ALA Executive Briefing
Sep. 6, 2013

Pentagon urges Philippines to allow US troop presence
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently pressed the case to the Philippines to allow a rotating U.S. troop force to return to the country, an effort that would build up the U.S. presence in Southeast Asia and provide stepped-up training opportunities to the Philippine military.More

Lawmakers: Syria resolution will be 'a very tough sell' in Congress
The Washington Post
Leading lawmakers recently dealt bipartisan rejection to President Barack Obama's request to strike Syrian military targets, saying the best hope for congressional approval would be to narrow the scope of the resolution. From the Democratic dean of the Senate to tea party Republicans in their second terms, lawmakers said the White House's initial request to use force against Syria will be rewritten in the coming days to try to shore up support in a skeptical Congress.More

Pentagon buying official forecasts much tougher 2014 for defense contractors
The Washington Post
The Pentagon's acquisition staff is preparing to delay and potentially cancel programs in the coming weeks as it readies for another year of significant budget cuts, the military's top procurement official said in a recent interview.More

Army civilians can swap vacation time for excess furloughs
The Washington Post
Civilian army employees who served too many furlough days under the sequester can swap their excess hours for annual leave in order to receive pay for the now-unnecessary time off work. The obvious drawback is that they will lose vacation time.More

$377,436 federal contract awarded to Force 3
Contacto Latino News
Force 3 Inc., Crofton, Md., won a $377,436.03 federal contract from the U.S. Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, Va., for headquarters consolidation of renewal maintenance support for its Cisco managed SmartNet hardware and software applications to include video teleconferencing and store level CME8 phone systems.More

Upright and wet/dry vacuum cleaners
Federal Business Opportunities
This solicitation is being issued as unrestricted. The solicitation is for upright and wet/dry vacuum cleaners to be delivered to Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the Continental United States and overseas locations. However, for overseas locations, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska, the contractor would only be responsible for preparation for overseas shipment and delivery to the port.More

Federal contracts awarded by federal agencies in Virginia
The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies based in Virginia.More

FedEx gets $49 million DoD contract to deliver veggies to Guam, Japan, Korea, Alaska
Pacific News Center
The Department of Defense has announced a $49.7 million contract award to Federal Express Corp. of El Segundo, Calif. for "over-packing and transportation" of perishable subsistences. According to the contract award announcement on, the contract requires "cold-chain packing, logistics and international air transportation of primarily fresh fruits and vegetables from the U.S. West Coast to various Pacific locations in support of the Defense Commissary Agency and Defense Logistics Agency."More

How snacking became respectable
The Wall Street Journal
As parents take their children back-to-school shopping this year, it isn't just new jeans and notebooks that will be checked off the list, but also booty for the pantry: snacks to help bridge the gap between the end of the school day and dinner. When it comes to American eating, snacking is ubiquitous — at home, at work, everywhere. But snacking wasn't always such a regular or accepted part of the American eating routine.More

Procurement list additions and deletions
This action adds products and services to the procurement list that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes services from the procurement list previously provided by such agencies.More

US reaches settlement with Safeway to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances nationwide
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The settlement involves the largest number of facilities ever under the Clean Air Act's regulations governing refrigeration equipment. The settlement resolves allegations that Safeway violated the federal CAA by failing to promptly repair leaks of HCFC-22, a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon that is a greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance used as a coolant in refrigerators, and failed to keep adequate records of the servicing of its refrigeration equipment. Safeway will now implement a corporate refrigerant compliance management system to comply with stratospheric ozone regulations. In addition, Safeway will reduce its corporate-wide average leak rate from 25 percent in 2012 to 18 percent or below in 2015.More

The Greek yogurt culture war
The Wall Street Journal
Over one-third of the yogurt in a typical grocery store is now Greek, in varieties from low-fat to fruit-on-the-bottom to tubes for children. Because shelf space is limited, the Greek squeeze means consumers have had to say goodbye to some varieties of traditional-style yogurt and more obscure flavors.More

Back to school: Resources for safe lunches and snacks
Food Safety News
The nation's school children are now returning to classrooms in droves. Children and parents pack millions of school lunches daily, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released information about how to keep those lunches safe.More

