ALA Executive Briefing
Oct. 4, 2013

VA: All veterans' benefit payments will be disrupted if a shutdown goes beyond 2 weeks
The Washington Post
The Department of Veterans Affairs told congressional officials Friday that all benefit checks it issues, including disability claims and pension payments, will be disrupted if a government shutdown lasts for more than two or three weeks, according to congressional sources.More

Pentagon chief, at Korean DMZ, says US will not cut force in Korea
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently toured the Korean DMZ, at times under the watchful eye of North Korean soldiers, and said the Pentagon had no plan to reduce its 28,500-member force in the South despite budget constraints.More

Security clearances: Holes in the system?
USA Today
Turnaround times for background checks are down 75 percent, with most completed in just over a month. Backlogs have vanished; interim clearances rarely are needed. Investigations and final rulings, sped by automated record checks and a new reliance on electronic processing, move at unprecedented speed. But concerns about the "insider threat" are as high as ever. And it may well be that solving the old problems created troubling new ones.More

Inventure to buy frozen vegetable processor
Food Business News
Inventure Foods, Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire Fresh Frozen Foods, L.L.C., a Jefferson, Ga.-based frozen vegetable processor, for $38 million, plus deferred consideration of up to $3 million based on 2014 performance. The transaction, pending customary closing conditions, is expected to close in November and will be immediately accretive to earnings.More

Fort Lee Traveller
CLICK2GO, the Fort Lee Commissary's 3-month-old e-commerce venture that lets authorized patrons order groceries online and pick them up curbside, invites more people to give it a try. And here's why. We want as many customers as possible to put the service through its paces since this is the first part of a three-store test of e-commerce by the Defense Commissary Agency. Since we started it in July, we have found out some interesting things about its appeal to customers.More

R-22 Refrigeration and HVAC Equipment replacement
Federal Business Opportunities
The project is R-22 Refrigeration and HVAC Equipment replacement for the four commissaries and one central distribution center (for a total of five locations) for Defense Commissary Agency, Okinawa, Japan. The scope of work is to Replace all R-22 refrigeration and HVAC equipment, Refrigeration Monitoring & Control System, display cases, compressors, condensing units, controls, walk-in unit coolers/freezers, refrigerant piping, air handlers, chillers, condensing units, controls, piping, ductwork, insulation and associated equipment.More

Customers collect nearly 740,000 pounds of food
The Bayonet
Commissary customers and employees came together to donate nearly 740,000 pounds of needed items to local food banks and other charitable organizations during the annual Feds Feed Families campaign. The accomplishment, a 10 percent increase over last year’s effort, was done as commissaries again served as collection points on their installations. More

7 steps you need to take before disaster strikes
American Express OPEN Forum
"What do we do now?" That is the question most-often asked after a crippling disaster strikes small businesses. Having a disaster plan in place can save your business, your livelihood and your employees' jobs.More

Construct new commissary facility, Fort Rucker, Alabama
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency, Acquisition Management Directorate, Construction-Design Branch anticipates awarding a firm-fixed-price construction contract to construct a new commissary.More

Likely new personnel chief supports lower raise
Army Times
The Pentagon is likely to get a new chief of its sprawling personnel and readiness directorate, a top official who will oversee major decisions on pay, benefits and other fundamental changes to the way the military manages its people.More

Online fashion subscription retailer JustFab opens its first store
Chain Store Age
JustFab, the online fashion subscription retailer, has opened a 3,000-square-foot flagship at the Glendale Galleria, Glendale, Calif. It is the company's first physical store. "We have created the global leader in fashion subscription in just three short years and will now bring our customized shopping experience into physical stores to enable customers to touch and feel our products," said co-CEO Don Dom Ressler.More

Walgreens acquires Kerr Drug chain
Chain Store Age
Walgreens recently announced it has acquired North Carolina pharmacy chain Kerr Drug. The purchase of the privately held regional outfit, which generated $381 million in revenue in 2012, includes its 76 retail stores and specialty pharmacy chain.More

