ALA Executive Briefing
Jul. 19, 2013

Secretary of Defense Hagel warns Bragg town hall that worst effects of defense budget cuts may not be over
Fayetteville Observer
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently told about 200 Fort Bragg service members, their families and civilian workers that budget cuts continue to loom over the Department of Defense.More

Lawmaker proposes bill to exempt Defense civilians from furloughs
The Washington Post
Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., has proposed a bill that would exempt the military's civilian employees and require the Pentagon to find savings elsewhere in its budget. Active-duty military personnel are already immune from furloughs.More

US seeks expanded role for military in Philippines
The New York Times
The United States is negotiating an agreement to allow it to position military equipment and rotate more personnel into the Philippines while avoiding the contentious issue of re-establishing American bases in the country, according to officials from both countries. More

In Pennsylvania community, Pentagon furloughs deal blow to economy, pride
The Washington Times
This small industrial community amid the farmlands of Franklin County knows how to face adversity: About 4,000 people lost their jobs in the early 1990s when one of the county's biggest employers — the Letterkenny Army Depot — began paring back work after the end of the Cold War. More

2014-2015 Scholarships for Military Children Program

Next year's scholarship program, administered by Fisher House Foundation, opens on Dec. 3. The major change for the coming year is an increase in the amount of each scholarship grant to be awarded — from $1,500 to $2,000.

For more information, contact Jim Weiskopf at Fisher House Foundation 202-607-1067.

James D. WeiskopfMore

Report: Restaurants expected to lose market share to retail meals
Home meal replacements or prepared foods from supermarkets, drug stores and other retail outlets will continue to capture share of the meal/snacks market by stealing visits from restaurants, according to The NPD Group. NPD's recent foodservice forecast through 2022 indicates that instances of prepared food purchased at retailers for at-home consumption will increase by 10 percent over the next decade compared to a 4 percent increase forecast for commercial foodservice traffic.More

Food trends for 2013, straight from the source
In its 59th edition, the Fancy Food Show in New York City is put on by the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. About 2,400 food purveyors spanning 40 product categories from all over the world set up shop in booths to court buyers from supermarkets, fancy mail order catalogs, retail gourmet and kitchen shops, from individual storefronts to Williams Sonoma buyers. From the massive array of products here they will pick the hot ones that will soon be on store shelves and set the trend for what American consumers are buying, cooking and eating. More

Prepared foods forecast: Promising and bright
Progressive Grocer
Supermarket prepared foods will continue to gain steam at the expense of restaurants through 2022, according to a new foodservice forecast from The NPD Group. The promising prognostication from the Chicago-based market research firm indicates instances of retail prepared food purchases for at-home consumption will increase by 10 percent over the next decade compared to a 4 percent increase forecast for commercial foodservice outlets.More

Supermarkets, grocery stores in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has been updated
WatchList News
As the economy recovers and household disposable income further expands, consumers will increase purchases of premium-brands and private-label brands, increasing the average transaction size for grocery stores. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Supermarkets and Grocery Stores industry in its growing industry report collection.More

7 grocery shopping tips that help weight loss
Yahoo News
When you're trying to shed a few pounds and stick to a weight loss program, your regular food shopping trips to the grocery store can feel like walking into a land of temptation. But there are some easy ways to navigate the aisles without filling your cart with diet-busting fare. Just try these food shopping tips this week, and you'll quickly learn how to pick up foods that help you find success.More

Instacart raises $8.5 million to offer same-day grocery deliveries nationwide
Amazon has operated a same-day grocery delivery service for the past six years, and recently expanded into its second city. Now, one startup thinks it can do a better job — and it just happens to be run by a former Amazon employee.More

Sequester slashes budgets at schools on military bases
The 89,000 children taught in schools on military bases are losing resources and school days, because of the federal budget cuts known as the sequester. The cuts are set to deepen in October. More

Hawaii's commissaries are found as 'most valuable' in world
U.S. Army
The latest formal Price Comparison Study, issued by the Defense Commissary Agency in June, reports Hawaii's commissaries lead the world in customer savings.More

The big mobile lie: It's not really driving purchase
Advertising Age
If you have anything at all to do with in-store shopper marketing, mobile is likely near the top of your to-do list, and you are surrounded by people evangelizing about its huge impact on shopper behavior.More

Clearance racks help June retail sales
The Wall Street Journal
Retailers' sales continued to heat up in June amid improving weather and discounting as the chains looked to clear out spring merchandise and prepare for the back-to-school season. More

Michaels Kors files suit against Costco
Chain Store Age
Michael Kors is suing Costco Corp., accusing the chain of illegally using pictures of its pocketbooks in its ads to attract customers. Michael Kors said Costco was not authorized to sell the designer's goods.More

