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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Feb. 3, 2012
Executive Briefing

President's Message

Dear ALA members:

I am sending you this letter seeking your help.

American Industry has been repeatedly recognized by the White House for their support of hiring veterans and military family members. ALA wanted to ensure that our industry and the resale agencies were recognized for its contributions as well.

In August 2011, the ALA, with support from the Military Resale Commands entered into a dialogue with the White House on the contributions that the military resale system makes to quality of life. We told them of the tremendous benefits from commissaries, exchanges and MWR programs in providing savings for our military people.

We also advised them of the hard work and dedication of the thousands of commissary employees and exchange associates that each and every day work hard to improve these programs. We told them of our industry's commitment to hire veterans and pledged to work with the White House to employ 25,000 more veterans and military family members in ALA member companies in addition to the thousands that already work in our member companies.

The military resale leadership is behind this effort and has pledged to work with industry to help ensure that these hiring goals are met. ALA, working with the military resale entities and the White House and the Department of Defense, will recognize companies that excel in hiring veterans and family members at its annual convention in Washington this Fall. An additional incentive was the recent addition of support in the form of tax breaks for companies that hire veterans. We would like to get this information to our member company's human relations specialists so they can take advantage of these new incentives.

ALA and its member companies are proud to be recognized for their understanding of the challenges facing our military members with the unemployment and under employment of veterans and military family members. Recently passed legislation has provided incentives to help that can make this "good deed, good business." Click here to view details of the hiring Heroes Act. Attached to this hiring act are the IRS forms used to seek credit for hiring veterans.

Each month the White House Joining Forces office contacts us to report to them the numbers of veterans/family members hired by our member companies the previous month. So far, with the cooperation of only about 30 companies we have reported 1,100 veterans/family members hired since Oct. 1, 2011. NOTE: The information we report is only kept in the Joining Forces office and is never released to anyone. This is where we need your help.


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We know that our ALA member companies nationally are hiring many veterans/family members; however, we believe that the few companies who are reporting to us are just looking at the hiring for the military community jobs. We need your help with us collecting the hiring of these individuals for your company nationally.

We need your assistance in helping us gather information from your Company Human Resources people the veterans/family members hired each month. We will then report these numbers, by company, to the White House Joining Forces office. Again, the information we provide them is never released outside the Joining Forces office.

I have appointed Bob Ellis,, 817-201-9921, our VP, Exchange/MWR/VCS Affairs, and Russ Moffett,, 804-720-0429, our VP, Commissary Affairs, as my contacts for your HR people to discuss this collection process and to be the ones who receive the information monthly from your company. We need your assistance in our working with your company to gather the information. Please let either Bob or Russ know who to contact in your company to begin collecting this information monthly.

Questions concerning this important request may referred to me at, or 410-689-9334.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association

Government Affairs update:

The administration's budget that will be submitted in about two weeks has not yet specifically targeted funding for commissaries and exchanges.

However, it will cut $259 billion from Defense over the next five years in addition to the $178 billion they have already cut.

The threat will continue because yet to be resolved is another $500 to $600 billion in Defense cuts associated with sequestration due to enactment of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and failure of the Supercommittee to come to an agreement on cuts.

Even if Congress maneuvers around sequestration, the budget problem remains. Some place the trajectory for the deficit rising from $17 trillion at the end of 2011 to over $30 trillion before the U.S. Government is operating in the black. Pressure will continue to grow on benefits to include commissaries and exchanges. Already there is talk of a commission to examine compensation for the armed forces. There is a rising call in many sectors to increase fees on medical care and reduce other parts of the overall military compensation package.

Adding to the budget pressure is the on going restructuring and transformation of the military to adapt to emerging global threats. This restructuring already is having its effects as demonstrated by the removal of 10,000 to 12,000 troops from Europe (reportedly in Baumholder and Schweinfurt). There will be other geographic effects of this restructuring including in the Pacific and in the United states as the military continues to right-size its force structure and capabilities. Further, military base operations will undergo continued transformation as budgets are reduced. DoD plans to take out some 80,000 or so Army and Marines from the existing force. They are asking Congress for two more rounds of base closures.

Just in this past year, we have had to beat back continued assaults on funding for these programs. These skirmishes will continue as the fundamental problem — the deficit — and the need to find Defense savings — is not going away. Assaults this year included:
  • Efforts within the administration to close commissary stores and reduce funding for the core benefit.
  • The Congressional Budget Office continues to recommend consolidation of commissaries and exchanges, price increases, and commercially redeemable vouchers. It also results in price increases, primarily for retirees.
  • Findings of the Bowles Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission to reduce commissary and exchange funding and raise prices to patrons.
  • S 277 was discharged by the full Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to provide benefits for injured military personnel at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The bill payer was the commissary and exchange benefit.
  • Senator Tom Coburn, R-W.Va., issued a Back in Black report that recommended consolidation of commissaries and exchanges and price increases as part of a $9 trillion deficit reduction proposal.
  • An amendment was proposed to the National Defense Authorization Act to consolidate commissaries and exchanges and increase prices.
All of these efforts have their roots in the Congressional Budget deficit reduction finding. This finding is particularly dangerous because it is "pre-scored" as having documented savings under the budget control rules. Moreover, it is particularly dangerous because it is touted as an "efficiency" initiative when, in fact, when the veneer is removed, it is an outright attack on the benefit and will result in creased prices.

