ALA Executive Briefing
Nov. 7, 2014

Poll: Troops fed up with politics
Military Times
Army Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Pettigrew feels like he should vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 4. But he's completely dissatisfied with the options on the ballot. Results of the most recent annual Military Times Poll of more than 2,200 active-duty troops show growing frustration with gridlocked congressional politics, mirroring low approval ratings for national lawmakers in recent polls.More

Defense committees will see new leadership, regardless of election results
Defense One
Republicans appear to have the momentum to gain the six seats they need to take the Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm elections. But the possibility of runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana means the majority could remain undecided into the next Congress.More

Army veteran Tom Cotton elected to US Senate
Military Times
Veteran Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas lost his seat Nov. 4 to a freshman House Republican, putting the GOP a step closer to its goal of controlling the Senate for the first time in eight years.More

Tammy Duckworth re-elected to 2nd term
The Courier-News
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is heading back to Washington, D.C., for a second term after 8th Congressional District voters elected her over Republican challenger Larry Kaifesh.More

Few big changes expected in Congress' defense agenda
Military Times
The more lawmakers change, the more things stay the same. The next session of Congress will feature new chairmen for the House and Senate Armed Services committees, and the election could bring a host of new faces to congressional defense debates and a shift of power in the Senate.More

President Barack Obama designates November as Military Family Month
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Noting that the selflessness of military families "tells a story of unfailing duty and devotion," President Barack Obama signed a proclamation declaring November as Military Family Month. "For more than two centuries, members of our Armed Forces have defended our country with unyielding courage. In our Nation's times of need, these brave patriots step forward to answer America's call, leaving behind everything they know and love. And as they help secure our freedom and democracy, their families sacrifice alongside them. During Military Family Month, we recognize every spouse, parent, sibling, child and loved one who stands with our service members, and we reaffirm our solemn vow to serve these families as well as they serve us."More

Younger veterans heading to Congress in bigger numbers
Military Times
Next year's Congress will boast the largest class of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans yet, even as the overall number of lawmakers with military experience continues to decline. At least 22 veterans of the current wars won their races Nov. 4, with at least four contests still undecided the following morning. This year's Congress has 17 veterans of the current wars.More

Record number of female vets seek Congressional seats
The Hill
Thirteen female veterans ran for Congress during the midterm elections, including two incumbents, Reps. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. Both won their reelection by a wide margin. The Senate will have its first female combat veteran when Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is sworn in, joining a small group of women veterans now serving in the House. Ten female veterans received major party nominations in 2012. More

General Dempsey highlights importance of hiring veterans
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Veterans are brave and selfless, and they bring the best traits to employers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said recently. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey spoke in New York at a symposium of Veterans on Wall Street, a group that helps veterans find business and career opportunities in the financial services industry. He thanked the employers in the room who have hired veterans and said their employees who have served in the military will "make you a better organization."More

Nominations open for Reserve-Component employer recognition
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department office, is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the nation's highest honor presented to civilian employers for exceptional support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. The Freedom Award recognizes employers who go beyond what the law requires in supporting members of the Guard and Reserve — from continuing benefits and health care coverage during deployments to helping with home maintenance and sponsoring veteran-hiring initiatives. More

MOAA honors community members for troop support
DoD News Features, Defense Media Activity
Three individuals and a couple in the national capital region received the 2014 Military Officer Association of America Community Heroes Awards recently for their efforts to support service members, military families and veterans. "We are privileged to recognize some of the outstanding members of the Washington, D.C., metro area — military and civilian communities who devote their time and energy to helping wounded service members," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, MOAA's president. More

Federal Business Opportunities
FedBizOpps.gov
Maintenance and Repair of Misc. Food Processing Equipment in Commissary Stores in Oklahoma and North Texas
Responses to this Sources Sought Notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. This request is for market research purposes only, with the goal being to identify potential small business concerns capable of providing the services described within the attached Performance Work Statement.

Linen/Mat Rental & Cleaning Services
Linen/Mat Rental & Cleaning Services for the following North Carolina Commissary locations: Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point, Fort Bragg North, Fort Bragg South, New River and Seymour Johnson.

Large Wire Shopping Carts
Various Defense Commissary Agency commissaries located in the continental United States and overseas locations.

To perform shelf stocking and custodial operations for the Fort Belvoir Commissary in Fort Belvior, Virginia.
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf stocking and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Fort Belvoir Commissary, located in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement. More

Food prices on the rise as Thanksgiving approaches
WRIC-TV
Food prices are on the rise, especially beef and pork. That's according to recent survey numbers from the American Farm Bureau Federation.More

Kraft looking to 'contemporize' center-store brands
Food Business News
Kraft Foods' innovation efforts on the perimeter of the supermarket appear to be paying dividends and now the company is focusing on the center of the store and extending its reach in nontraditional retail channels.More

Unilever reboots buttery spreads: 'We know that the perception of artificiality is our biggest barrier'
FoodNavigator-USA.com
Unilever is seeking to seize back the initiative in the U.S. spreads aisle with the roll-out of new "cool blending technology" that enables it to produce buttery spreads without using artificial-sounding ingredients that have given the category an image problem.More

