ALA Executive Briefing
Oct. 18, 2013

Leveraging virtual reality in the CPG industry
Progressive Grocer
The adoption of virtual reality technology is gaining steam in the CPG industry, enabling brands and marketers to transform store merchandising and shopper marketing programs. Savvy marketers are discovering the speed, versatility, cost-savings and competitive advantage that can be achieved by incorporating virtual reality into their business strategies.More

Local military commissary to adopt club store format
San Diego Business Journal
The Defense Commissary Agency, the federal agency that runs the low-priced supermarkets on military bases, is taking a page from private industry's playbook. In a pilot program, the agency will soon change the commissary at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach into a club store format. Roughly one-third of its sales area will be devoted to club pack product assortments.More

The future of our food
Progressive Grocer
If current growth patterns continue, "extra mouths to feed" will be an understatement in 2053, when our planet's population is predicted to jump by 2 billion people. That's going to be a big challenge for the food industry, and everyone from farmers to distributors to restaurant owners are asking the question, "What does this mean for us?"More

The grocery store may be on its death bed
The need for the weekly 30-minute expedition browsing up and down the aisles of the supermarket is being eliminated. Instead, many shoppers are taking advantage of new services in which they place an order online and hit a convenient pickup location to retrieve their groceries — often without ever having to leave the car.More

Retail orange juice sales continue decline
The Ledger
Retail orange juice sales in U.S. supermarkets fell 1.1 percent in the recently completed 2012-2013 citrus season, marking the 11th sales decline in the last 12 seasons. The downward trend has accelerated in recent months with OJ sales falling by 3.9 percent in the final period of 2012-13 for the four weeks ending Sept. 28, according to the Florida Department of Citrus.More

Dunkin' Donuts seasonal coffees are back to brew up holiday cheer
Grocery Headquarters
Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee is celebrating the aromas of fall and winter with seasonal coffee flavors, including a new Apple Pie variety and returning favorites Pumpkin Spice and Mocha Mint. Consumers can savor the sippable holiday treats they look forward to most from the comfort of their own home.More

EatingWell: A handy guide to gluten-free grocery shopping
Chicago Tribune
Go to the grocery store without a list and it's easy to lose focus. You may find yourself lost in the snack aisle when all you really needed was a gallon of milk and some fresh greens. Shopping is even more challenging when you're trying to follow a special diet, like eating gluten free. Use the following guide to stock your grocery cart with a balanced variety of good-for-you gluten-free foods. More

Hershey's to launch 1st new brand in 30 years
Grocery Headquarters
The Hershey Company announced it is launching a new confectionery brand in the United States called Lancaster.More

An evolution of Starbucks food
The Wall Street Journal
Starbucks Corp. is beginning to kick some regulars out of its coffee shops.More

Sam's Club waives membership fees for military personnel during shutdown
The Baltimore Sun
Sam's Club is waiving membership requirements for military personnel and retirees and their families during the government shutdown.More

The government shutdown cuts communities deep
Retail's BIG Blog
In the business world, leaders don't have the luxury to have a back and forth debate on how to fix company problems. They are forced to make hard decisions, sometimes very quickly, to run a successful business. If our current government leaders were in corporate America, no doubt, they'd be fired by now.More

Sears cashes out of prime stores
The Wall Street Journal
Sears Holdings Corp. has been selling off some of its best stores to raise cash, an unusual strategy that makes it harder for the struggling chain to improve its sales even as it helps shore up its financial position.More

Wal-Mart Executive: Shoppers feeling economy's pinch
Women's Wear Daily
Wal-Mart shoppers, who number 140 million every week in the U.S. alone, are feeling economic pressure, said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer. (Subscription required.)More

Office Depot merger challenges grow as Staples offers low-price match
Sun Sentinel
The merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax could hinge on the companies' ability to show the Federal Trade Commission that their combination favors consumers. The office-supply retailers, which hope to complete their $1.2 billion merger by year-end, recently confirmed they both have completed answers to a second set of questions from the FTC about the pending merger.More

J.C. Penney revival hinges on avoiding holiday price war
Now that J.C. Penney Co. Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman has slowed the sales decline and amassed enough cash to fund two years of operations, he faces his biggest challenge since returning as CEO: A holiday season marked by price wars and penny-pinching consumers. More

