ALA Executive Briefing
Jul. 25, 2014

VA nominee: 'Change can be achieved'
Military Times
At Bob McDonald's recent confirmation hearing on his nomination to become the next Veterans Affairs Secretary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, joked that he didn't want to scare McDonald away by listing all the scandals facing VA.More

Defense firms to see $26 billion more in outlays by Sept. 30, DOD says
Revised Pentagon mid-year projections call for $26 billion more in procurement, research outlays by Sept. 30 than first estimates, according to newly disclosed figures. Pentagon's on-paper estimate now projects spending $110.7 billion on procurement by end of fiscal year, up from $92.1 billion April forecast; as well as $63.3 billion in research, up from $56 billion, according to Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Bill Urban.More

Special Report: The top 5 best bases for airmen
Air Force Times
No matter the service, no matter the era, one of the favorite pastimes of troops has always been comparing duty stations — griping about the lousy ones and singing the praises of the good ones. Air Force Times is weighing in on this argument with the best tool at our disposal: cold, hard stats. We've looked at 68 stateside Air Force bases and their surrounding communities, and pulled together data on a dozen factors — everything from school quality to the local economy, crime rates to traffic, and climate to on-base amenities, such as commissaries.More

Bringing up the rear: The 5 worst bases in the Air Force
Air Force Times
Based on Air Force Times research, the following are the five least-popular bases — from fifth worst to worst — to be stationed in the Air Force.More

White House to launch new high-tech job training initiative for veterans
Military Times
New high-tech job training efforts being launched by the White House this week will include veteran-specific programs and placement efforts, Vice President Joe Biden told the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention on Monday. Biden said that part of the push will be to target communities with high veterans unemployment rates, and to rapidly retrain them in high-demand programming languages and technology trades.More

Mars implementing price increase
National Confectioners Association
Mars Chocolate North America is instituting a price increase, a company spokesperson tells Candy & Snack TODAY. Pricing gains were prompted in order to strike a balance between desired marketing levels and manufacturing capabilities against rising costs, according to the company.More

No longer uncool: Millennials love store brands
The traditional stereotype of the millennial generation leads us to believe they are obsessed with brands, particularly premium brands. Yet research shows that few millennials are willing to part with the large amounts of cash that aspirational brands command. By contrast, millennials are now driving the growth of one the most humble of all "brands" — the private label, or store brand. Private label brands in food, retail and CPG are taking over a significant market share — a growing trend that's largely driven by millennials. In fact, some of the most successful private label brands have become, dare I say, cool.More

Alkaline Water Co. to hit military retail shelves with M3 broker agreement
EIN Presswire
The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (the "Company"), developers of an innovative state of the art proprietary electrolysis beverage process, packaged and sold in 3 liter and 1 gallon sizes under the trade name Alkaline88, is extremely pleased to announce that its ongoing national expansion program has reached an all new level of product placement with entry into a broker agreement via M3, Inc that launches sales of Alkaline88 directly into the military retail supply chain. More

Sources sought for seafood contractors for fresh and frozen random weight, retail-ready seafood for resale in a government-operated seafood market
Federal Business Opportunities
This is not a Solicitation or Request for Quote (RFQ). The Defense Commissary Agency is seeking qualified seafood contractors for the acquisition and delivery of a variety of specific retail-ready fresh and frozen, random weight seafood (including finfish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, and specialty seafood items) to be used for resale purposes at the San Diego, CA Commissary.More

Brick-and-mortar grocers adapt to online boom
Progressive Grocer
Consumers generally want to see and touch their food before they make a purchase, especially when it comes to perishables. The grocery business has and continues to be a thin-margin business which presents challenges to business models such as those that involve incremental delivery expenses. Many of the characteristics of the grocery business that have insulated it from the growth of e-commerce are relatively unique to this retail category. By contrast, online sales of consumer packaged goods are rising faster than ever, growing 13 percent since 2010 and reaching $25 billion in 2014. Despite this larger trend, according to new research by Nielsen, 74 percent of online shoppers prefer to purchase groceries at brick-and-mortar stores and online "e-grocer" sales are not yet a significant part of the overall grocery business.More

Study of organic crops finds fewer pesticides and more antioxidants
The New York Times
Adding fuel to the debates over the merits of organic food, a comprehensive review of earlier studies found substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables and grains compared with conventionally grown produce. "It shows very clearly how you grow your food has an impact," said Carlo Leifert, a professor of ecological agriculture at Newcastle University in England, who led the research. More

