ALA Executive Briefing
May 20, 2011

Power shifts on foreign-policy team
The Wall Street Journal
When President Barack Obama layed out his vision for the Middle East in a speech May 19, he also tacitly drew attention to another upheaval: Tumult in the Arab world has accelerated a shift in the standing of Washington's foreign-policy power players. The White House has moved to exert greater civilian control over the military, challenging the views of the top brass in some areas, officials say.More

Wounds of war: As military grows older, injuries increase, treatment proves costly
Louisville Courier-Journal
VideoBrief Older troops are more vulnerable to injuries and likely to face long recoveries, presenting long-term challenges to a country that has committed to their lifetime care. "There is definitely a cost," said Loren Thompson, a military analyst with The Lexington Institute, a think tank in Arlington, Va.More

Check out the future of shopping
The Wall Street Journal
VideoBriefA device that looks like a smartphone is making supermarket shoppers — and stores — happier. Perched on the handle of the shopping cart, it scans grocery items as the customer adds them to the cart.More

Supermarket giant Kroger to rid cans, receipts of BPA
Responding to growing health concerns, supermarket giant Kroger Co. has pledged to stop using the chemical BPA in the linings of food cans "as quickly as possible." BPA, short for Bisphenol A, is a compound often used in plastics and in other food and beverage containers. It has been linked to health problems ranging from breast and prostate cancer to infertility and obesity.More

On the frontline
Supermarket News
United Supermarkets, Lubbock, Texas, has met with store dietitians to educate them about Nutrition Keys, a voluntary labeling system designed by the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association to provide essential nutrition information at a glance.More

Idaho potatoes certified heart healthy
Progressive Grocer
The American Heart Association has certified that fresh Idaho potatoes meet its criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol, a significant milestone for an industry that had been hit hard by the low-carbohydrate diet fad. "For years, the IPC has been working hard to communicate to consumers that Idaho potatoes are an important part of a healthy, nutritious diet," said Frank Muir, Idaho Potato Commission president and CEO.More

Fresh & Easy expanding gluten-free product range
Store Brands
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, El Segundo, Calif., said it is expanding its range of gluten-free products and creating additional displays to highlight them in stores. The move builds on the retailer's earlier efforts — in January 2010 it added more gluten-free items, created a labeling system for the products, and posted a list of all gluten-free products on its website.More

ALA Congressional Congress

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Gordon will join us on the morning of June 14 in Washington, D.C., at the Rayburn House Office Building and address the congressional caucus. In light of the recent budget stress, this is a must-attend event. Click here to visit our webpage and register today!

For details on any of our events, visit our Web page at

Sears researching possible move from Illinois
The Herald
Sears Holdings Corp. is researching a possible move of its headquarters and 6,200 jobs out of Illinois, a company spokesman said. The retailer has had preliminary discussions with the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, where it is located, and has commissioned an economic impact study, said spokesman Chris Brathwaite.More

Retail sales rise for 10th straight month in April
Chain Store Age
Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in April after a 0.9 percent increase in March, the Commerce Department reported. It was the 10th straight increase and came as consumers spent more on gasoline, clothing and autos in April.More

Apparel makers' inventories pose risks
Increased inventory levels among apparel and shoe manufacturers could mean higher discounts and gross-margin pressures if sufficient demand fails to materialize, according to a Citigroup report.More

5 ways to reward employees without spending a dime
American Express OPEN Forum
Most entrepreneurs get so caught up in operating their businesses every day that they forget to reward the one thing that makes their company a success: their employees. Most would admit that they take their employees for granted until there is a crisis. The occasional fancy gift or bonus always is appreciated, but a successful culture is built by rewarding a company's employees every day.More

From cupcakes to moneycakes: 3 ways to increase sales, profitability
American Express OPEN Forum
Author Larel Delaney writes, "Recently, I had a conversation with a woman business owner who claims her business in Chicago is drying up. She bakes cupcakes from scratch in every imaginable flavor and size from her small bakery, Think Sprinkles, 11 miles south of downtown Chicago. As a one-woman shop, how can she increase sales and profitability so her business doesn't shrivel up? It starts with going back to the basics of good old-fashioned marketing."More

The magic weapon against online complaints
American Express OPEN Forum
A recent Harris survey conducted for RightNow concludes that the best way to handle online complaints is to use social media to nip them in the bud.More

9 questions: Lexy Funk, CEO of Brooklyn Industries
American Express OPEN Forum
Lexy Funk is the co-founder and CEO of Brooklyn Industries, the popular Brooklyn, N.Y.-based lifestyle clothing retailer. Founded in 1998, Brooklyn Industries now has 15 stores in four states. Funk recently spoke with OPEN Forum about her strengths, her regrets and her dream of opening up a gas station.More

