ALA Executive Briefing
Aug. 12, 2011

Army to cut 8,741 civilian employees
Federal Times
The Army plans to cut 8,741 civilian jobs by October 2012. Army Secretary John McHugh on July 11 ordered leaders throughout the Army to immediately start cutting their staffing to help meet former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' mandated efficiency initiatives. The Army is losing $834 million in operations and maintenance funding as part of those cuts.More

Debt panel leader Murray counts defense industry as a top donor
Bloomberg News via San Francisco Chronicle
When Washington Democrat Patty Murray fought to keep her Senate seat last November, two allies emerged: the lobbying community and the defense industry. As the newly appointed co-chairwoman of the 12-member, bipartisan committee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in budget savings, Murray's campaign supporters now are sure to come calling for her help.More

Tea party activists: Bring on defense cuts
The Hill
Tea Party activists say the Pentagon should be targeted for cuts by the "supercommittee" created in the debt-ceiling deal. Groups affiliated with the conservative grassroots movement say defense cuts should be on the table as the supercommittee tries to compile at least $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts.More

Virginia community struggles with how to honor SEALs shot down in Afghanistan
The Washington Post
They lived in tranquil suburban neighborhoods like so many other Americans, in homes with vinyl siding and close-cropped yards, their streets and cul de sacs shaded by thin, newly planted trees. Across the military region of Hampton Roads, neighbors often suspected that the confident, supremely fit young neighbor who mowed the lawn one day and disappeared the next four weeks at a time might be a Navy SEAL, or a member of some other elite commando team.More

Kraft plans to divide into 2 companies
Bloomberg News
Kraft Foods Inc.'s plan to spin off its North American grocery unit will provide the snack-foods business more flexibility to acquire or divest brands, Chief Executive Officer Irene Rosenfeld said in an interview. The grocery entity, with about $16 billion in revenue, will include the U.S. beverages, cheese, convenient meals and grocery units and some other food items, Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft said in a statement.More

54 percent of food/beverage makers don't measure social media
MarketingDaily via MediaPost
54 percent of 500 food and beverage company executives responding to a global survey by the Just-Food trade media group report that their companies do not measure social media's ROI. Another 18 percent said they did not know whether ROI for these media is measured. More

Madison grocers see online grocery shopping as a community builder, not moneymaker
Wisconsin State Journal
Online grocery shopping companies have come and gone over the years, but online grocery shopping remains. While some companies were considered among the "dot bomb" online busts in the last decade, grocers and related businesses are tweaking the model to find a way for it to succeed. More

People still turn to Sunday papers for coupons
MarketingDaily via MediaPost
The newspaper industry may be struggling, but people are still turning to the Sunday editions when it comes to clipping coupons, despite the rise of digital media and coupon sites. According to consumer research firm Scarborough Research, coupon usage for household items such as groceries is up 24 percent since 2006. More

Tainted turkey recalled
Bedford Patch
Cargill Meat Solutions has recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey products that could be contaminated with a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella, according to a company news release.More

Winn-Dixie issues voluntary recall on certain in-store bakery items
Store Brands
Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., said it is voluntarily recalling several items in its in-store bakeries because the products might be mislabeled. The items include Winn-Dixie Lemon Bar cakes, Winn-Dixie Chocolate Cherry Bar cakes and six-packs of Winn-Dixie Bakery Iced Cinnamon Rolls. The mislabeled products might contain undeclared egg and/or wheat, the retailer said.More

'Remarkable growth' for farmers markets
The Packer
The popularity of farmers markets continues to grow. More than 1,000 farmers markets have started in the U.S. over the past year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 2011 National Farmers Market Directory. That is up 17 percent compared with a year ago.More

Grocery shoppers want more than low prices
Progressive Grocer
When it comes to choosing a grocery store, shoppers say food quality and store atmosphere remain equally as important considerations as price. That's according to a consumer survey by AlixPartners, the global business-advisory firm, which reveals that, despite the fragile economy, 70 percent of consumers are making trips to the grocery store at least once per week and 50 percent plan to spend more on groceries in the coming year, with 39 percent expecting to spend the same amount.More

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AREA, NEREA, and HRALA Scholarship lunch announced

The Hampton Roads ALA will be hosting their 12th Annual Benefit Luncheon for AREA, NEREA, and HRALA scholarships Dec. 1 at the Virginia Beach Sheraton Oceanfront. Guest speakers are NEXCOM SVP & CMO Tess Paquette and AAFES SVP LG Dan Tompkins. Companies interested in sponsoring the event with a full page ad or half page ad should contact Cory Belkov at belkovc@wattspohn.com Deadline to sponsor is Nov. 1. All proceeds will be split equally between the three scholarship programs.More

Retailers add jobs in July
Women's Wear Daily
Retailers added thousands of new jobs in July, including 3,400 at clothing and accessories stores and 5,400 at departments stores, according to a Labor Department report. "Looking back at the last year, we can see it has been very volatile, but this has been the biggest gain since April and it is nice to see that," said Moody's senior economist Scott Hoyt. (Subscription required.)More