Chicken consumption up 17 percent
Grocery Headquarters
More chickens are crossing the road and on to consumers’ plates, according to new research presented today at the National Chicken Council's Chicken Marketing Seminar in Greensboro, Georgia. Overall, the average number of meals or snacks that contained chicken eaten by survey respondents in the two weeks prior to the survey was 6.1. This is up from 5.2, or 17 percent, from the 2012 findings. Millennial respondents (ages 18-34) remain the most likely to eat chicken meals or snacks frequently.More

What do women want (from bread)?
Manufacturers should look to develop breads tailored to women's nutritional needs, according to a Datamonitor researcher. In a monthly review of global product innovation, Datamonitor says this idea had recently hit the South American market with Chile-based Ideal's launch of a bread for women. The bread came in two varieties – "healthy digestion" and Vitamin D and calcium-fortified. The concept is a clever way to engage a large and loyal female consumer base. More

The amazing health benefits of chocolate
By Denise A. Valenti
Research has shown health benefits in the regular consumption of chocolate. However, it depends on the chocolate. The sugary, fat-imbibed cocoa confection most often consumed is far different than the cacao bean drink used for medicinal purposes in ancient cultures. But if the sugar is limited and the milk omitted, a dose of dark chocolate can be considered healthy. The earliest evidence of cacao consumption is estimated to be between 1400 and 1100 B.C. when Mayans and Aztecs used the beans in a drink for ceremonial and medicinal purposes.More

Retail pork prices still rising — relief expected in fall
Retail pork prices will keep rising to record highs this summer as the number of hogs going to market during the next several months will be lower than expected because of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, smaller spring farrowings and growing foreign purchases of U.S. pork, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says. But he also expects the price increases to level off in the fall and move somewhat lower into the winter as producers benefiting from higher profits increase production.More

Why there's no such thing as a bad attitude
By Harry J. Friedman
"He's got a bad attitude." "She's not a team player." "He's not a very pleasant person to work with." Does this sound familiar? It probably does. Every manager has had an employee who just wasn't part of the team. You advise the employee that he/she has a bad attitude or needs to be better at teamwork. So why doesn't that kind of advice solve the problem? You cannot with certainty correct an employee's attitude. You can with certainty correct an employee's behaviors. Here's how.More

Ron Johnson: 'I was a terrible fit for J.C. Penney'
Chain Store Age
Ron Johnson, who has been keeping a relatively low profile since he was ousted from J.C. Penney in April 2013, took to the podium in May, as a guest lecturer at Stanford University. Johnson, a graduate of Stanford and a member of its board, was a guest speaker at the university's View From the Top series, where he discussed with Stanford Graduate School of Business students Penney, Apple and Target and the lessons learned over his career in retail. More

Congress slams door on commissary cuts
Daily Press
The Senate version of the defense budget contains good news for Hampton Roads, and we're not just talking about saving an aircraft carrier. Besides restoring funds to refuel the USS George Washington, the budget adds money to maintain operations at on-base commissaries, which are tremendously popular in the region. The move isn't exactly a surprise. Ever since the Obama administration announced plans to cut commissary funding, protests have been loud and long. More

Thanks from the Bryan Family

I know Allison Bryan and her family was as honored as I was to see all of those that showed their love and compassion for Dale in Mansfield, TX. on Tuesday. Perri Brackett and Ana Middleton shared a farewell that will never be forgotten and the strength those two ladies showed to stand up and send such a Hero off was just amazing. While his legacy will live on forever Dale would be smiling at all of us fussing over him. To my great friend "Ceilings and Visibility now unlimited" you will be terribly missed!More

Military personnel may soon see commissary tobacco discounts go up in smoke
Smokers accustomed to spending less on tobacco bought at military commissaries may soon see that savings go up in smoke. The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee – which includes Ranking Minority Member Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama - approved a $549.3 billion defense spending bill Tuesday that would eliminate the 25 percent discount members of the armed services receive when buying tobacco products at commissaries and exchanges.More

NEXCOM announces 2013 Bingham Award winners
America's Navy
The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) recently announced the name of its Bingham Award winners for 2013. The Bingham Award is presented to the best of the best NEXs in nine sales categories for overall financial results and customer service. "Winners of the Bingham Award exemplify the true spirit, dedication and professionalism of all our associates and management teams," said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret), Chief Executive Officer, NEXCOM.More

Survey: Back-to-school spending will be up
The Dallas Morning News
Six years after the recession ended, 8 of 10 families still say the U.S. economy will affect their back-to-school spending plans. Families plan to buy store brands (34 percent), shop even more for sales (46.2 percent) and make do with last year's stuff (25.6 percent), according to a back-to-school spending survey from the National Retail Federation.More