Exclusive Report: 'Up & Coming Brands; Brands in Need of a Refresh'
Chain Store Age
Some retailers are raising the bar for engaging brick-and-mortar shoppers with clever, inventive experiences, while others are missing the boat when it comes to making in-store connections. More

Deep discounters winning over shoppers
Investors Business Daily
Hungry for deals in a still-soft economy, bargainistas have been out in full force recently scouring the nation's deep discounters. Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Five Below kept their profits fat and comps healthy through the second quarter, even as many apparel retailers and others foundered amid pockets of weak consumer demand. More

Brooks Brothers, national retailers analyze 'big data' from sales to adjust marketing
The Washington Post
Like a lot of retailers, Brooks Brothers collects rivers of data about the sales it makes at its more than 500 physical and online clothing outlets around the world. And for a lot of retailers, the deluge of analytics can be overwhelming.More

These 3-D maps show where shoppers are at any moment based on their mobile phone signals
Business Insider
Placed is a new mobile "location analytics" company that builds visual 3D maps for advertisers showing where their customers are at any given moment based on signals sent out from their mobile phones. Knowing where shoppers are when they're not actually in the store will help advertisers buy location-based mobile ad campaigns, the company believes. More

NRF: Ghouls and ghosts galore, 158 million people to celebrate Halloween this year
National Retail Federation
Cooler fall weather may bring cooler sales this Halloween, as fewer Americans plan to celebrate the spooktacular holiday. According to NRF's Halloween Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities, slightly less than the survey high of 170 million people last year.More

Wal-Mart opens up jobs opportunities for 70,000 workers
The Associated Press via ABC News
As the holiday season starts, Wal-Mart is hiring 55,000 seasonal employees and will promote another 70,000 employees to part- or full-time. This also means, more employees will be able to enjoy benefits.More

Retail industry executive survey
In today's retail industry, consumers have endless options at their fingertips. Getting customers to come back is the ultimate challenge. At the Future Stores 2013 Conference, TimeTrade surveyed senior retail executives to get their perspective on the changing retail landscape. Read more to learn the survey findings.More

Millennial adds analytics tools to push mobile ROI
To help demonstrate the relationship between mobile advertising and actual sales, Millennial Media is rolling out a new set of analytics tools that attempt to link exposure to mobile campaigns with offline shopping activity. To do this, Millennial has turned to third-party analytics partners, including Placed and Neustar. More

What effect do smartphones have on e-commerce?
In the first half of 2013, United States citizens spent $10 billion in mobile commerce and could exceed $25 billion by the end of the year, according to a recent study by comScore. Mobile commerce is becoming more widely used and has the potential to eclipse e-commerce because of its ease of use and convenience.More Annual Summit to host Ray Greenly Scholarship recipients, inaugural student program Blog
In case you haven't heard the news, the Ray M. Greenly Scholarship fund recently awarded $195,000 in scholarships to 26 deserving college students from across the country seeking degrees in everything from economics, accounting, merchandising and marketing, and pursuing a career in retail.More

Wal-Mart bows reality Web series
Wal-Mart is celebrating the spirit of inventive American entrepreneurs through its first-ever original Web-series. The "Get on the Shelf" contest will award five winners (from different product categories) the opportunity to be sold through the retailer's e-commerce platform, with one winner receiving extra promotion on the company's website and through its email promotions. More

Target launches new movie streaming service
The Salt Lake Tribune
Retail giant Target recently announced it has launched a new digital movie streaming service to compete with the likes of Wal-Mart's Vudu and Best Buy's Cinema Now. Target Ticket has 30,000 movie and television show titles available for purchase and rent. The purchase prices range from 99 cents to $36.99, and the videos can be viewed on a PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Roku box, Android and iOS mobile devices and select Samsung televisions and Blu-ray players.More