How much cash is in your wallet? Probably less than $20
Fast Company
Visa recently released a report that reveals America's online shopping habits. Though the survey focused on e-commerce and mobile shopping, some of the more interesting facts center on cash: 40 percent of Americans, on average, carry less than $20 in their wallets. Even though women are prone to giant-purse syndrome, 30 percent of them have less than $10 in cash (compared with 16 percent of men) while 21 percent of men carry more than $100 (compared with 5 percent of women). The study also finds that showrooming is becoming less of a problem.More

'Tis the season for a temp retail job
The Buffalo News
Retail hiring counts have varied wildly so far this year, but when all the ups and downs are tallied, hiring levels are expected to be flat, according to predictions by outplacement agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas. If seasonal job numbers don’t increase this year, it will end a four-year streak of growth since 2008. But since last year’s seasonal employment rolls were the highest in more than a decade, this year's numbers will still be better than most years since 2001, whether levels budge or not.More

Toys 'R' Us mobile site delivers best user experience
Mobile Commerce Daily
Toys "R" Us made numerous improvements to its mobile site in the past year, including streamlining the checkout process. As a result, the toy store chain now delivers the best mobile site user experience with a score of 83.5 out of 100, according to a new report from the e-tailing group.More

Fire hits Bangladesh garment factory
Chain Store Age
Another deadly fire has reportedly hit a garment factory in Bangladesh. According to Bloomberg, an Oct. 8 blaze at a garment factory near the Bangladesh capital city of Dhaka killed 10 workers and injured more than 50.More

Staples will match Amazon prices
The Boston Globe
For many years, Staples Inc. stores have gone toe to toe with other brick-and-mortar giants like Office Depot and OfficeMax. But the office superstore leader will be focused on a different competitor this holiday season. Staples recently said it would match the prices of Inc., its top Internet competitor, to boost holiday sales. The price match applies to both online Staples sales and purchases made in stores.More

Best Buy confirms $100 smartphone trade-in promotion for customers buying latest iPhones
Aiming to get a greater share of iPhone buyers, Best Buy is planning another promotion, this time guaranteeing at least $100 credit with the trade-in of any working smartphone. That makes the base-model iPhone 5c free with any trade-in, and the 16 gigabyte iPhone 5s available for $99 (though customers may still owe sales tax on the new phone, and are responsible for any activation fees). And, of course, customers have to be eligible for an upgrade to get those iPhone prices.More

For CVS regulars, ads tailored just to them
The New York Times
CVS Pharmacy is taking a big step forward in the increasingly popular realm of personalizing and selecting products for shoppers. The effort will offer customers who belong to the chain's ExtraCare loyalty program tailored versions of the weekly print circulars distributed through newspapers and in stores to an estimated 45 million people. More

Family Dollar sales weaker than expected — shares fall
Family Dollar Stores Inc recently said it was taking a cautious approach to 2014 as shoppers focus on basics, and posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit as its focus on controlling costs helped offset weaker-than-expected sales.More

First comes love ... Macy's woos the millennial market
M illennials may not be at the stage where they're ready to change their Facebook status to "in a relationship," but Macy's is already committed, targeting the influential demographic with the aim of being there from the first date.More

Google updates the mobile playbook
Women's Wear Daily
Retailers need to sharpen their online skills and pay as much attention to merchandising online as they do in their stores. (Subscription required.)More

Amazon goes for PayPal jugular with 'login and pay'
USA Today recently stepped up competition with eBay's PayPal division by launching a new service that lets its more than 215 million active customers purchase more easily online. "Login and Pay with Amazon" lets shoppers pay for products on participating websites using their existing Amazon account credentials, the company said.More

NRF: Traditional costume favorites for adults, children this Halloween
National Retail Federation
This Halloween there will be plenty of pumpkins, princesses, zombies and witches around town. According to the National Retail Federation's 2013 Top Costumes Survey, adults and children will look to traditional favorites for their costumes this year. More

Study: Showrooming skyrockets 156 percent
The Gourmet Retailer
Savvy smartphone users are showrooming more and more. In fact, it is now a mainstream shopping behavior that most shoppers are doing, according to Vibes, a mobile marketing technology company. Since 2012, there has been a 156 percent increase in consumers who purchased a product from a competitor while in a retail store, according to Vibes.More