Best Buy exchanges gift certificates for iPads
Chain Store Age
Best Buy is running a special promotion where consumers can bring in a working iPad 2 or third-generation iPad and receive a gift card worth $200 or more depending on model and condition of the iPad. As reported by All Things D, returns must be performed at a Best Buy store location and the gift card will be good for in-store or online Best Buy purchases.More

Nordstrom captures luxury customer
Women's Wear Daily
In the last 12 months, Nordstrom captured the largest percentage of luxury shoppers — those with a net worth of more than $5 million — according to a recent Luxury Institute survey. (Subscription required.)More

Family Dollar gains market share, but profit suffers
The Wall Street Journal
Bad news for consumers cuts both ways for dollar stores. Family Dollar Stores Inc. said it is gaining market share as cash-strapped customers spend a larger portion of their disposable income in its discount stores, buying essential items such as food, cleaning supplies and toiletries. Shares of Family Dollar recently jumped 7 percent, while shares of rival Dollar General Corp. rose sharply as well.More

Wal-Mart and other US retailers commit to factory safety in Bangladesh
The Wall Street Journal
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Gap Inc. and more than a dozen other North American retailers recently said they struck a five-year deal to improve worker safety in Bangladesh following a deadly garment-factory collapse in April. The agreement, signed by 17 mostly U.S. companies known as the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, will require factory owners in the South Asian country to pay for their own safety improvements. More

Wal-Mart scraps DC store plans
The Wall Street Journal
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it was scrapping plans to build three stores in Washington, D.C., after the city's council recently passed a bill that would require big retailers to pay starting wages that are 50 percent higher than the city's minimum wage.More

Target plans reality show for back-to-college
USA Today
The annual back-to-college marketing blitz will be kicked off on Monday by Target with a reality-themed digital campaign by Target that lets online shoppers interact with YouTube personalities who are spending four days in dorm rooms filled with Target merchandise. It's Target's idea for something original this year to capture the rising amount of money parents and students are spending as they head off to college.More

Retailers form Bangladesh worker safety alliance
National Retail Federation
Close to 20 U.S. and Canadian retailers recently announced the formation of a new organization and safety plan intended to protect garment workers in Bangladesh, saying incidents such as the factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers this spring cannot be allowed to happen again. "The safety record of Bangladeshi factories is unacceptable and requires our collective effort," CEOs of the participating companies said in a joint statement. "We can prevent future tragedies by consolidating and amplifying our individual efforts to bring about real and sustained progress."More

Office Depot, OfficeMax shareholders OK merger
Chain Store Age
Office Depot and OfficeMax Inc. recently moved one step closer to consolidation as their shareholders voted to approve the merger between the two office supply rivals.More

Nordstrom, Macy's and Saks top digital department store study
Chain Store Age
Nordstrom emerged as the top brand in an inaugural benchmark study ranking the digital performance of the world's top department stores by digital think tank L2. Among the 40 stores included in the study, Nordstrom was No. 1, followed Macy's, Saks and the U.K.'s Marks & Spencer, all of which earned "Genius" titles.More

Foot Locker completes acquisition of Runners Point
Chain Store Age
Foot Locker said that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Runners Point Group, the specialty athletic store and online retailer based in Recklinghausen, Germany. More

Alliance Data to provide private label card services for Zales
Chain Store Age
Alliance Data Systems Corporation will provide private label credit card services for the US brands of Zale's and acquire the existing card portfolio at a future date. In addition to providing private label credit card services for each Zale brand in the U.S., Alliance Data will provide turnkey credit marketing services to all Zale brands, including omni-channel and mobile services and technologies.More

Family Dollar's Q3 net income drops 3 percent; announces merchandising changes
Chain Store Age
Family Dollar reported lower net income in the third quarter of 2013 as its shoppers continue to hold off on discretionary spending. The discounter also named Jason Reiser to the position of senior VP merchandising.More

Federal task force to combat organized retail theft in South Florida
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Shoplifting has become big business, and South Florida law enforcement agencies are teaming up in hopes of closing up shop. Federal officials recently announced the creation of a new local task force to tackle organized retail crime, which has become, according to recent national survey, a $30 billion industry in the United States and has stolen from a majority of retail businesses.More

Nordstrom tops digital department store study
Women's Wear Daily
Nordstrom is leading the way for department stores in the digital space. The Seattle-based retailer took the top spot in a study by New York University think tank LuxuryLab, or L2, which ranked 40 global department stores using metrics from their Web sites, digitalmarketing, mobile and social media efforts. (Subscription required.)More

Kors designs for moms swapping $125 jeans with daughters
Bloomberg News
Boomer mothers are shopping with millennial daughters, in a way they never did with their own moms, partly to befriend their children and partly to look younger for longer. Fashion industry leaders such as Michael Kors and Kate Spade are seizing the opportunity to multiply sales by layering in more youthful styles. More

