ALA Executive Briefing
Jun. 14, 2013

Request for military base closing rejected
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
Recently, legislation that rejected the Defense Department's request to shutter installations and facilities that are no longer needed was approved by the Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee.More

At Senate hearing, military health care gets scrutiny
Stars and Stripes
For a fleeting moment, at least, lawmakers seemed to be coming around to the idea that the Pentagon benefits system has its limits. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that legislators' continued pushback against Pentagon requests for modest Tricare fee and copay increases for working-age retirees will put DOD in a financial bind in coming years. And, legislators seemed inclined to listen.More

Defense bill calls for reducing number of generals, flag officers
Army Times
Lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon to cut back on its general and flag officers. Inserted into the annual defense bill recently passed by the House Armed Services Committee was a call for the Defense Department to reduce the total number of officers wearing stars by 14 positions, or less than 2 percent of the total. There are 924 general and flag officers on active duty, according to the most recent Pentagon data.More

Defense civilians make last ditch effort to end furloughs
Government Executive
Beleaguered federal employees have taken to the White House's petition website to challenge the Pentagon's decision to furlough most of its civilian workforce for 11 days in fiscal 2013.More

Cisco software, hardware and maintenance support
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency will issued a firm fixed price delivery order HQC007-13-F-0006 against a NASA SEWP IV IDIQ to Thundercat Technology LLC, 1775 Wiehle Avenue, Suite 101, Reston, Virginia 20190-5109, a service disabled, veteran owned small business concern, for brand name Cisco software, hardware and maintenance support for DeCA's VoIP test bed. The delivery date is projected to be July 5, 2013, with the maintenance support starting and lasting one year from the date of product shipment.More

Linen/mat rental and cleaning
Federal Business Opportunities
Linen/mat rental and cleaning services, various defense commissary locations in California, Alabama, Utah, Arizona, West Virginia, Maryland, Indiana and Tennessee. The Period of Performance will be for a base period of June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014, and will include four one-year option periods that may extend performance through May 31, 2018.More

Add/alter commissary facility, JBLE Fort Eustis, Virginia
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency, Acquisition Management Directorate Construction Design Branch (HQ DeCA/LEAAF), anticipates awarding a firm fixed price construction contract to add/alter the commissary facility at JBLE Fort Eustis, Va. The scope of the project includes the construction of 7,470-square-feet of new addition and the alteration of 97,230-square-feet of the existing commissary at Fort Eustis, Va. More

B&G Foods to acquire Pirates Brands for $195 million to bolster snack offerings
The Wall Street Journal
B&G Foods Inc. has agreed to acquire Robert's American Gourmet Food LLC from VMG Partners, Driven Capital Management, founder Robert Ehrlich and other parties for about $195 million in cash, a move that bolsters the packaged-food maker's snack business. Also known as Pirate Brands, Robert's American Gourmet Food's brands include Pirate's Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings. "The acquisition of this business and its collection of growing natural snack foods, marks the second addition to our snack foods portfolio since we entered the category last October," B&G Chief Executive David L. Wenner said.More

Ovens and proofers
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as unrestricted for ovens and proofers, including site surveys de-installation and installation, to be used by Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the continental United States and for overseas locations. However, for overseas stores, except Alaska and Hawaii, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port. A firm-fixed price requirements contract for a base plus four option years will be awarded.More

PG presents 2013 Top Women in Grocery winners
Progressive Grocer
Now in its seventh year, Progressive Grocer's Top Women in Grocery awards program recognizes the integral role women play across all areas of the dynamic retail food industry within the retailer and supplier communities in three sectors: Senior-Level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers. "Building on great strides made in recent years, women continue to swell the ranks of key leadership positions, and it's truly an honor to see this program grow to such prominence," said Jeff Friedman, VP/group publisher, Stagnito Media.More