Wal-Mart cutting orders as unsold merchandise piles up
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting orders it places with suppliers this quarter and next to address rising inventory the company flagged in last month's earnings report. Recently, an ordering manager at the company's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters described the pullback in an email to a supplier, who said others got similar messages.More

Target aims at online rivals with baby goods subscription plan
Target Corp recently launched a free service that lets shoppers set up recurring deliveries of bulky baby goods, a move that mimics Inc and is aimed at attracting more moms.More

What's driving change in retail? Retail insiders on the evolution of the industry Blog
It's clear that retail is not the same game it was 15 or even five years ago. With smartphones nearly always in reach and instant access to information the norm, technology is enabling a new reality: Customers are empowered like never before.More

Deloitte: Look for moderate gains this holiday
A new forecast from Deloitte points to reasonably happy holidays for stores: It predicts that seasonal sales will rise between 4 and 4.5 percent from last year's spending levels. That translates to total spending of between $963 and $967 billion. More

Macy's working on in-store pickup
Women's Wear Daily
Macy's Inc.'s order-online, pick-up-in-store program is testing the limits of its technical prowess. (Subscription required.)More

Warby Parker: The future of retail is bricks and clicks convergence
Advertising Age
Eyewear marketer Warby Parker has built four physical stores in the last five months, but there was a time when its founders thought they'd connect with consumers only through the Web and by mailing out home try-on kits, according to Neil Blumenthal, co-CEO at Warby Parker.More

The (not so) spooky stats for Halloween 2013
Retail's BIG Blog
As seasons change, so does consumer behavior. At the first sign of fall, many consumers search the web for the nearest corn maze, revamp their fall wardrobe, or head to the corner coffee shop for the pumpkin spiced latte they've been craving for months. And for some, the crisp air and colorful trees means their favorite holiday is just around the corner.More

J.C. Penney gains after reiterating improved outlook
J.C. Penney Co. rose after reiterating that it expects positive comparable-store sales trends in the second half of the year after its stock plunged in the past week over concerns that it's running out of cash. More

Wal-Mart 'Made in America' drive follows suppliers' lead
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, whose focus on low-cost sourcing helped to fuel the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing, has been promoting a patriotic new image in recent months.More

Wal-Mart app users spend 40 percent more than average shopper
Mobile Commerce Daily
A Wal-Mart executive at the Mobile Marketing Association's SM2 conference said consumers who download the retailer's application not only spend more, but also shop in-store twice as much as the average shopper.More

Calming an irate customer
It is difficult, but not impossible, to sell to a customer who's had a bad experience with your company. The following are a few tips.More

Robbery prevention rooted in exceptional customer service and attention to detail
By Tony Gallo
You read in the newspaper or see on television that a local store has just been robbed and your heart sinks. Can it happen to you? Robbery deterrence can encompass many proactive methods and tools. However, effective loss prevention in any business results from some critical practices and attention to detail. Good customer service, proper lighting, assertive signage, cleanliness and heightened awareness are proven effective measures that cost little but provide the deterrence you need in protecting your business.More

4 ways to build — and improve — customer relationships
Fox Business
Every successful company knows the importance of keeping customers happy. However, doing so can be much easier said than done. Although building those relationships can be a challenge, businesses can take a number of tried and true steps to improve customer relationships. More

Air Force considers closing Moody AFB library
The Valdosta Daily Times
Darlene Kraushaar is not happy. "Don't even get me started," she said. Kraushaar is upset at the pending closing of the Moody Air Force Base Library, but "restructuring" is the word being used to describe it. Posted on the wall is the same notice found on the library's website that reads, "The funding to maintain the Moody Library services from the Air Combat Command was cut for the Fiscal Year 2014. Effective September 30, 2013, the Library services will undergo restructuring." More

Military and Family Support Center offers employment assistance
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Morale, Welfare and Recreation patrons looking for a job or who need to update their resume can get help from the Military and Family Support Center. Classes include "federal resume writing," "writing your best resume," "job fair success" and "employment in Hawaii."More