Strong growth in merchandise imports to resume in fall
National Retail Federation
Import volume at the nation's major retail container ports is expected to increase a modest 1.1 percent in July over the same month last year but a slow summer should be followed by significant increases as retailers head into the holiday season this fall, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report recently released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.More

7 easy ways to increase your income with past clients
By Sydni Craig-Hart
Studies consistently show that clients who have purchased from you once are likely to do so again if they are given the opportunity to do so. In fact, INC magazine says that "Acquiring new customers is expensive (five to 10 times the cost of retaining an existing one), and the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67 percent more than a new one." If you take a moment to think back on your best client experiences, the ones that got best results and who you enjoyed working with the most, wouldn't it be great to have the opportunity to work with them again?More

Break the mold and be an independent thinker
To come up with truly creative products and unique ideas, great business leaders need to be independent thinkers. Our brains are wired to recycle ideas we've already heard from others, but you can learn to think independently, or to come up with novel ideas, with a few easy psychological tips and tools.More

A quick guide to social customer service
Business 2 Community
The social media revolution has seen many businesses gladly embracing this culture of social customer service. However, not everyone is doing it right. It is well obvious that customers who resort to social media for customer service are likely to be more sophisticated than the traditional customer we have always known. As a result, it is best that social customer service be treated with care and efficiency to serve customers the best.More

Twinkies are back: Rested, smaller and with fewer calories
Los Angeles Times
Twinkies are slimming down, just in time for their close-up. As Twinkies show up on store shelves nationwide again, consumers may notice something different — and not just the packaging touting the "sweetest comeback." The new line of Twinkies will be smaller in size, and contain fewer calories, according to Hostess Brands, maker of the iconic creme-filled snack food. But that won't necessarily translate into a smaller price tag. More

Attention, shoppers: Store is tracking your cell
The New York Times
Like dozens of other brick-and-mortar retailers, Nordstrom wanted to learn more about its customers — how many came through the doors, how many were repeat visitors — the kind of information that e-commerce sites like Amazon have in spades. So last fall the company started testing new technology that allowed it to track customers’ movements by following the Wi-Fi signals from their smartphones. More

To our valued suppliers:

As The Exchange continues to move forward with improving service levels to our customers, we have made a decision to collaborate with VendorNet to manage our drop ship supplier program.

VendorNet is a browser based or system to system based system that automates order transmission, confirmation, and invoicing. This solution will provide the supplier community with visibility to all drop ship orders processed through our internet site. Suppliers will be able to improve delivery time to our customers along with improved invoicing capabilities to the Exchange.

In addition, the VendorNet solution will interface between the Exchange and the suppliers allowing inventory visibility, carrier integration, and automated order tracking improving our overall customer online experience.

Suppliers will be contacted by a VendorNet representative in the near future to provide information regarding system capabilities, pricing and training. The Exchange will be rolling out this solution in phases beginning September 2013.

This decision is preparing The Exchange online store for future growth and expansion, as well as allowing us to align our business processes with the industry's best practices. Our goal is to keep our suppliers informed as we make changes that position The Exchange for growth. With this important change, it is important that suppliers verify that their business practices and processes are compatible with VendorNet.

Should you have questions or comments concerning this change, please contact the Drop Ship Support Team at for more details.

Thank you for your support.
Ana Middleton John Engroff
CMO, Merchandising Directorate Senior Vice President, eCommerce Directorate

AAFES reports improved earnings for 2013
Dallas Business Journal
Army & Air Force Exchange profits jump with new strategies
One of the nation's largest military retailers watched its sales decline in the past fiscal year because of the military's withdrawal from several global regions and the effects of sequestration on military resources. But despite the decrease, Dallas-based Army & Air Force Exchange experienced a 26 percent jump in operating profit, totaling $342.4 million, and received national recognition as a top retailer.More

DFMWR discounts seek to lessen furlough impact
Dothan Eagle
As Department of Defense civilian employee furloughs begin, the Fort Rucker Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation is seeking to lessen the impact by offering discounts at various activities.More

Veterans Canteen Service sponsors National Veterans Wheelchair Games
Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) announced that the Veterans Canteen Service served as a Platinum Sponsor for the upcoming 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games, that was held in Tampa, Fl., on July 13–18. "Without the support of sponsors like the VA's Veterans Canteen Service, putting on an event as large as the Wheelchair Games wouldn't be possible," said Bill Lawson, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America.More

Garrison using vacated AAFES facilities to improve post
Belvoir Eagle
The Directorate of Public Works is planning to renovate or demolish buildings on South Post that once belonged to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The projects will provide the installation with a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office, administrative offices and potentially a sit-down restaurant. The start and completion dates for the work depends upon funding availability but some projects could start as soon as the fall of 2013. More