6 truths about millennial shoppers
Progressive Grocer
Millennials, consumers ages 18-33, behave differently toward brands than older generations because of instant and continuous access to massive amounts of information, according to a new research study developed in partnership with BeaconUnited, a national grocery broker, ArchPoint Consulting, and powered by business intelligence firm Black Pearl Intelligence. The study, "Six Truths About Millennials to Power Grocery Chain Growth," provides recommendations for grocers and packaged goods manufacturers to capture prized millennial shoppers. The abstract builds on Black Pearl Intelligence's grocery category social media study from 2012, which revealed an explosion of social conversations around the grocery business.More

Target's new Simply Balanced line will ditch the genetically modified ingredients
Mother Nature Network
Target has introduced a new store brand called Simply Balanced that will be exclusively natural and organic. All of the products will be free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. About 40 percent of the products will be USDA certified organic. A store having its own private natural and organic label isn't that unusual, but Target is pledging something that not all "natural" products can claim. By the end of 2014, Target says it will eliminate all genetically modified (GMOs) ingredients from the brand.More

Nation's largest grocery chain creates app for its card
USA Today
The country's largest supermarket chain has launched an electronic version of its customer loyalty card, one of several recent initiatives. The new version of Kroger's app, which launched last week, allows customers with loyalty cards to download electronic coupons, renew prescriptions, keep track of fuel rewards, create a shopping list and see weekly advertisements.More

Study: 1/3 of shoppers use mobile in stores
Supermarket News
One in three grocery shoppers use a mobile device while in a store to look up recipe ideas, coupons, nutritional information or competitor pricing, according to a new study from KSC Kreate, a creative production studio specializing in visual content. The 2013 Grocery Shopping Habits study is based on a survey of more than 570 consumers on grocery shopping behaviors and preferences.More

Digital resistance: Will US warm to online groceries?
For all of America's enthusiasm for e-commerce, when it comes to groceries, most U.S. consumers still shop in the Stone Age. And while many experts have argued that it isn't a matter of if — but when — this style of food shopping takes hold, there still aren't many options. More

Plan to shut military supermarkets shows difficulty of cutting defense spending
The Washington Post
Motion sensors and razor-wire coils ring the ammunition depot on this vast Marine Corps base. Sentries stand watch in the lobby of the headquarters complex. Military police officers patrol the barracks every few hours. More

7-Eleven owner to more than double North America stores
Seven & I Holdings Co., the operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, plans more acquisitions in the U.S. and may more than double North America outlets as consumer spending improves in the largest economy. More

As it preps for an IPO, the Container Store cleans up
Bloomberg Businessweek
The Container Store is the immediate answer to a lot of consumer questions. How do I tie up all these cords? How can I get more space in my closet? Where can I find a box for my tie? Where can I find a box for my boxes of ties? And a miniature box for my tie-clips? Its proposition is also one investors might buy, as the Container Store angles for a public offering, according to the Wall Street Journal, some 35 years after its first outlet opened near Dallas. More

In a grocery face-off, is Costco Amazon-proof?
Bloomberg Businessweek
Seattle-based has a cross-town retail rival in Costco Wholesale, located in nearby Issaquah, Wash., and the histories of the companies are interestingly intertwined. During Amazon's formative years, founder Jeff Bezos got some key advice from his Costco counterpart, Jim Sinegal. And Amazon Prime, the two-day shipping club, was inspired in part by Costco's membership fees and the psychological inclination of shoppers to maximize the benefits of a club they have already paid to join.More

J.C. Penney brings men's big and tall sizes back into most stores
The Dallas Morning News
J.C. Penney has rebranded its big and tall men's sections in time for Father's Day and added back extended sizes to hundreds of stores that lost the category last year. The Plano-based retailer is repurposing its Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. stand-alone chain and extending the brand inside its Penney stores with 1,000- to 1,500-square-foot departments.More

Bored at the bus stop? Now you can shop at Wal-Mart while you're waiting
Ottawa Citizen
Mobile commerce has permanently shifted consumers' ideas about convenience in retail — so why not check items off your shopping list during that boring downtime when you are waiting for the bus? That's what Wal-Mart and consumer products giant Procter & Gamble were apparently thinking with the recent launch of mobile stores inside 50 Toronto bus shelters. More