Demystifying fashion labs: How tech is changing the way we dress and shop
Fast Company
You may have heard the term "fashion lab" thrown around in the tech blogosphere lately. Perhaps it conjures images of shoes being grown in test tubes, or scientists in super stylish lab coats. What, exactly, is a fashion lab, and why should you care? The following discusses how more and more engineers and retailers are using tech to change the way we dress and shop.More

Demand for clothing, supplies, electronics drives school/college spending up
National Retail Federation
Driven by increased demand for electronic items and parents' need to restock their children's school supplies from last year, families this summer will spend slightly more on back-to-school items than last year. According to NRF's 2014 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from $634.78 last year. Total spending on back to school will drop slightly to $26.5 billion as the survey found there are slightly fewer students in households this summer.More

Amazon has the best consumer perception of any brand
Target's much-publicized data breach cost the company more than the $400-$450 million that's been estimated—it also levied heavy damage on the retailer's perception among consumers, according to new rankings from research firm YouGov BrandIndex.More

Retail sales in US showed broad-based increase in June
Bloomberg Businessweek
Retail sales showed a broad-based gain in June, which probably helped the U.S. economy rebound in the second quarter. Consumers are more comfortable opening their wallets as a strengthening labor market lifts earnings. Higher wages give American households the wherewithal to withstand recent increases in food and gasoline costs that had chipped away at buying power. More

Walmart opening new medical clinics in two South Carolina stores
The State
Walmart chose stores in Sumter and Florence for a pilot medical clinic project that offers $4 doctor visits to employees and their family members which are covered by company insurance and $40 visits for the general public. Walmart Care Clinic is the company's first venture into medical clinics in its stores in South Carolina. However, the company has leased space to more than 100 non-company owned clinics in other states, and many Walmart stores in South Carolina already have pharmacies. More

JCPenney's 'real size mannequins' include woman in wheelchair
The windows of the JCPenney store in the Manhattan Mall feature "real size mannequins," inspired by actual people of varying shapes and sizes. There's a mannequin for former Army paratrooper Neil Duncan, who lost parts of his legs in Afghanistan; college basketball player Desiree Hunter; plus-size mom Beth Ridgeway; a man named Ricardo Gil, who has dwarfism; and Dawna Callahan, who's in a wheelchair due to incomplete paralysis. The mannequins will be displayed in the windows throughout the end of the summer, and JCPenney is expecting strong reactions. More

Dollar stores want to be grocery stores, but cheaper
Bloomberg Businessweek
Dollar stores have added plenty of food—and alcohol—to their shelves in recent years to lure customers who are interested in more than disposable cups and paper goods. Offering speed, goods in smaller volume, and value, the strategy seems to be working. The addition of products, from milk and eggs to brand-name packaged goods such as Special K cereal and Hamburger Helper have resulted in rising food sales at chains such as Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree.More

Samsung to join forces with Under Armour for wearables
Yonhap News
South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to join hands with U.S.-based sports clothing maker Under Armour Inc., according to market sources, indicating the smartphone maker's move to expand presence in the global wearable devices market. The outlook came as Lee Jay-yong, the de facto heir of Samsung Group, reportedly met Kelvin Plank, the founder and chief executive officer of Under Armour here earlier this month.More

Cheeky Lidl number? Discount grocer woos well-heeled shoppers
The Guardian
Bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape will soon be sitting next to 69p packs of tomatoes in Lidl baskets as the discount grocer steps up its wooing of middle-class shoppers by launching a range of upmarket French wines. A brand new selection of 48 vintage and non-vintage wines will go on sale in its 600 UK supermarket branches in September, followed by bottles from the world-renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape wineries.More

Home Depot starts selling 3-D printers
Chain Store Age
The Home Depot is collaborating with 3-D printer manufacturer MakerBot to start selling MakerBot Replicator desktop 3-D printers online and in 12 Home Depot stores in California, Illinois and New York, beginning July 14. This is the first time Home Depot has offered 3-D printers for sale in its stores and will be a pilot program for MakerBot and Home Depot. More

5 retailers taking advantage of iBeacons
Chain Store Age
iBeacon technology, the Apple iOS 7 feature that helps mobile devices track their position relative to stationary beacons by using low-frequency Bluetooth transmissions, is getting quite a bit of attention from retailers.More

