ALA Executive Briefing
Jun. 15, 2012

Hiring veterans is good business
USA Today
Most companies canvassed in a study recently published say it's good business to hire veterans because of their leadership and teamwork skills, but some negative perceptions about veterans persist among business leaders.More

Pentagon must help jobless vets translate skills
The Pentagon and Labor Department must become "more adept" at translating military experience into marketable skills to help veterans find work, according to a report by a Washington-based research group. More

GI bill to benefit 99,000 jobless vets
Army Times via Current Mil-Tech News
A new veterans education benefit could help 99,000 unemployed veterans learn new skills in career fields forecast to have high job growth over the next decade, a senior Veterans Affairs Department official said.More

Military will soon pay more for former soldiers than current ones
U.S. News & World Report
The Pentagon soon will spend more on health care and other benefits for former military personnel than on the men and women fighting today's conflicts, according to a new study.More

Marines to boost ranks on Okinawa
Stars and Stripes
The United States plans to add thousands of Marines to bases on Okinawa, swelling the ranks here to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War, even as Washington works with Japan on a new agreement to reduce the controversial American military presence on the island, the Department of Defense has confirmed.More

NFL, military partner to discuss brain injuries
The Washington Post
In a conference room on the third floor of the Pentagon, introductions were made and the conversation quickly turned to concussions. Everyone seated at the long table had impressive credentials from either the battlefield or the football field.More

Coming home
Progressive Grocer
A new study confirms what many in the industry have thought (and what many of us as consumers are doing ourselves): People are preparing more foods at home. In fact, 7 in 10 Americans say they are cooking more instead of going out in an effort to save money, according to a survey released in mid-May by The Harris Poll. Fifty-seven percent of consumers agree that going out for dinner is now a luxury, compared to their previous dining preferences, and less than a third (29 percent) say they would cut other expenses in order to be able to eat away from home.More

US grocery shoppers can now pre-shop, compare grocery deals at their local supermarkets across the country
PRNewswire via MarketWatch
MyGroceryDeals allows users to simply add their grocery list and the site will find the best local advertised deals and coupons in their area, saving visits to multiple websites and flyers. Members can also opt-in to an email service, which sends e-flyers to their inbox each week when their favorite store deals become available.More

Dairy groups oppose law allowing raw milk sales
Progressive Grocer
The two organizations representing America's dairy farmers and dairy foods companies jointly announced their opposition to a U.S. Senate proposal that would allow interstate sales of raw milk. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill, No. 2180, that would allow the direct sale of raw milk and raw milk products across state lines, "greatly enhancing the chances that people will become sick because of increased consumption of unpasteurized milk," the two groups said in a letter sent to members of the Senate.More

Kroger plans coffee K-Cups
Kroger Co, the biggest U.S. supermarket chain, is planning to introduce store-branded single-serve coffee cups compatible with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc's popular Keurig brewers, a company spokesman recently told Reuters.More

Americans spending less money on groceries, but greater share of it on processed food
The Huffington Post
Health advocates have one tip for Americans trying to eat less fat, sodium and sugar in their diets: Shop the perimeter. In other words, buy food from the produce, dairy and meat aisles and avoid the inner lanes where processed foods and sugary snacks hang out. But turns out this advice is either badly needed, or being badly ignored, as the greatest portion of Americans' grocery spend is straight from the center aisles.More

'Cake Boss' creator to roll out line to bakeries, groceries
Chicago Sun-Times
"Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro says he's long wanted to give fans of his popular TLC reality show an opportunity to taste the creations viewers watch him bake and decorate. More

The way Americans are shopping for groceries is truly worrying
Business Insider
The latest entry in NPR's eye-opening "Graphing America" series takes a deeper look into how Americans' spending habits have changed at the grocery store. One of the most interesting findings is how much we've reduced spending on groceries over the last few decades, even as the cost of many foods has soared.More

Save money on your grocery bill
Erie Times-News
In these economic times, stretching your grocery dollars can sometimes be a challenge. But a little shopping savvy and some creative thinking can help you rake in the savings when purse strings are tight.More

Macy's hires more than 1,000 students
Business Courier
Macy's Inc. hired more than 1,000 students from America's colleges and universities this year for slots in the company's executive development program and for summer internships nationwide, the company recently announced.More