Understanding social media customers
Social Media Today
Content marketing is not only focused on selling, but it should also inspire loyalty and interest from current and potential customers. With that said, as a business you should know who you're trying to target.More

Amazon introduces new payment option for online merchants
Small Business Trends
For online merchants, one of the biggest challenges is providing a payment solution customers will want to use. There's no point in offering that one of a kind product at an unbelievable price if it's too much of a hassle for visitors to sign in with their credit cards and place an order.More

Proper supply chain management can minimize risk
Inside Counsel
Social responsibility is one of the most important trends in business today. Companies around the nation are taking a close look at the way they do business both here and abroad. As these companies consider their supply chains, they are concerned with environmental issues, human rights and labor concerns, conflict minerals and more. Businesses have come to realize that risk management and reputation protection are key elements in supply chain management. More

Finding the holy grail of marketing: True loyalty
The problem with most loyalty programs is that they don't build loyalty in the true sense of the word. Instead, they encourage buying one more products as opposed to asking people for support, advocacy and the Holy Grail of loyalty — trust.More

Social media is transforming into a social marketplace
PR News
More than three-quarters (81 percent) of online shoppers make purchasing decisions based on Facebook and Twitter friend recommendations. And according to a MarketMeSuite study, nearly 40 million teenagers (ages 13-18) admitted that social media sways purchasing decisions. The study indicates that social media is dramatically changing the way we shop.More

Choosing the right font for your brand
By Jessica Taylor
Whether you're coming up with a new logo, business card, brochure or website, fonts can say a lot about you and your business. Typography helps create an experience for your audience before they have even read a word; it tells a story about you and your business. Recently, we've seen two large companies, Yahoo and Google, change their logos. But, unless you've studied the design of these two logos, it's hard to tell the difference. More

Civilian retiree identification card to be replaced
The Warner Robins Patriot
Retired Air Force civilians who use the Air Force Form 354, Civilian Identification Card, to access Air Force installations have until early 2014 — when the AF354 will be rescinded — to get a Department of Defense Civilian Retiree ID Card or other access credentials, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.More

Government shutdown: Frequently asked questions
Aerotech News
The following are frequently asked questions about the current government shutdown. If you don't find the answer to a question you have about the government shutdown and its impact on the Air Force, post your question as a comment. We will research and try to find the answer(s) for you and respond to your post(s) here.More

ACS provides added resources, advocacy this month
U.S. Army
1.3 million. That's the number of women who become victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. What is perhaps most shocking, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes, with less than one-fifth of victims seeking medical treatment following an injury.More

Many return to work as shutdown persists
The Fort Campbell Courier
Many Fort Campbell Department of the Army civilians recently returned to work as a struggling Nation moved into the second week of government shutdown. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recalled most of the DoD civilians placed on furlough as a result of the shutdown that began Oct. 1, when government funding lapsed.More

New lodging construction
Ft. Meade SoundOff
Richard Fetter, construction manager from Lend Lease construction company; Kate Alger, development manager with Lend Lease; Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Foley; Martha McClary, director of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and Emma Beard, general manager of InterContinental Hotels Group, break ground for the Candlewood Suites hotel, which is being constructed near McGlachlin Parade Field.More

Continuing family support during the shutdown
Our service members, their families and survivors have responded brilliantly to all that's been asked of them, especially since the start of combat operations well over 10 years ago. They have and deserve our respect and support for continuing to serve honorably despite the many challenges associated with the vibrant military lifestyle. Unfortunately, as we all are now aware, another one of those challenges that all of us will have to contend with is the government shutdown.More

AAFES steps in to fill needs during government shutdown
Convenience Store News
As the partial government shutdown enters its second week, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service remains open and is seeing higher demand than usual. "Some of our military installations are located in rural areas, with a few located as far away as a two-hour drive to a major metropolitan area. So when, as result of the government shutdown, the on-base commissaries and other appropriated funded services close, the Exchange is able to step up and provide an outlet for service members to purchase essential items," said the Exchange's Deputy Director Maj. Gen. Joseph S. Ward.More

With civilians back, many family support, MWR programs are open
Association of Defense Communities
Many family support and other quality-of-life programs are open at installations across the United States, following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's recent recall of most civilian workers that had been furloughed since the government shutdown began.More