Target revamps iPhone app to improve in-store experience
Mobile Commerce Daily
With mobile purchases and traffic growing, Target recently revamped its iPhone application to improve navigation and make it easier for users to engage with the app when inside one of the retailer's locations. With the revamp, the retailer has made it easier for users to set their Target stores and to connect to the free in-store Wi-Fi.More

NRF survey: Spending on Dad to grow slightly this Father's Day
National Retail Federation
Americans will spend a little bit more on dad this year, stretching their budgets enough to show their favorite man just how much he is appreciated. According to NRF's 2013 Father's Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person will shell out $119.84 on Dad's gifts this year, up from $117.14 last year. Total spending for Father's Day is expected to reach $13.3 billion. "Never expecting more than a nice day out or a special family dinner, dads are usually easy to shop for, and families this year will make sure to find the perfect gift for their favorite man this Father's Day," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.More

Retailers battle merchandise credit and gift card fraud
The Wall Street Journal
Retailers reported a slight drop in organized retail crime activity in the last year, but the latest survey on the issue by an industry trade group revealed a new trend of organized merchandise credit and gift card fraud plaguing the sector. While 93.5 percent of retailers said they have experienced some form of organized retail crime in the last year — down from 96 percent in 2012 — 8 in 10 retailers believe that organized retail crime activity in the U.S. is up over the past three years, according to the National Retail Federation's ninth annual organized retail crime survey. More

Retailers' sales start to thaw in May
The Wall Street Journal
After a cold start to the year, retailers began to thaw in May as promotions and warmer temperatures later in the month helped buoy sales. The month was marked by discounts as retailers sought to clear out spring and early summer merchandise that failed to inspire customers during a colder-than-usual March and April. "Back-to-school and fall shipments are on their way to stores soon so retailers had to look at inventory closely and be promotional," said Joel Bines, co-head of the retail practice at consultancy AlixPartners.More

Retailers add 28,000 jobs in May
Women's Wear Daily
Retailers, banking on steady consumer spending and higher consumer confidence, added 28,000 jobs to payrolls in May as employment grew for the overall economy. (Subscription required.)More

Wal-Mart buys a 'predictive analytics' firm
Internet Retailer
The e-commerce innovation arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has acquired a firm that specializes in analyzing "big data" to help retailers improve their online merchandising, marketing and fraud prevention applications.More

Corporate attitudes, adoption trends of multi-channel and omni-channel marketing
National Retail Federation
Advancements in digital technology are causing a seismic shift in consumer purchase behavior. Customers today access multiple channels to execute a purchase, leading to the requirement that all channels work seamlessly to support the brand and the experience. This trend started with the Internet, but is now being advanced in a very dramatic and rapid fashion due to mobile and other digital technologies.More

Opportunity knocks for convenience stores
Convenience Store News
As convenience stores continue to battle other channels in a space that has traditionally been their own, the competition can seem daunting. But a new report shines light on some opportunities for c-store retailers. According to Information Resources Inc.'s latest Times & Trends report, "Convenience Stores: Keep the Core; Appeal to More," c-stores are beginning to stray from the one-size-fits-all store model. Instead, they are replacing long aisles with kiosks, experimenting with larger footprints and adding "good-for-you" products next to the candy bars.More

Will higher gas prices curb your summer driving?
CBS MoneyWatch
As summer vacation season starts, motorists are casting a wary eye on the gas pump, concerned that rising prices could siphon off money they would rather spend on having fun. Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.63 this week, up six cents from a month ago and nine cents from a year earlier, according to AAA. And despite that recent increase, analysts believe gas prices will level off or even decrease soon for most U.S. regions.More

Building organized retail action plans through coordination, collaboration and ingenuity
Retail's BIG Blog
The adage "there is no 'I' in team" certainly applies to retail. Analysts crunch data to find sales trends that drive the development of merchandise for design teams. But in retail loss prevention, these teams often stretch beyond internal resources. When it comes to building a cohesive organized retail crime action plan, creative partnerships are essential to combat the ever-growing savvy of criminals.More