Walmart's new system will buy media for retailer — and its suppliers
Advertising Age
Now that digital and social media are reaching what Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn calls "critical mass," the retail giant is reshaping its marketing team and changing how it works with suppliers – including buying media for them. Walmart met recently with around 200 supplier marketing executives in part to discuss the Walmart Exchange, or WMX, which its executives bill as a digital targeting, buying and optimization platform that will bring everything from sales to social-media data to bear on spending plans for Walmart and its suppliers.More

Want to spot rich people? Head to Walmart
It's a statistical fact that wealthy shoppers rave about the pampering they receive at upscale retailers like Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Barneys. But here's a question to ponder: How often do wealthy shoppers actually shop in those stores? Turns out, not a whole lot — or so a new survey from Millionaire Corner suggests. The wealth management news site recently polled 1,200 investors, asking them where they drop coin. Among respondents with a net worth of $5 million or higher, the top retail destinations were Home Depot, Lowe's and Target—with 61, 44 and 41 percent reporting, respectively, that they like to shop there. Nearly half the well-heeled respondents also said they liked to shop at Costco, and a full third admitted to setting foot in Walmart.More

Retailers eye Baltimore area for expansion
The Baltimore Sun
Consumers can expect to see unfamiliar store brands cropping up in the Baltimore area as a handful of retailers eye the market for expansion. Newcomers could include businesses that are well-entrenched in other markets, such as Stein Mart and Gabe's, along with new, fast-growing chains such as Caffe Bene, a South Korean coffeehouse that targets millennials. Wagamama, a British chain of quick-casual Japanese restaurants, says it is considering Baltimore as it spreads to U.S. cities. More

Overspending? File that under #MotherProblems
When mothers go shopping, they're likely leaving the store with items they didn't intend to purchase, based on a June 2014 study conducted by YouGov for Cartonomy. According to US mother internet users, overspending on extra, unplanned items was the most frustrating part of shopping for or with their family, cited by 51 percent of respondents. More

L.A. purchase
CSP Magazine
In a financial move involving 13 stores and two contributed sites, entrepreneur Eddie Abadi has created SB Holdings Inc. in a $41 million transaction that closed last month. Adabi bought 13 stores from a Los Angeles-based businessman who preferred to remain anonymous, said Greg Landry, managing partner, Capital Insight LLC, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based firm handling the transaction.More

Altria's move
CSP Magazine
Coke and Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, Hershey and Mars. Take the category and it's easy to define the No. 1 and No. 2 players. The cigarette industry once fielded such competition but in recent years, one tobacco manufacturer has easily stood above the rest — Altria. That may soon change, analysts and experts say.More

Bliss briefs: Newcomers can learn about Fort Bliss, El Paso on August 5
El Paso Times
Soldiers, civilians and families who are new to El Paso and Fort Bliss can discover more about their new home at the 10th annual Bienvenidos a Bliss Relocation Fair. The free event will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Centennial Club, 11199 Sergeant Major Blvd. It is open to anyone but you need to have a Department of Defense ID card to be eligible to win door prizes. The event also welcomes the new class of students at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.More

Upcoming events
Fort Hood Sentinel
Take a look at the following upcoming and ongoing events in your area!More

Exchange shoppers investing in communities' life quality
The Gold Standard
Soldiers and their families shopping and dining at Army & Air Force Exchange Service stores and restaurants on Fort Knox generated $1,193,148.91 last year for Army quality-of-life programs. Over the past 10 years, the Exchange has provided more than $2.4 billion in dividends to military programs including Anderson Aquatic Center, Houston Bowling Center, and Carlson Campgrounds.More

Programs keep wounded warriors active
Dothan Eagle
Outdoor recreation has a number of ways for people on the installation to take to the outdoors, and Fort Rucker makes sure that wounded warriors aren't left out when it comes to taking on the wilderness. There are a number of ways that outdoor recreation provides wounded warriors with opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities from hunting, fishing and taking to the lake, and John Clancy, ODR program manager, said that ODR has taken feedback from Soldiers to find out what they can to do better serve Fort Rucker's wounded warriors.More

'Centurions' keep watch on post, LORA
My Guidon
Law enforcement on post is a necessary service to maintain order and protect those who might find themselves in need. The 13th Military Police Company, or "Centurions," have solely carried out this mission for the last 90 days as the 92nd Military Police Battalion realized it had many of their companies tasked with numerous other missions to include deploying in support Operation Enduring Freedom.More

Hours reduced from 40 to 24
Ft. Meade SoundOff
Fort Meade's Automotive Skills Center has reduced its hours by nearly half. The facility, which is managed by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, has cut its hours from 40 to 24 and is operating only three days a week. New hours are Thursday and Friday from 1 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.More