Retailers are counting on late rush in back-to-school shopping season
The Times-Picayune
School's about to start, and that means families are preparing for their annual stock-up on new shoes, clothes and school supplies. But while many local retailers are optimistic about this year's back-to-school shopping season, they say they have yet to see the huge crowds they have seen in past years.More

Macy's to launch back-to-school mobile, social cause marketing campaign
Direct Marketing News
Macy's is pairing its marketing of back-to-school clothes shopping with efforts to get young people involved in social activism, using direct mail, social networks, email and mobile messaging to get the word out. Each time a shopper scans a quick-response code in a Macy's juniors and young men's departments, the clothier will donate a $1 to a youth volunteer organization, as well as a $1 for each "like" registered on Macy's MStyleLab Facebook page.More

Best Buy Express expands to Disney, college campuses
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
Best Buy Co. Inc. recently said it is expanding its kiosk business — known as Best Buy Express — to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., and to college campuses. Richfield-based Best Buy said it has opened 150 Best Buy Express locations in the last three years and will add 100 more in the next year.More

Survey: Consumers don't trust Google or Apple with mobile payments
Advertising Age
When we think "mobile payments," a slew of tech brands fly to mind: Google's new Wallet app, the upcoming iPhone's rumored payment-enabling chips and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's highly-touted and well-funded Square, to name a few. But ask consumers who they trust to handle mobile payments, and the answer is pretty clear: The same brands they currently trust with payments today — namely credit card companies such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard, according to a study by Ogilvy & Mather.More

Shopping centers on the rebound?
Supermarket News
The economic downturn was not kind to shopping center owners, who saw vacancies rise, rents fall and investors flee as small shops struggled and retail bankruptcies rose in recent years. But according to some, it's also a sector that's finally poised to rebound.More

Retailers begin to roll out e-receipts
CSNews Retail Technology
Since the Internet era reached its zenith, we have heard about a future where paper would become unnecessary. You can perhaps add paper receipts to the list of now paperless items, according to The New York Times. More and more major retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Nordstrom, Gap Inc., Anthropologie, Patagonia, Sears and Kmart are offering e-mailed receipts or ones that can be uploaded via password-protected websites in place of paper receipts.More

The great Groupon debate: Are daily deal sites good or bad for retail?
STORES Magazine
Groupon has quickly become entrenched in mainstream America. More than 83 million subscribers receive deals via e-mail; 30 million deals were sold in 2010 and 28 million were sold in the first quarter of 2011 alone. Retail consultant Bob Phibbs, who authored the e-book "Groupon: Why Deep Discounts are Bad for Business and What to do Instead," says businesses are running to Groupon and LivingSocial for a quick fix. But Groupon spokesman Chad Nason says Groupon is a powerful marketing tool.More

Global economic problems could mean lower gas prices
U.S. News & World Report
As previously reported on the Energy Intelligence blog, the economic turmoil of the past week could bring a silver lining for American consumers: lower gas prices. The price of crude oil, a major component of gasoline, closed Aug. 9 at around $79 per barrel, the lowest since last September and a sharp decrease since the start of August. According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency, with recent fears over a double-dip recession lowering growth in demand around the world, the price of oil could continue downward.More

Navy SEAL Foundation

The Navy SEAL Foundation www.nswfoundation.org/ is accepting donations to families of Seals. The Navy SEAL Foundation's mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families. More

Larsen departs Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Business Operations Division
Marine Corps Community Services
Timothy R. Larsen, Maj. Gen., USMC Ret., has announced that on Aug. 3, he will resign as the director of the Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Business Operations Division. An acting director has not yet been named. Larsen took the reins of the then Personal and Family Readiness Division in August 2007 and was instrumental in transitioning Marine Corps Community Services programs to a wartime footing to better support Marines and their family members.More

William Dillon to lead Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Business Operations Division as interim director
Marine Corps Community Services
William C. Dillon has been appointed interim director of the Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Business Operations Division. Dillon has served as the organization chief financial officer since June 2004. The search for a new director is expected to take four to six months to complete.More

Justin Hall joins the Office of Resale Activities and NAF Policy

On Aug. 1, Justin Hall joined the office of Resale Activities & NAF Policy (Military Community & Family Policy). As an assistant director, Hall will be responsible for DoD policy governing nonappropriated fund procurement and commissary benefits, patronage and operations.

Prior to joining the OSD staff, Hall was the chief of the Director's Action Group for the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) as an active duty officer. He recently retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Air Force with 20 years of experience in commissary, MWR, services and personnel. During his Air Force career, Hall served as commissary operations officer at Lackland AFB, Texas, and as commissary officer at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. He later served as the commander for Bellows AFS, Hawaii, and the Services Squadron Commander at McChord AFB, Washington.

Please join me in welcoming Justin!

Janis M. White
Director, Resale Activities & Nonappropriated Fund Policy
(Military Community & Family Policy)More

Air Force Services Agency
U.S. Air Force
The Air Force Services Agency, with headquarters in San Antonio, is a field operating agency of Headquarters U.S. Air Force Services, Washington, D.C. It was formed October 1, 1992 during the reorganization of Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Services functions.More