5 ways to make your leadership come alive
American Express OPEN Forum
When leaders use their influence to overpower people for selfish gain, they become less effective. Good leaders understand that influence is power, and that how they handle power will affect their impact and results. The more you understand influence, the better you are able to maximize it for the benefit of those you lead — which in turn benefits you as well.More

Economy cuts into shopping trips, retailer profits
Supermarket News
Supermarket profitability slipped to a new low in 2010 as consumers increasingly focused on bargains and made fewer trips to the store, according to recent data released at Food Marketing Institute's Future Connect conference. More

Wal-Mart frets as US shoppers buy food, little else
The New York Times
For Wal-Mart's customers, the economy still looks a lot like 2009. The poorer customers who shop at the nation's biggest retailers are still on tight budgets.More

Concerns growing over food, gas prices
Progressive Grocer
Eighty-four percent of consumers believe that grocery prices have risen in the past three months, and 62 percent believe restaurant prices have risen. That's among the findings of the most recent consumer sentiment and behavior survey from Technomic Inc., the Chicago-based food industry research firm.More

NACStech: Going mobile with coupons
CSNews Retail Technology
Mobile coupons are a prevalent and pervasive marketing solution, according to Rick Sales, president of Abierto Networks LLC, moderator of the session, "Toss the Scissors — Coupons Have Gone Mobile," at NACStech. With 94 percent of the U.S. population using coupons while shopping and 72 percent of U.S. adults and 87 percent of teens using text messaging, mobile couponing can play a key role in the c-store marketing mix.More

1 of the Exchange's most important missions: Military family careers
Public Affairs
Understanding that serving the military today means caring about the community's tomorrow, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is focusing on active-duty, veteran, retired, National Guard and Reserve families' career aspirations. With more than 31 percent of approximately 43,000 associates identifying themselves as military family members and veterans accounting for another 12 percent of the workforce, the Exchange understands the unique perspectives its customers bring to "the other side of the cash register."More

ALA NY Chapter golf outing at Scenic West Point Military Academy

Monday, June 20
Scenic West Point Military Academy
New York

Join us for a day of golf, fun and networking!

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship monies to military dependent children. Your past support has allowed us to increase the scholarship payments from previous years and we have even bigger goals in the works.

You can help:

Hole sponsorships: An important source of contributions to the scholarship fund. Whether or not you are able to attend the event, please consider sponsoring a hole. Email your company logo and we will include on hole sponsorship sign.

Prize donations: The raffle/auction is an very important source of fund raising. We appreciate whatever you can provide.

Please email me the item/items you are donating and ship to:

Denise Passarella
Pepsi Cola Military Sales
700 Anderson Hill Rd. MD 426
Purchase, N.Y. 10577-1444

Please note that to guarantee you receive a shirt in your requested size, we MUST receive your completed reservation form by May 20.

We must order the shirts well in advance. Reservations for the event will be accepted after the May 20 deadline, but we may not have your size available when you arrive. Please help us out and get your reservation forms in early.

We hope to see you on June 20.

For the ALA NY Chapter,

Linda S. Sharlin
Board Member, NY Chapter ALA

Scholarship posters

Fisher House Foundation recently mailed large posters that recognize sponsor donations to the Scholarships for Military Children program to all store directors and to each of the companies that donated to the 2011 program. Additional copies will be available at the DeCA Training Conference in Norfolk, Va., May 23-25. Store directors or sponsors wanting additional copies can also email Jim Weiskopf, Fisher House Foundation, with their postal address and he will mail them to you. Copies also will be available in the vendor area (first floor) of DeCA headquarters after the conference.

James D. Weiskopf
Vice President
Fisher House Foundation Inc.
Phone: 703-378-5670 (Home), 202-607-1067 (Mobile)
Email: JWeiskopf@fisherhouse.orgMore

Coming to Tampa Bay supermarkets: Self-service health testing
St. Petersburg Times
Emboldened by shoppers warming up to more job-killing self-service automation inside stores, marketers are eager to add more routine health monitoring to the grocery store.More

New fiscal reality, same commitment to soldiers, families
U.S. Army
A fundamentally different fiscal reality. We will be hearing some variation of that phrase from Army leaders for a long time to come. The Army's budget is smaller than it has been in previous years, and it will get smaller still. However, a different fiscal reality does not change the reality of what we owe to Soldiers and Families for their service and sacrifice.More

Get ready for summer with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
U.S. Army
This past winter was long and miserable, with record breaking temperatures, snow and ice. Maybe you spent too much time in front of the fire reading instead of cross-country skiing. Now that it is time to put on the spring clothes, you realize just how much weight you've put on and need to do something about it. No need to worry: May is National Sports and Fitness Month, and the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation gyms have many options for exercise to help get that weight off and get on the road to good health and fitness.More