Facing sluggish growth in its U.S. soft-drink business, Coca-Cola Co. has explored a deal for energy-drink company Monster Beverage Corp., according to people familiar with the matter, a combination that would have been Coca-Cola's largest brand acquisition in its 126-year history. (Subscription required.)More

Old brands find new reasons to get on your radar
USA Today
Putting lipstick on a pig may be easier than making old brands new. But that never stops consumer product makers from trying to put new spins on old brands. Ironically, they often succeed because of name familiarity.More

Smokers switch to pipes, cigars as cigarette alternatives
Convenience Store News
New data from the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows that smokers are responding to the 2009 increase in federal taxes on cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco by purchasing more pipe tobacco and large cigars, which are taxed at a lower rate, according to a USA Today report. Monthly sales of pipe tobacco rose from 240,000 pounds in January 2009 to more than 3 million pounds in September 2011, while monthly sales of large cigars rose from 411 million pounds to more than 1 billion pounds. Pipe tobacco has become especially attractive to smokers who visit local stores with RYO cigarette machines, where they can make and purchase cheaper cartons of cigarettes.More

NEX rewards students with its A-OK Student Reward Program

The Navy Exchange wants to help its customers pay for their children's college education through its A-OK Student Reward Program. Four times per school year, four students will be the recipients of a $5,000, $3,000 $2,000 or $1,000 U.S. savings bond, denominations at maturity. The next drawing will be held at the end of May.

Any eligible full-time student that has a B-grade point average equivalent or better, as determined by their school system, may enter the drawing. Eligible students include dependent children of active duty military members, reservists and military retirees enrolled in first through 12th grade. Dependent children without an individual Dependent Identification Card must be accompanied by their sponsor to submit their entry. Each student may enter only once each grading period and must re-enter with each qualifying report card.

To enter the drawing, stop by any NEX with a current report card and have a NEX associate verify the minimum grade average. Then fill out an entry card and obtain an A-OK ID, which entitles the student to discount coupons for NEX products and services.

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) has been offering students a chance to win a savings bond through its A-OK Student Reward Program since 1997. Since the program began, NEXCOM has awarded $504,000 in savings bonds with the help of its generous vendor partners.More

Save the dates!

May 21: Dallas Chapter/Commanders Cup Golf event
Bear Creek Golf Club
3500 Bear Creek Court, Dallas, Texas 75261
Click here for directions and here for the official flier.

June 25: ALA New York Chapter Golf Event
Click here for registration form and directions.More

exchange council

ALA Exchange E-Blast week 5/4/12 AAFES Sales Flyers: Save the dates:

June 19, 2012 — Congressional Caucus, House Office Building Washington, D.C. (Date change)

August 20–23, 2012 — Hawaii Conference & Food Show

Go to:, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.


Veterans Conference scheduled for July in Detroit

The Department of Veterans Affairs will host the National Veterans Conference in Detroit from June 25-29. The three major facets of this National Conference include: the National Veterans Small Business Conference, the Veterans Open house and a Veterans Hiring Fair. The VA for Vets program is sponsoring the Veterans hiring Fair, which will take place on June 26-28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. The event will be held at Detroit's COBO Center, One Washington Boulevard, Detroit, Mich., 48226. For information on the overall conference, please visit

VA sponsored the Department's first Vet Hiring Fair and Expo in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18. This hiring event yielded successful results with more than 600 Veterans receiving tentative job offers. VCS partnered with ALA at this hiring event and I know many vendors were in attendance. We would like to invite you again to partner with VCS and demonstrate our joint commitment to Veterans who have given so much to our nation by providing Veterans with access to job opportunities within our organizations. In turn, VA will provide you with access to thousands of qualified Veterans to fill your vacancies.

The Detroit event is expected to generate significant national media coverage as 10,000 Veterans coverage on Detroit from the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania. VA's goal is to reaffirm meaningful employment opportunities in the public and private sectors.

I have attached an Employer's Prospectus for the Hiring Fair that includes the employer registration link. For your convenience the link is There is no cost to participate in the hiring fair component of the conference; however, the deadline to register is May 15.

If you have any questions regarding this event or you need further information, you may contact:

Ken Freeman, VCS Associate Director, Resources and Support, at or 314-845-1213; or Gina Byrd, Senior VCS Human Resources Specialist, at or 314-845-1215. Both are located in Central Office.

You may also request additional information from the VA Central Office, by contacting Dave Thomas, Special Assistant to the Secretary, at or 202-461-4873; or Mary M. Santiago, Director, Veterans Employment Service Office, at or 202-461-7759.

Thanks in advance for your participation.More

Fleet Week Port Everglades sailors participate in 'Take A Hero Fishing' tourney
U.S. Navy
More than 75 Sailors, Marines and Coastguardsmen participated in the fourth annual "Take a Hero Fishing" tournament, April 27, during Fleet Week Port Everglades 2012. Local anglers donated their time and boats, to show their appreciation for the visiting service members.More

Coast Guard MWR internships

Coast Guard MWR provides a variety of recreational, sports and leisure programs and services for all eligible patrons. The MWR Intern Program offers students earning college credit toward a degree in a MWR-related field the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, while assisting with our mission to uplift the spirits of the Coast Guard family.More

Soldier Show to launch tour from new home in San Antonio
U.S. Army MWR
Although the newly renovated Fort Sam Houston Theater played host to Operation Rising Star, a jazz show, and several town hall meetings, Army Entertainment officials like to consider opening weekend of the 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show as the theater's grand reopening.More

1st Air Force female 4-star general confirmed
U.S. Air Force
The Senate confirmed Air Force Lt. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger for promotion March 26, making her the first female four-star general in Air Force history. Wolfenbarger currently serves as the military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition here and she is one of four female lieutenant generals in the Air Force.More

Obama signs order on 9-11 GI Bill
United Press International
When U.S. military personnel, veterans or their families go to college, they should have the facts necessary to make an informed choice, President Barack Obama said. "[Higher] education is the clearest path to the middle class," Obama said April 27, at Fort Stewart in Georgia in discussing the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. "But we've got more to do. We've got to make sure you've got every tool you need to make an informed decision when it comes to picking a school."More