ALA Executive Briefing
Aug. 31, 2012

Report: Contract law gives US government options for automatic cuts
A little-known aspect of U.S. contract law may provide a road map for how the Obama administration can implement billions of dollars of automatic budget cuts due to take effect in January without having to pay massive change fees to its contractors.More

Tricare would not be safe from budget cuts
Navy Times
Veterans' health care funding may be exempt from automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that are due to begin in January, but military health care is not — and a new think-tank report says Congress would have to reprogram $3 billion from other Defense Department budget accounts to fully pay for military health care should the cuts occur.More

Parking lot power sweeping and cleaning service
Federal Business Opportunities
Parking Lot Power Sweeping and Cleaning Service at Norfolk NS Commissary in Virginia. The Period of Performance will be for a base period of Nov. 1, 2012 through Oct. 31, 2013, and will include four one-year option periods that may extend performance through Oct. 31, 2017.More

Shop smart and save more by using your inbox
The Seattle Times
There was a time when nabbing the best grocery bargains meant driving from store to store, cherry-picking what you bought from each. But who has time for that? In our Internet age, there are easier ways to save money.More

Nielsen: Online grocery shopping still small, but growing rapidly
Food Navigator-USA
A new survey from Nielsen found that while online grocery shopping may not have entered the mainstream, consumers are flocking to the Internet for food information, and food and beverage marketers are exploring ways to use their online presence to connect with current and potential customers.More

Tips to make grocery shopping even healthier
Buying fresh produce, lean protein and whole grains are easy ways to make grocery shopping healthier, but as with everything, there's always room for improvement, right? Here are some ways to make a trip to the market even healthier.More

Employing dietitians pays off for supermarkets
The New York Times
Hy-Vee is the only grocery chain in the country that posts a registered dietitian in almost every one of its 235 stores. In rural areas, some of its more than 190 dietitians serve a cluster of stores. That puts it at the forefront of a phenomenon sweeping the grocery business as it tries both to capitalize on growing consumer awareness of the role food plays in health and wellness and to find new ways to fend off competition from specialty markets like Whole Foods and big-box stores like Wal-Mart.More

With food prices on rise, here's how to save on groceries
Tampa Bay Times
It's not unusual to have a severe case of sticker shock at the grocery store. Sliced deli meat skirts $10 a pound. Chicken is now as pricey as steak and a bag of prewashed spinach is like a precious metal. Cereal, chips and cheese also run up the bill pretty quickly. Some of you have built-in radar for low prices and the stores that offer them. The rest of us need help.More

Natural, organic, specialty lead supermarket growth in 2012
The post-recession strength of natural product retailers has never been more evident: SPINS, the leading information and services provider for the natural, organic and specialty products industry, has consistently reported double-digit dollar growth within the natural channel every four-week period throughout 2012. More

ShopRite offers compostable reusable bag
Supermarket News
Select ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware will offer what they are calling the first reusable shopping bag that is compostable and biodegradable. Supplied by Burbank, Calif.-based Earthwise Bag, the new bag is made from a combination of corn and tapioca fibers, using by-products from the food manufacturing process.More

Product research starts at Google and Amazon
Internet Retailer
When it comes to making a purchasing decision, consumers turn to Google Inc. for help: 20 percent of online consumers say they consider most helpful when they are making a decision to purchase a product or service, according to an online survey of 2,400 adults conducted by Forrester Research Inc. However, Inc., the No. 1 e-retailer according to the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is nipping at Google's heels, with 19 percent of consumers saying they find it most helpful.More

How to meet last minute demands of back-to-college shoppers Blog
College students around the country are wrapping up summer jobs and vacations in preparation for heading back to campus. In NRF's back-to college survey conducted by BIGinsight in early August, 1 in 5 college-bound students and their families still had up to half of their shopping left to do.More

Sears launching Outdoor Life line
Women's Wear Daily
Sears wants more cross-shoppers — meaning consumers who shop the hard goods and cut across the store for apparel. So without getting trendy, and with a keen awareness that a "guy's guy" is often the core customer, a line called Outdoor Life starts hitting the 800 Sears stores Sept. 2. Two weeks later, 1,100-to-2,300-square-foot shops-in-shop will spring up in many locations, and by Sept. 20 Outdoor Life will be on More

Clothing lines embrace plus-size fashions
Los Angeles Times
Fighting mediocre sales and a sluggish economy, retailers are finding there's a booming market for plus-size clothing. While the category has been getting notice for years, clothing companies desperate for sales see zooming growth in dressing America's expanding waistline. Many are opening specialty stores, expanding plus-size departments and targeting ads directly to the curvy woman.More

New iPad mini to debut in October, after latest Apple iPhone's September bow
Apple's next generation iPhone and its so-called "iPad mini" will debut at two separate events this fall, rather than a single one as has been widely speculated, according to several sources. First comes the latest iteration of the tech giant's hugely popular smartphone, which will be unveiled at an as yet unannounced event on Sept. 12. Only after the next-generation iPhone is out the door and on sale will Apple announce the smaller iPad it's been working on.More