Clothing retailers enjoy being able to charge more
The Wall Street Journal
Apparel retailers are charging higher prices and customers are accepting them, in a move away from the promotional approach that merchants were saddled with during the recession. Comments about higher prices were heard during their fiscal first quarters and continued as retailers reported sales for May, the first month of their second quarters. (Subscription required.)More

5 reasons to monitor competitors' pricing
Competitor price monitoring helps retailers achieve their desired market position while realizing the best profit for their products. By keeping a regular watch on the pricing of competitors' products, retailers not only generate the up-to-date information needed for immediate pricing decisions and adjustments, but can also use the information for preseason forecasting.More

Best Buy founder and chairman vacates board earlier than planned
Chain Store Age
Best Buy Co. recently said its founder and chairman Richard Schulze is resigning from his position on the board, one he has held for more than 40 years. He said he will explore options for his 20.1 percent stake in the electronics retailer.More

Wal-Mart sees sales lift from Pay with Cash
Reuters via Chicago Tribune
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is seeing a sales lift from new efforts to get more shoppers buying online while still visiting physical stores, Joel Anderson, chief executive of, the ecommerce arm of the world's largest retailer, said. Wal-Mart launched Pay with Cash in late April, allowing customers to order on its website and pay at a store within 48 hoursMore

Consumer shopping preferences shifting: Online vs. traditional
Growing positive marketing efforts and results have consumers shifting preferences when it comes to digital shopping versus the in-person shopping. According to Nielsen, online purchasing for consumers — when it comes to "easiest" — tallied a 68 percent positive response. This compares with mobile purchasing's 27 percent score and in-store's 20 percent number. More

Driving shoppers crazy
Nothing kills that warm, fuzzy relationship with consumers that retailers strive to achieve and maintain like a rude associate who chats on her cell phone as she rings up an order, or a worker who refuses to make eye contact or say "thank you" — even after a shopper has bagged her own groceries. Employees who feign ignorance or say they'll check stock — only to disappear and never return — also aren't endearing themselves or the retailers they represent to shoppers.More

5 new loyalty perks for shoppers
Becoming a card-carrying member of your favorite business's loyalty program is getting more rewarding — even as many stores ditch the actual cards themselves. Retailers, supermarkets and other companies are increasingly adding new benefits to their loyalty programs, which offer shoppers discounts and other perks in exchange for regular business.More

At the Body Shop, it's an experience with the world
The Globe and Mail
The Body Shop on the bustling British retail strip of New Bond Street in London is an oasis of calm. Staffers give hand massages around the "story telling" table, customers peer at handmade notices on the Community Wall, where signatures for the Stop Sex Trafficking campaign are solicited. The prototype for a new "experience based" the Body Shop appears to be going swimmingly.More

Small area restaurant chains see growth options, obstacles
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Lookout Tin Drum fans: Founder Steven Chan is planning to share a homegrown favorite restaurant with the rest of the world. After years of prodding, Chan is franchising the Pan Asian fast casual concept he started on Georgia Tech's campus in 2003. It's a big step because he's operated the business on very little debt, which he's achieved by slowing adding locations as his budget has allowed. But Chan, like dozens of other local metro restaurateurs, has caught expansion fever.More

Retail sales in US declined for a 2nd month in May
Bloomberg Businessweek
Retail sales in the U.S. fell in May for a second month, prompting economists to cut forecasts for economic growth as limited job and income gains hold back consumers. The 0.2 percent decrease matched April's drop that was previously reported as a gain, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Sales excluding car dealerships slumped by the most in two years. More

Father's Day spending to increase 10 percent
The Gourmet Retailer
Gift givers are planning to spend more than ever this Father's Day, according to the latest National Retail Federation survey. The average person will shell out $117.14 on dad's gifts this year, up 10 percent from $106.49 last year, according to NRF's 2012 Father's Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight.More

Burger King rolls out summer BBQ sandwiches, bacon sundae
USA Today
Burger King will try to lure customers this summer with a barbecue party — and a bacon sundae. The world's second biggest hamburger chain is launching several pork, beef and chicken sandwiches as limited-time offers. And for a sweet ending, the company is offering a bacon sundae — vanilla soft serve with fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles and a piece of bacon — that started in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this year.More

