ALA Executive Briefing
Oct. 5, 2012

Leaders at work on plan to avert mandatory cuts
The New York Times
Senate leaders are closing in on a path for dealing with the "fiscal cliff" facing the country in January, opting to try to use a post-election session of Congress to reach agreement on a comprehensive deficit reduction deal rather than a short-term solution.More

Fall elections won't end risk of military cuts
Columbia State via Early Bird
South Carolina — home to more than 62,000 military personnel and seven major bases with an annual economic impact of $15 billion — has much at stake. Cuts could start in January with $1.2 trillion slated to be cut from the federal budget over a decade — half coming from defense. Also, another round of base closings is expected, though closings have been taken off the table for next year.More

Navy urges better nutrition and less smoking
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
Taking a cue from first lady Michelle Obama and her efforts to whip the nation's children into shape, the Navy has launched a campaign to get sailors to eat healthier, exercise more often and quit smoking. U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and top Navy and Marine Corps leaders recently came to Norfolk Naval Station to announce the initiative, which promotes healthy life choices through educational videos, brochures and seminars.More

Marines test women on infantry course for first time
USA Today
VideoBriefIt was 10 a.m., and the Marines trudging along the road bordered by thick Virginia woods had been up for seven hours already. Their uniforms were soaked with sweat, and their faces showed signs of the pain in their muscles. Their day was far from over. The demanding training was a typical first day in the Marine Corps' Infantry Officer Course except for one thing: For the first time, two women were part of the class.More

Fair Trade Month kicks off
Progressive Grocer
Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, has launched its ninth-annual Fair Trade Month in October with a campaign aimed at boosting awareness of the program, which in this year alone saw the introduction of more than 120 new products.More

More consumers buying specialty food
The Gourmet Retailer
More U.S. shoppers are buying specialty foods this year as they look to better-quality foods like chocolate, cheese and yogurt to liven up their everyday meals. According to new research from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade Inc., nearly two-thirds of consumers said they purchased specialty foods within the past six months, an 11 percent increase over 2011, and a big jump from the 46 percent who reported buying these products in 2009.More

'Old-school' food shopping feels new as US cities revive public markets
One hundred years ago, before Wal-Mart and Whole Foods and Albertson's and Kroger, grocery shopping was a very different experience. Many American city dwellers flocked to the indoor public markets. But now there's a reversal, as urbanites and developers keen on fresh food and a more personable shopping experience rediscover the public markets and revive them.More

Navigating food information maze: Dietitians guide grocery shoppers to better food choices
With new nutritional studies coming out almost daily, the quest to eat healthier foods can be confusing for many shoppers. Some local grocery stores are now offering an in-store dietitian to consult before you start filling up your shopping cart. More

Peanut butter recall hits some of the country's largest grocery stores
NY Daily News
A recall of peanut butter and other nut products has some of the country's largest grocery stores pulling store-brand products off their shelves. New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products.More

Civilian US base worker loses appeal in fatal Okinawa hit-and-run
The Japan Times
The Fukuoka High Court recently upheld the prison term of an American who was working for the U.S. Air Force during a fatal car crash that killed a teenager in Okinawa, marking the first time a domestic court has incarcerated a U.S. civilian base employee.More

J.C. Penney falls as CEO's store tour gets tepid response
J.C. Penney Co. dropped the most in four months after Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson's showcase of the stores' new layout failed to inspire confidence in his remake of the 110-year-old retailer. The shares fell 11 percent to $25.83 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day drop since May 16. The Plano, Texas-based company was the biggest decliner on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index today and has lost 27 percent this year. More

Disney shops headed for J.C. Penney
Women's Wear Daily
J.C. Penney will open Disney children's boutiques in at least 520 stores next fall, advancing the plan to transform its selling floors from an open sea of racks to being totally merchandised by shops-in-shop. (Subscription required.)More

LeapFrog, iPad tablets top hot holiday toy lists
USA Today
Tablets for tots will likely top wish lists this holiday season, though availability could be the problem it is every year for hot toys. Toys R Us recently released its hot toy list and Kmart's is out soon. The lists offer parents a chance to get a jump on the search for the latest trendy toy. More

Five Guys voted favorite burger chain, McDonald's near bottom
Los Angeles Times
Five Guys Burgers and Fries topped a new survey of favorite burger chains, leaving bigger chains such as McDonald's and Burger King in the dust. Market Force Information questioned 7,600 consumers, calculated the fan favorite based on total votes and then factored in the number of locations for each chain. In every region, Five Guys led the list. Overall, In-N-Out was second, followed by Fuddruckers, A&W and Smashburger.More