Understanding the millennial mindset
Progressive Grocer
Some of the commonly held beliefs about millennials' brand attitudes, shopping habits and preferences are, as it turns out, not as true as once thought, according to a recent study by CPG research firm Concentric Marketing. "As marketers, we must find a reasonable level to cluster diverse populations like these into meaningful groups," said Bob Shaw, president of Concentric Marketing. "We must recognize true differences and nod to the nuances to find the right balance of segmentation and generalization."More

NPD Group: Small kitchen appliances sales increase
Grocery Headquarters
The NPD Group Inc., a global information company, reports that U.S. sales of small kitchen appliances grew 15 percent to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2013 compared to the same time period one year ago. "The small kitchen appliance industry continues to reap the rewards from product innovation in specialty appliances, nutrition and diet trends, and the consumers' desire to replicate away-from-home in the home," said Debra Mednick, executive director of The NPD Group Inc.More

E-retailers run ahead of consumers in defining what constitutes a fast delivery
Internet Retailer
Online shoppers seem a bit more easygoing about what constitutes a "high speed delivery" for e-commerce orders than do web merchants, suggest new survey findings from Manna Distribution Services.More

Sacked Marine headlines Navy campaign against alcohol abuse
UT San Diego
A Camp Pendleton helicopter squadron commander dismissed six months into deployment for bringing booze on ship is the latest cautionary tale in a strict new Navy Department campaign against alcohol abuse.More

Could what's in your spice rack be making you sick?
A forthcoming report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that common imported spices are contaminated with salmonella at twice the rate of all other imported foods. The biggest offenders on the list of contaminated spices are common ones sold in grocery stores across the U.S.More

Wal-Mart ready to loan $50 million to Bangladesh factories
Wal-Mart Stores Inc recently told investors that it could provide up to $50 million in low-interest loans or other types of payments to Bangladesh factory owners for building improvements.More

DSW looking at smaller stores as it continues expansion march
Columbus Business First
DSW Inc. may get bigger by being smaller. The Columbus-based shoe retailer this fall plans to test a store format that is roughly half the size of the DSW you're used to shopping. The test stores will be around 10,000 square feet; the average DSW is 22,000 square feet.More

Retail loyalty programs add tiers to reward big spenders
Taking a page from airline programs, more retailers are adding elite levels with extra perks to their loyalty packages. But shoppers may find membership nearly as pricey as a first-class airline ticket.More

The Barneys evolution
New York Post
Barneys, one of NYC's most venerable and iconic stores, will celebrate its 90th anniversary this fall. It hasn't survived by clinging stodgily to its past. Through recent extensive renovations and updates, the store has made a guy's shopping experience even better.More

After decades of toil, Web sales remain small for many retailers
The Wall Street Journal
Nearly two decades after the Web revolutionized shopping, many big retailers are still struggling to turn the Internet into a big part of their business. Their progress is on display in new correspondence between the Securities and Exchange Commission and a bevy of chains, including Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., PetSmart Inc. and Fifth & Pacific Cos.More

Spending on cars, homes threatens apparel sales as holidays approach
Even with consumer confidence at a six-year high, retailers ranging from Target Corp to Macy's Inc are competing not only with each other but are also having to adapt to shifting spending patterns.More

As economy improves, local retailers say consumers are investing in big-ticket items
The Washington Post
As the economic recovery picks up, analysts say consumers have begun spending more deliberately, choosing big-ticket items such as cars and appliances over clothing — and area businesses say they're taking notice.More

Francesca's is fastest-growing apparel chain
Chain Store Age
Analysts project that Francesca's, a junior apparel and accessories retailer, will have the retail industry's fastest rates of growth during the next three years, reported Bloomberg. More

Report: American Dream Meadowlands mall close to signing big retailers
Chain Store Age
American Dream Meadowlands, the much-delayed shopping and entertainment complex adjacent to Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., is close to signing several major retail tenants, according to Crain's New York. More

Retail 2020: 7 trends impacting brick and mortar retailers
Chain Store Age
The retail industry is in the midst of a massive transformation driven by consumers' adoption of digital technologies. By 2020, the retail landscape will have fundamentally changed how every retailer will go to market. No segment of retail will be more impacted than the brick-and-mortar store. More