Wal-Mart's everyday hiring strategy: Add more temps
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has in recent months been only hiring temporary workers at many of its U.S. stores, the first time the world's largest retailer has done so outside of the holiday shopping season. A Reuters survey of 52 stores run by the largest U.S. private employer in the past month, including one in every U.S. state, showed that 27 were hiring only temps, 20 were hiring a combination of regular full, part-time and temp jobs, and five were not hiring at all.More

AAFES SD-C Policy announcement (change)

Good morning all,

The following policies will be effective Aug. 13, 2013, for all Retail Food items.

These policies are applicable to Retail Food and no other Consumable categories.

Discontinued Items from the Plan-o-Gram

All vendors will be billed at 50 percent of cost effective the publish date of the POG to cover markdowns.

One Time Buys

All vendors will be billed at 50 percent of cost of OTB's after the product has been on the sales floor for 60 days to clear all residual inventory.

Thank you for your continuing support.

David H. Arens
Divisional Merchandise Manager Retail Food
Sales Directorate
214-312-3215 More

The Exchange has changed the titles of five executives at HQs.
They are as follows:


NEX customers make record donations to Navy Marine Corps Relief Society

On June 10, Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret), Chief Executive Officer, Navy Exchange Service Command presented a ceremonial check to Adm. Steve Abbot, USN, (Ret), President and Chief Executive Officer of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, symbolizing the record breaking $357,690 donated to NMCRS by NEX customers during a promotional event held in the spring.

"We are happy once again to represent the thousands of NEX patrons who chose to donate to this Navy and Marine Corps focused cause and we are proud to present this check on behalf of our customers," said Bianchi. "This is the third year customers have been able to purchase benefit tickets to support the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. Each year, NEX customers have responded with greater generosity and enthusiasm than the year before."

Beginning in March, NEX customers were able to purchase a $5 card to benefit the NMCRS. The ticket entitled customers to specific discounts for a one-time purchase on either April 22 or 23.

"We are grateful for this strategic partnership with the Navy Exchange Command," said Abbot. "This generous donation will make a significant, positive impact on the Society's ability to provide emergency financial assistance for active duty and retired Sailors, Marines and their families. Thank you to all those who contributed!"More

NEX, commissary and MWR show Yokosuka some love
Fleet Activities, Yokosuka Navy Exchange, Defense Commissary Agency commissary and Morale Welfare and Recreation held their annual customer appreciation weekend at the red brick area outside the main base commissary, May 25-26. The joint festivities and sales coincide with Memorial Day Weekend and Commissary Awareness Month and are a chance for the on-base retailers to say thank you to the local community for their continued patronage. More

2,000 civilian workers issued furlough notices
Proposal of furlough notices were recently issued to 2,000 civilians working for the Department of Defense who may potentially be impacted by sequestration. The reduction in work hours will begin on July 8, giving workers about one month to brace for the cuts. "These are very trying and difficult times," noted Joint Region Marianas deputy public affairs officer Coleen San Nicolas-Perez. She's among some 2,000 civilians who recently received proposal of furlough notices.More

FMWR establishes new, instant 'know zone' text service
It's not who you know, it's what you know in the information age, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation can get you in that "know zone" if you text OKFMWR to 99000. "We know that the fliers and the posters and the emails that we send out sometimes are not reaching our customers the way we'd like them to," said FMWR marketing manager Patricia "Ocie" Jacobs-Pejcic. More

Defense civilians make last ditch effort to end furloughs
Government Executive
Beleaguered federal employees have taken to the White House's petition website to challenge the Pentagon's decision to furlough most of its civilian workforce for 11 days in fiscal 2013. "We the People, Department of Defense federal employees, petition the President of the United States to STOP Secretary Hagel for issuing 11 days furlough starting July 8, 2013," the petition's author wrote. "Federal employees have contributed enough in the last three years with pay freezes and lay-offs."More