ALA Executive Briefing
July 16, 2010

Pentagon warns Congress: Accounts running dry
The Pentagon said recently it may be forced to take extreme measures — like not paying salaries — if the Democratic-led Congress fails to pass a $37 billion defense spending bill before lawmakers begin an August recess. "While we hope and expect the Congress will get this done, we also are obligated now to begin seriously planning for the possibility that they don't," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters.More

Senator wants to cut overseas base construction
Army Times
On the eve of the first efforts in Congress to write a 2011 military construction funding bill, a key Republican claims that the Obama administration seems to be shifting priorities to spend scarce construction money on improving facilities overseas instead of in the U.S.More

Mattis to lead Central Command
The Washington Post
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters that he was impressed with the general's "strategic insight and independent thinking." Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis is a seasoned war veteran best known for leading troops into the bloody battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004.More

Pentagon 'sloppy' on media, not just McChrystal - Gates
Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticized the U.S. military recently for being sloppy and undisciplined with the media, as he explained new rules that may help avoid mishaps like the one that cost a top U.S. general his job.More

Pollsters: Pentagon's policy survey may be 'overkill'
AOL News
The Pentagon's confidential, 103-question survey e-mailed to 400,000 active-duty and reserve troops last week — and leaked to the media two days later — is aimed at gauging their views on lifting the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the service. But it's being viewed in social science circles as the statistical equivalent of the Powell Doctrine, and at least one senator raised concerns today that survey respondents might feel they're empowered to dictate policy decisions.More

Report shows buying power of moms
Media Post News
A report from Experian Marketing Services says mothers of children 18 and younger are now older and more concerned with the environment than in the past. The report also shows that 62 percent of moms work either full time or part time, and 69 percent said they have the most influence in the house over purchases. More

Retailers' weekly sales rise 3.2 percent
Market Watch
Chain store sales for the week ended July 10 rose 3.2 percent from the year-earlier period, according to a survey released recently by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs. On a week-over-week basis, sales fell 1.5 percent after two weekly gains. More

Wal-Mart charts new course
WWD Retail
With same store sales declining for the last four consecutive quarters and traffic decreasing, Walmart needs to develop, and execute, new retail concepts if it is to grow beyond the rural and exurban markets that it has almost saturated in the U.S. "Walmart's grocery business has been under siege by virtually every other food retailer," said Sandy Skrovan of Kantar Retail. More

Safeway private label hits the road
Supermarket News
Safeway is helping to clean parts of the U.S. with a new marketing initiative surrounding its Bright Green private-label natural household cleaning line. The "Bright Green Clean Team" tour has already stopped in Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle and Portland, Ore.; and is headed for San Francisco, Chicago and L.A.More

Whole Foods Market: Only major grocer to offer sustainable MSC-Certified, harpoon-caught swordfish
PR Newswire
Whole Foods Market will be the only major retailer to offer Marine Stewardship Council-certified, fresh, harpoon-caught swordfish from Nova Scotia this summer. This grilling gem and smart environmental seafood choice will be available during July and August, while supplies last.More

Hy-Vee makes the grade
Supermarket News
Anne Cundiff, one of Hy-Vee's 150 registered dietitians, is going back to school this fall. She won't be a student, though. Rather, her role is that of a health and wellness teacher to elementary school students. It's all part of Hy-Vee's involvement in the Healthy Schools Partnership, a school-based program that integrates a nutrition curriculum with physical education.More

Innovation, emerging markets are CPG's future
Media Post News
To achieve sales growth and strong financial performance going forward, consumer product goods companies need to shift away from recessionary strategies and focus hard on two fronts — greater innovation and expansion in emerging markets, according to the 2010 CPG financial performance report from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers.More

Hershey's opens Middle East's first Chocolate World store in Dubai
Gulf News
The Hershey Company, popularly known as the Chocolate Company in the U.S., recently opened its first Middle East Hershey's Chocolate World Store in Dubai. "The Middle East is a fast growing location and Dubai is at the perfect crossroads for this in terms of brand exposure," said Milton Brice, vice-president of finance at The Hershey Company.More

Bus makes stop to help local grocers stay ahead in business
Jacksonville Daily News
Convenience wasn't just for customers at the Piggly Wiggly in Swansboro, N.C. A bus converted to showcase the latest in technology and products for grocery and convenience stores rolled into the parking lot, giving store manager Nathan Owens a first-hand look at products he might not get a chance to see otherwise. More

Grocery store favoritism: What's the secret?
Progressive Grocer
Shoppers are picky about their grocery stores — and they should be. Most consumers spend a significant amount of time every week at their stores of choice gathering food to feed their families. In fact, most visit a grocery retailer at least twice a week — some as many as four or five times. More

Bluetooth at heart of gas station credit card scam in Southeast
Thieves are stealing credit-card numbers through skimmers they secretly installed inside pumps at gas stations throughout the Southeast, using Bluetooth wireless to transmit stolen card numbers, according to law enforcement officials. So far, three card-skimming devices hidden in gas pumps at three stations have been discovered by investigators, and the U.S. Secret Service has been notified.More

China: The new fast food nation
CNN Money
Consumers around the world have developed a taste for American fast food, but demand for fried chicken sandwiches and pepperoni pizza appears to be particularly strong in China. Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, recently said that profits from its operations in China surged 33 percent in the second quarter.More

Service stations fill bellies as well as tanks
Pork Magazine
Gas stations always sold candy bars and soda pop but more and more are turning into fast stop buffets with offerings including sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches, made-to-order subs, pizzas, salads, and wraps to tempt hungry motorists. Welcome to the evolving urban gas station.More

University of Minnesota study finds fast food chains have significantly decreased trans fats in cooking oils
Eureka Alert
Fast food chains have significantly decreased trans fats in the oils they use to cook food, according to new research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The latest research findings suggest that major fast food chains may have been responsive to health concerns from the public.More

Date set for court battle over Walmart near Civil War battlefield continues
Chain Store Age
Attorneys are expected back in court next month in the battle over a Walmart Supercenter proposed near an endangered Civil War battlefield in northern Virginia, the Associated Press reported.More

New device makes getting the waitress's attention a cinch: Giving her your number is still your awkward problem
Inventor Spot
From designer Ben Coble comes the Cinch, a restaurant-assisting device that is small, lightweight, and may actually remember that you asked for no onions. After a summer internship with Motorola, Coble got thinking about the restaurant industry and the mobile applications therein. More

Retail executives bullish on revenue, profitability: See some improvement in employment this year and next
PR Newswire
Senior executives in the retail industry see an improved business picture in 2010 and expect to see even better revenue, profitability and an improving jobs picture in 2011, according to a recent survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm. Almost two-thirds of the retail industry executives said overall business conditions in retail were better now than a year ago.More

Army Family Action Plan offers new active issue search option at Army OneSource
Searching for the progress of AFAP Active Issues at the Department of the Army headquarters level became easier, thanks to the new AFAP Issue Search application. "The constituents that AFAP serve deserve to know the status of these issues. If the Army cannot resolve an issue, they also need to know what has been done and why the issue is unattainable," IMCOM Commanding General Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch said. More