Wal-Mart and Saturdays are top retail check-in habits
If you were at Wal-Mart this past Saturday you may have noted more than a few people using their various mobile devices to check in. Not that you got that close to observe the details of what fellow Wal-Mart shoppers were doing on their smartphones. But according to a new LocalResponse study of retail-related check-ins across Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, Instagram and other social mobile services, Saturdays account for 25.9 percent of check-ins for the top 10 retailers.More

Goodbye, supercenters: Retail will get focused, adaptable
Retail is going postmodern. No, you won't be seeing installation art at Wal-Mart any time soon. In fact, you won't be seeing Wal-Mart itself for long — at least not as a generic supercenter-type mega-box. A tech-driven, global and intensely competitive retail world is spinning toward a more focused, smaller, tech-savvy universe. More

Dollar General unveils toy discount ahead of holiday season
The Wall Street Journal
Dollar General Corp. unveiled a 10 percent discount on toy purchases of $75 or more ahead of the holidays, as the company looks to boost sales during the critical season for retailers. (Subscription required.)More

Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and Costco are 'inspiring' US companies
Puget Sound Business Journal
Four of the nation's "most inspiring" companies are Washington state companies, according to a new magazine poll. A new consumer survey conducted by an Atlanta-based consulting and training firm ranked Microsoft Corp., Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Costco Wholesale Corp. in the top 12 of the country's 25 "most inspiring" companies.More

Wal-Mart says time is right for Japan
The Wall Street Journal
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding in Japan for the first time since 2008, sensing an opening as increases in the ranks of the working poor and pensioners on fixed incomes propel a trend toward thrift there. The retailer is planning 22 new stores in Japan in the next two years, as well as scouting for acquisitions to enlarge its 368-store presence in the world's second-largest consumer market, where it got off to a rocky start about 10 years ago.More

Swipe reform saving up to $18 million a day
Convenience Store Decisions
With the first anniversary of debit card swipe fee reform approaching, U.S. retailers and their customers are benefiting from savings of up to $18 million a day that previously went to card companies and the nation's largest banks, the National Retail Federation estimates. More

Study shows bright future for alternative fuels
Convenience Store News
The future is bright for natural gas and electric vehicle charging, according to the results of the exclusive Convenience Store News 2012 Motor Fuels Study. Only about 2 percent of convenience store retailers surveyed said they offer natural gas at the pump currently, but 22 percent expect to offer the fuel alternative within five years. Nearly 3 percent of retailers offer electric charging stations now, but more than 12 percent plan to offer the option by 2017.More

NRF, expect solid growth this holiday season
National Retail Federation
Tempered by political and fiscal uncertainties but supported by signs of improvement in consumer confidence, holiday sales this year will increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion. NRF's 2012 holiday forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 3.5 percent. More

Freezing out the competition
Convenience Store Decisions
Frozen beverages have been helping convenience store operators create stronger relationships with younger consumers, but there is an opportunity in this category with all age groups. More

Benefit luncheon

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

NEXs going 'Navy Blue' this holiday season
America's Navy
NEXs worldwide will be taking a new approach to the holiday shopping season this year. NEXs will offer sales and specials throughout the holiday season beginning in early November instead of starting off the holiday shopping season with a big sale the day after Thanksgiving. Also new this year, deployed Sailors will be able to take advantage of holiday specials by shopping on-line. More

NEXCOM improves its customer return policy
Navy Exchange Service Command
The Navy Exchange Service Command is making improvements to its return policy. Merchandise purchased at a NEX or from can be returned to any NEX store within 45 days of purchase for a refund or even exchange. More

In store or online, exchange aims for consistency
Public Affairs
According to Practical Ecommerce, shoppers frequently use both online and physical stores to browse and buy products. As a result, it is important for retail sites to emulate the stock assortment found in their brick and mortar locations.More

National Association of Enlisted Personnel joins effort to preserve critical military benefit
Rock Hill Herald
The national association working to ensure the health and welfare of enlisted military personnel, and veterans in particular, is joining a coalition to preserve one of the most valued benefits of military service. The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits recently announced that TREA: The Retired Enlisted Association will support the coalition as a Valued Associate.More

HCS receives $1 million grant for programs
The News-Enterprise
Hardin County Schools' fight to reduce the dropout rate has secured more than $1 million in federal support. The Kentucky district recently unveiled a grant of more than $1 million from Department of Defense Education Activity for its dropout prevention and credit recovery programs through a federal grant.More

Select Navy Lodges offering greater savings this holiday season
Navy Exchange Service Command
Select Navy Lodges will be offering even greater savings this holiday season. From Dec. 3 through Jan. 7, 2013, guests who stay at select Navy Lodges will receive 20 percent off their lodging. Guests can book their lodging now through Jan. 2, 2013.More

Checklist for new military spouses
Welcome to the military family. As the husband or wife of a service member, you are an active participant in the military lifestyle. In the meantime, the following is a quick checklist to get you started. More