Pennsylvania: Commissary opens in Moon
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fran Soczik said when she shopped in the commissary at the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility in Collier, Pennsylvania, it never would be her only stop because the military grocery post just never seemed to have all the food and supplies she needed. With the new commissary that held its grand opening in Moon, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 21, she won't have that problem anymore.More

Massachusetts: Wegmans opens in Burlington, launches a mobile app for shoppers
Bostlnno
Earlier this year, Wegmans began an expansion in Massachusetts, adding to its current Northborough location by opening a new store in Chestnut Hill. Wegmans fans rejoiced — the grocery chain with its heaviest presence in New York state has an enthusiastic following by those who know the ins and outs of the store, complete with features like a stacked prepared foods section, Mediterranean bar and premium deli.More

Meat companies go antibiotics-free as more consumers demand it
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscriber model)
The Food and Drug Administration, responding to concerns about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, asked drug and meat companies in late 2012 to end the practice of feeding antibiotics to livestock to speed growth.More

Kroger keys in on 4 natural food trends
Food Business News
Local has become a buzzword in the food business, as consumers increasingly show preference for ingredients and brands produced close to home. For a grocery retailer with a large national footprint, achieving local relevance may seem like a challenge, but the Kroger Company has made it a priority.More

Kellogg's strategy to win at breakfast: A peanut butter and jelly Pop-Tart
Bloomberg Businessweek
Is a peanut butter and jelly Pop-Tart the answer to Kellogg's woes? This was just one of many new products that CEO John Bryant discussed in the company's quarterly earnings on a recent call.More

Golden Peanut changes name, acquires pecan processor
Candy & Snack TODAY
Archer Daniels Midland Company subsidiary Golden Peanut Company LLC has acquired Harrel Nut Compnay, a leading processor and sheller of pecans in the U.S. Reflecting the diversification of the company's portfolio, Golden Peanut is changing its name to Golden Peanut and Tree Nut and is introducing a redesigned corporate logo.More

DeCA answers sales drop with 'value brand' and more
The Times
The Defense Commissary Agency faced a tough operating environment in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 as sales fell by 4.3 percent. The drop was due in part to commissaries closing for six days during a government shutdown last fall. More

Shoplifting at the NEX impacts quality of life programs
ALA
The NEX mission is to provide customers quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs. In order to meet this mission, the NEX Loss Prevention/Safety Department does everything it can to make sure merchandise is paid for when it leaves the store.

During 2013, NEX Loss Prevention/Safety associates investigated and resolved 1,232 shoplifting cases with a total dollar amount of $284,666. Of those cases, 23 percent were juveniles and 19 percent were active duty military. The top departments for shoplifting at the NEX in 2013 were prestige cosmetics, video games, electronics and computer hardware.

The average value for shoplifting cases was $231.

"NEX Loss Prevention/Safety associates use many tools in an effort to apprehend shoplifters or prevent theft before it happens," said Tom Ruane, Navy Exchange Service Command Corporate Loss Prevention/Safety Manager. "However, we still need our customers and associates to be alert to possible theft and report any suspicious activity to NEX management or the Loss Prevention/Safety Manager."

NEXs worldwide use electronic article surveillance systems for electronic and high value merchandise as well as extensive closed circuit surveillance systems to try and deter as well as catch shoplifters. The CCTV systems, coupled with digital video recorders and remote viewing technology, gives the NEX the ability to see everything within the store and identify incidents of theft.

"CCTV is our primary source for theft detection, as 76 percent of our theft cases were developed using CCTV," said Ruane. "The majority of these theft cases were shoplifting, but we use it extensively for all our investigations. Customers need to think twice before trying to shoplift from a NEX. People caught shoplifting get prosecuted and possibly banned from the NEX or it can end a military career if it's an active duty service member."

Seventy percent of NEX profits go to support Navy quality of life programs while the remaining 30 percent is used to build or renovate existing stores. In FY13, NEXCOM gave nearly $52 million to Morale, Welfare and Recreation. More

Black Friday arriving early, on a Saturday
USA Today
Black Friday, the frenzied day of holiday season shopping which traditionally begins after Thanksgiving, will launch this year before trick-or-treaters have had a chance to gobble up much of their Halloween candy.More

Will lower gasoline prices give small businesses a holiday boost?
CNBC
Retail sales forecasts are looking more upbeat heading into the holiday season, as consumer confidence reaches a seven-year high and gas prices continue to fall. But will energy cost savings and more buoyant consumers actually translate into more business activity and sales for main street businesses? More

Wal-Mart and allies in face-off with Apple Pay over mobile payments
Reuters
Suddenly, it's Apple versus Wal-Mart in the fight for shoppers' digital wallets. With the development of a new mobile payment system, a group of retailers led by Wal-Mart Stores is aiming to upend the $4.5 trillion credit card market and control the precious transaction data generated at the checkout line.More

Unwrapping the NRF holiday sales forecast
NRF
As the humorous proverb goes, "It is difficult to predict, especially the future." So, as someone in the business of economic modeling and prediction, it might be useful to explore the rationale behind NRF's 2014 holiday forecast, which calls for a retail sales increase of 4.1 percent to a total of $616.9 billion. More