These days, it's back to school, then shopping
The New York Times
In a shift that is upending retailers' plans, many children, teenagers and their parents are delaying their school purchases. A desire to get the trends right accounts for some of the hesitation. But retailers and analysts say the sluggish economy and unusually hot weather have also made for a surprisingly slow start to the back-to-school spending season, one that was expected to be the strongest since before the recession. More

Report: Store opening plans reach 4-year high
Retail Traffic
U.S. retailers' store opening plans hit a four-year high in July, setting off hope that a resurgence in new development projects might be just around the corner, according to the August edition of National Retailer Demand Monthly report from RBC Capital Markets and Retail Lease Trac.More

Free Shipping Day moves to a Monday
Internet Retailer
The fifth annual Free Shipping Day hosted by will be on a Monday — Dec. 17 to be exact — for the first time this year. The change will result in the event matching or beating the results from last year's Cyber Monday, which refers to the Monday following the Thanksgiving weekend, predicts founder Luke Knowles. Last year Cyber Monday generated $1.25 billion in sales, making it the top online sales day of the 2011 holiday season, according to comScore Inc.More

Online retail isn't always better retail
MarketingDaily via MediaPost
It has become axiomatic that brick-and-mortar retail is not a place to buy things but to look at products, then maybe benchmark prices before going online to make the purchase. But a new mystery shopper study by StellaService suggests that, at least for the $83.8 billion back-to-school season, in which 2 out of 5 consumers will do their shopping online this year (nearly double the number from five years ago), going to a physical store can save money and time. More

NRF seeks action as 'fiscal cliff' gets worse
Retail's BIG Blog
The Congressional Budget Office put out a new report this week on the "fiscal cliff" – and the news is getting worse, not better. The CBO now says GDP will shrink 2.9 percent in the first half of 2013 if Congress does nothing to avoid the massive tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January. That compares with a 1.9 percent contraction forecast as recently as May.More

Layaway gets a head start
The Wall Street Journal
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has extended its Christmas layaway program by a month and tripled its service fee. Customers will get the full charge back in the form of a Wal-Mart gift card, after making their final payment. The moves reflect the rising popularity of layaway programs, which have made a comeback since the start of the economic downturn in 2008, as consumers avoid turning to credit cards. More

Nike's LeBron sneakers to test $300 limit
The Wall Street Journal
Nike Inc. is raising the prices of its sneakers, assuming that the brand's cachet will carry it through a period when many of its shoppers are scrounging for discounts. As labor, materials and shipping costs increase, Nike is raising shoe and clothing prices by 5-10 percent, analysts say. A test of the approach comes this fall, when Nike will debut its priciest sneaker yet — an expected $315 LeBron James basketball shoe that includes its own electronics.More

Pennsylvania's online shoppers soon will have to pay sales tax
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Tax-free online purchases will be curtailed in Pennsylvania starting next month, but activists pushing for a federal law say much more needs to be done to address the issue of tax-free Internet shopping, and the millions in sales tax that states are missing out on. Pennsylvania alone would lose between $254 million and $410 million in uncollected revenues this year without legislative intervention, according to a 2011 study by Carnegie Mellon University professor Robert Strauss. More

Average gas mileage to nearly double by 2025
Convenience Store News
New cars sold in 2025 must get an average of 54.5 mpg in 2025, according to the just-released Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards set forth by the Obama administration. The figure is almost double the 28.6 mpg that was required at the end of 2011. Automakers have already agreed to raise that number to 35.5 mpg by 2016.More

Consumer confidence slumps in August
The Wall Street Journal
Turns out people really aren't feeling so chipper about the economy this summer. Consumer confidence slumped sharply in August to 60.6. That marked the fifth drop in the past six months and the lowest reading since November 2011, according to the Conference Board.More

How to better reach customers on their mobile devices
Internet Retailer
With the ever-growing incorporation of mobile phones in our daily lives, it's become more important for retailers to reach customers on the devices, says Brandon McGee, director of Dell's Global Mobile team.More

Soaring food prices put restaurants in a bind
The Wall Street Journal
Restaurant chains are in a pickle, caught between soaring ingredient costs and fears that raising prices will turn off their budget-conscious customers, who generally remain pessimistic about the economy. More

ALA Benefit Luncheon

Click here for flier to the Hampton Roads ALA Benefit Luncheon for AREA & NEREAMore

Naval Station Norfolk hosts annual 'Run with the Chiefs' 5k
America's Navy
Naval Station Norfolk hosted the ninth annual "Run with the Chiefs" 5k, Aug. 24. More than 2,900 chiefs, senior chiefs, master chiefs, chief petty officer selectees and participants from throughout the region, ran in support of the 2013 CPO selectees, singing cadence along the way to celebrate the selectees' pride and camaraderie.More

Navy Exchange contributes to MWR programs
The Navy Exchange, or NEX, continues to improve morale in more ways than one as recent surveys show NEXs worldwide are providing the best customer satisfaction and a 23 percent savings compared with stores off base. Now, financial reports show NEX contributed more than $42 million to Navy MWR programs last year.More