Target hopes to offer in-store pickup service by the holidays
Star Tribune
With less than three months left until the official start of the holiday shopping season, Target Corp. is furiously playing digital catch-up. The Minneapolis-based retailer is introducing a service that allows consumers to pick up online orders in stores, something already available at Wal-Mart and Best Buy Co. Target wants to roll out the service, known as Buy Online, Pick Up in Store, to all of its 1,800 stores in the United States by the time Black Friday shoppers hit stores in late November.More

Stores vie for customers with layaway programs
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fall is still weeks away — but don't tell major retailers, many of which will kick into holiday season mode with Labor Day now past. Despite Christmas being a little less than four months away, it's not uncommon for retailers to begin hiring for the holiday rush and decorating their stores with ornaments as early as mid-September, said National Retail Federation senior director of media relations Kathy Grannis.More

Why affordable luxury companies' rich gains may last
Investors Business Daily
Affordable luxury goods makers are enjoying strong sales and stock gains, as the slow economic recovery gives consumers more money to spend but not enough to splurge like millionaires. More

Retail's role in reviving 'Made in the USA'
We hear it every day — it seems like nothing sold in stores is made in America anymore. And it's true that U.S. retailers take a global approach to sourcing in order to bring American families the products they need at the prices they can afford. But that doesn't mean everything retailers sell has to come from overseas. And that's why NRF, the world's largest retail trade association, joined up last month with Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, to hold the first-ever U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Orlando.More

Supply chain disruptions 'significantly hurt' bottom line
Environmental Leader
More than 90 percent of companies say supply chain disruptions have a significant impact on a company's business and financial performance, according to a report from the MIT Forum and PricewaterhouseCoopers. However, 60 percent of the companies pay only marginal attention to risk reduction processes.More

Does your store have a culture?
By Harry J. Friedman
Each store has its own culture, and the question that must be answered is whether the culture in your store is the way you have planned it to be perceived by the customer. Step back and look at the culture, if any, you currently have in your store. Is it the kind of culture you want? Did it happen because you caused it to happen? If you are unhappy with what you see or feel, it's time to take the steps to change. More

How social customer service affects marketing and building followers
Social Barrel
More and more companies and organizations are turning to social media when it comes to handling business relationships with customers. Still, regardless of how important this relation between marketing and building loyal customers, it requires best practices for social customer service. Is your company well prepared to do it?More

MCX buyer change

Vendor partners,

We are happy to tell you we have a new addition to our buying team.

Adrianna Nelson has joined our team as our new Data Tech. Adrianna comes to us from Target where she was a Hardlines Lead.

Please join us in welcoming Adrianna to our team. We are excited to have her and know she will be a strong addition to our team.

Adrianna's email is: Please update your contact lists accordingly.

Madina and I will be training Adrianna over the next few weeks and appreciate your patience during this time of transition.

Please forward to any of your team members I may have missed on this email.


Robin R. Pruett
Buyer - Tactical, Sporting Goods, Toys, Bikes
Semper Fit and Exchange Services Division
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps
3044 Catlin Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134-5099
Email: More

Recreation centers offer value to troops, families
U.S. Department of Defense
Fans of the Armed Forces Recreation Centers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that because the crown jewels of the military's morale, welfare and recreation programs are completely self-supporting, they're unaffected by defense budget cuts and undergoing capital improvements.More

Shopping the Exchange pays off improves quality of life
Fort Polk Guardian
The Fort Polk Exchange is paying dividends in more ways than one as soldiers, airmen and their families, exercising their benefit by dining and shopping at Exchange facilities, generated a dividend of $1,037,881 last year. More

Air Force offers potential model for future MWR programs
For a glimpse into how the military services might provide quality morale, welfare and recreation services and programs despite continuing budget pressures, the transformation program the Air Force Services directorate has been rolling out for the past two and a half years is worth a look.More

Exchange facilities popular with soldiers
The Gold Standard
The Fort Knox Exchange is paying dividends in more ways than one as soldiers and their families exercising their benefit by dining and shopping at Exchange facilities last year generated a dividend of $1,485,679. More

Innovative programs keep MWR relevant
Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group
Military fitness centers, swimming pools, lodging facilities and outdoor recreation offices might sound to some like a footnote among competing budget requirements. But Ed Miles, DoD's MWR policy director, and his counterparts across the military services see a close connection to military readiness.More