How to do world-class convenience store foodservice
CSNews Foodservice
At the recent National Restaurant Association Show, Convenience Store News presented a tactical panel discussion, entitled "How To Do World-Class C-store Foodservice." The overriding message of the panel was that convenience stores need to think and act like restaurants. Food safety and quality, hygiene and cleanliness are paramount whether c-stores follow Kwik Trip's vertical integration model or Nice N Easy's reliance on local distributors and making all food fresh at the store level.More

Wal-Mart sees sales lift from Pay with Cash
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is seeing a sales lift from new efforts to get more shoppers buying online while still visiting physical stores, Joel Anderson, chief executive of, the ecommerce arm of the world's largest retailer, recently said. Wal-Mart launched Pay with Cash in late April, allowing customers to order on its website and pay at a store within 48 hours.More

Nothing stock about Exchange assortment

Stock assortment selections are an important subject for both the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and its customers. Spotting hot trends and getting those items quickly on the shelves is a daily mission. In fact, the Exchange is setting a new standard in data collection through partnerships with Nielsen and the NPD Group, globally recognized leaders in consumer and retailer market research. These relationships provide access to raw data, analysis tools and other additional services such on-site representation at Exchange headquarters for one-on-one training with Buyers.

In addition to research, the merchandise selection process is determined by several factors. Buyers meet with suppliers at trade shows as well as vendor and Exchange offices to review product lines. They review trade magazines, attend trade shows, review competitive weekly tabloids and visit the competition. The Exchange also utilizes category management and outside consultants to ensure stock assortments reflect industry practices.

Store input and feedback are also critical factors in product selection. The Buying Teams conduct quarterly conference calls to designated facilities and participate in "Meet the Buyer" visits. During these meetings, buyers frequently walk various departments to ask shoppers if they are able to find the styles, pricing and sizes they are looking for and find out what patrons would like to see added to their Exchange's stock assortment.

"We study the market extensively when deciding upon stock assortments," said the Exchange's Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. "Our Buyers review all of the information available and take every bit of information into account when making selections on what the Exchange stocks on its shelves. The result is selections as unique as the locations our facilities serve."

Satisfying all Exchange customers in regards to merchandise assortment is an ongoing challenge, but one the organization continually works to achieve. In the event that a shopper is looking for a particular product or brand, they are encouraged to talk with their local store management to discuss the specific items they would like made available. More

Save the date!

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

Operation Give Back — Mission Summer

Participating locations:
Fort Bragg
Fort Hood
Fort Campbell
Fort Lewis
Fort Bliss
Wright-Patterson AFB
Lackland AFB
Scott AFB
Nellis AFB
Tinker AFB

Timing: June 29-July 1

POS will be sent to the Industry POC's by June 15 for placement in the stores two weeks prior to generate excitement. Any donations, gift cards, raffle items, etc. can be mailed to the attention of the base GM. Please put Operation Give Back on the mailing so they know exactly what it is for.

This is a very high profile event with our customer and going to a very good cause. Need to be sure Industry is supporting this event at these 10 bases. All companies supporting will be credited in Industry publications.

Please let Marcia Doyle know what support you or your manufacturers are offering (i.e. gift cards, tastings, donations) at so she can make sure no one gets left out.More

Fort Hood WTB opens new campus to help soldiers heal
U.S. Army
Soldiers assigned to the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade here now have a consolidated campus environment to better serve their needs and fit their mission of healing. III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General Lt. Gen. Don Campbell Jr. joined WTB leadership June 6 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the new WTB barracks to officially open the complex.More

Job fairs offer opportunities for transitioning soldiers, veterans, family members
U.S. Army
Are you a soldier transitioning from active duty and looking for your next job? A veteran? Or a family member wanting to continue your career? Garrison Army Career and Alumni Program and Army Community Service offices support hundreds of job fairs on or near our installations every year. The following is a list of events for transitioning soldiers, veterans and family members coming up in the next three months. More

AF consolidates 3 field operating agencies
Air Force Personnel Center
Three San Antonio-based field operating agencies officially consolidated with the initial operational capability announcement, Air Force officials said. The Air Force Personnel Center, Air Force Services Agency and Air Force Manpower Agency, FOAs under the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, are now the new Air Force Personnel Center, and efforts are underway fully integrate the agencies' functions.More