RadioShack brings on GM bailout veteran to aid turnaround
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
RadioShack Corp. tapped a veteran of the crisis-era auto bailouts for advice on turning around its battered operations. The struggling electronics chain said it had hired Harry Wilson as "chief revitalization officer" to advise the company's board and managers as they work to bring shoppers back into its stores and repair its balance sheet.More

Nordstrom tops luxury ranking list
Retailing Today
America's most affluent prefer Nordstrom's brand of omnichannel retail over some of the biggest luxury retailers out there, according to a new study.More

More retailers turn videos into direct sales channels
Digiday
Buying products from inside a video is not a new concept — YouTube introduced a click-to-buy feature in January 2009 — but more online retailers are experimenting with interactive video sales as the interfaces improve and touchscreens become ubiquitous. Shoppable video is growing up. But without compelling statistics to back up its efficacy, it still has a ways to go.More

How weather forecast predicts Wal-Mart's sales outlook
Advertising Age
Like most retailers, Wal-Mart has been basing decisions on weather data for years in obvious ways, such as putting up umbrella or snow-shovel displays in advance of rain or snow. But now, in the second year of an extensive partnership with the Weather Company, the Earth's largest retailer is delving far deeper into sometimes unlikely correlations between weather and store sales on a ZIP code level.More

'Stores within stores' can draw customers
The Charlotte Observer
From the sales floor of a Charlotte, North Carolina, baby store, Aimee Gallo will give her customers their first chance to touch and feel her products before they buy them. Gallo, owner of Web-based baby shoe retailer Friendly Rooster, will set up a pop-up shop inside Gingersnap Baby, an infant accessory store at the Promenade on Providence shopping center in Ballantyne. More

'Health-committed' consumers represent major opportunities for brands, retailers
MediaPost
People who are committed to healthful eating and lifestyles are well informed about ingredients and food labels, and hard to sway with label claims. Yet they don't fully appreciate the health benefits of frozen fruit and vegetables.More

7-Eleven holds second pay-it-forward pizza campaign Halloween weekend
CSP
On Halloween weekend, 7‑Eleven convenience stores in the greater Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, areas invited residents to do something about hunger in its second "pay-it-forward" pizza campaign.More

Insider's view: C-store industry consolidation continues to accelerate
CSP
The third quarter of 2014 witnessed the escalating pace of merger-and-acquisition activity in the convenience store industry. It was difficult to imagine that any new shock waves could be sent through the industry after the two "game changing" merger-and-acquisition transactions in the C-store industry were announced during the second quarter.More

Infographic: Better-for-you products flood store aisles
CSP
On the heels of the 2014 NACS Show — which, among other trends, focused on convenience stores being part of the better-for-you solution — comes news that more than 30,000 healthier product choices have been made available to consumers between 2002 and 2013, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The new choices represent an additional 10,000 in the past four years.More

Slideshow: 2014 NACS Show functional-beverage beat
CSP
History books may one day point to 2014 as the year protein drinks and sports drinks merged. Sure, Monster was a year early in launching its Muscle Monster with 25 grams of protein, but the functional-beverage category came a long way in 2014, as well illustrated by the bevy of new products on the NACS Show floor.More

Junonia enters C-store arena
CSP
In a deal that includes the formation of a new company, Town Star Holding LLC, an affiliate of Junonia Capital LLC of Fort Myers, Florida, has purchased 13 convenience stores and three quick-service restaurants in Florida from TimeSaver Food Stores Company, Port St. Lucie, Florida.More

Slideshow: Readers' Picks: Top 10 products of October
CSP
The month of October brought C-store buyers a bounty of new products to consider for their stores, from better-for-you breakfast sandwiches to a variety of software solutions promising more efficiency between the store and the forecourt. But only 10 can say they are an October Readers' Pick.More

Maryland: Fort Meade happenings on and off-post
Soundoff!
More

Virginia: Belvoir briefs for Oct. 30
Belvoir Eagle
More

Army Sustainment Command assists in combating Ebola in West Africa
U.S. Army
The U.S. Army Sustainment Command is providing direct support to Operation United Assistance to combat Ebola in West Africa. The Army Sustainment Command's Army Prepositioned Stocks program was tasked to assist in Operation United Assistance to provide 25 Force Provider Modules from assets stored in Livorno, Italy. More

New York: Fort Drum civilian employees receive recognition
The Mountaineer Online
Fort Drum community members recently gathered to recognize 28 outstanding employees from across the installation during the Civilian of the Quarter luncheon for the fourth quarter of the 2014 fiscal year.More

Avoiding the rush to failure: The judge advocate's role in the emergency operations center
InsuranceNewsNet.com
Introduction: Extreme weather disasters have hammered the United States with increasing frequency and cost in recent years; in the years 2011 and 2012, natural disasters cost the federal government almost $25 billion; and military installations are not immune to the impact of weather-related events. The potential impact of these natural and man-made disasters upon nearby military installations is significant in terms of both potential and actual loss of life and damage to property. The role of the judge advocate as a member of the EOC staff requires a broad spectrum of knowledge.More