While these efforts have failed to materialize in hard reductions to the benefit, in the case of the Veterans Affairs Committee, it was the first time that any proposal of this nature had progressed this far in the Congress. At one point, it was poised for full Senate floor debate.

The bottom line is that we can expect continued pressure on the budget and must remain vigilant to protect the commissary and exchange funding levels.

Industry needs to actively support initiatives by the ALA to guard against reductions:

ALA has an active Government Affairs program to educate lawmakers and Administration officials of the need for these benefits. ALA is working with the Appropriations and Authorizing Committees, the White House and the Pentagon.

ALA is making an economic case for the benefits to show that any savings on cutting funding for commissaries and exchanges are illusory.

ALA is holding its Congressional and Public Policy Forum in the Rayburn House Office Building on June 19, 2012, where these and other issues affecting the resale system will be discussed.

ALA has begun a major initiative to increase awareness of the benefit and therefore sale as well as galvanize support to resist cuts with patrons and affinity groups. This is called the Coalition to Save our Military Shopping Benefits. This effort has the support of all of the resale commanders.

The budget update:

Defense budget cuts would limit raises and close bases
Read the Full Story
The New York Times, Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker
The Pentagon took the first major step toward shrinking its budget after a decade of war as it announced it wanted to limit pay raises for troops, increase health insurance fees for military retirees and close bases in the United States.

Panetta outlines Pentagon cutbacks
Read the Full Story
The Wall Street Journal, Julian E. Barnes, Adam Entous and Nathan Hodge
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the reshaping of the defense budget would leave the U.S. in position to simultaneously fight a land war with North Korea and prevent Iran from closing the Strait of Hormuz, if necessary, despite deep cuts in conventional forces.

Asia-Pacific region spared knife as Panetta slashes US forces
Read the Full Story
The Weekend Australian, Brad Norington
Recently, Panetta outlined proposals for removing two army heavy brigades stationed in Europe and closing several bases inside the U.S. But the Pentagon's shrinking of forces would not come at a cost to the Asia-Pacific, where the U.S. intends to base up to 2500 troops in Darwin and explore an opportunity for expanding its deployment of forces in The Philippines as a counter to China's growing military strength in the region.

GOP lawmaker on potential BRAC request: 'Kill it'
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Kate Brannen
Rep. Buck McKeon, Republican chair of the House Armed Services Committee, did not mince words when asked what he would do to a Pentagon request for domestic base closures.

Democrats in delegation ask about bases
Read the Full Story
The associated Press via The Boston Globe
Sen. John F. Kerry is asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for a briefing on any military base closing proposals that could jeopardize bases in Massachusetts.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association

Washington Update

CBO weighs in with a report on wages
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A report by the Congressional Budget Office will add fuel to the ongoing controversy about federal pay, and it is the workers who will feel the heat. The report compares private- and public-sector pay and finds that Uncle Sam's staff sometimes comes out on top. More

Hire Veterans and Military Spouses

Please communicate your jobs available for veterans and military spouses. Place notices for local or national employment opportunities in their official military base newspapers. Contact

US Navy, Marines say more capable arms offset cuts
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Senior officials from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recently said growing capabilities of new weapons systems could help offset cuts in defense spending that will shrink the number of ships and aircraft in coming years. More

Budget cuts may slash additional Marine units
Marine Corps Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Massive budget cuts recently announced by the Pentagon will likely force the Marine Corps to slash an additional infantry battalion and some light armored reconnaissance elements while scaling back planned expansion of its special operations command, a Marine general said. More

Social Media for Military Families
For 23 years, Market Tactics, Inc. has worked to bring special savings and consumer promotions directly to our military community.
Now thanks to a potent combination of Social Media, Digital Promotions and Email, our Brand Partners are benefitting like never before. Please visit us at or contact us at 619-522-2957.

Possibility of base closures triggers new anxiety for officials
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent suggestion by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that the military needs another round of base closures triggered a new wave of anxiety among state and local officials, including cities that surround Naval Air Station Fort Worth. Rarely do those civic leaders back down when it comes to defending their military turf. More

Commissary News

POS drives replenishment in Food Lion test
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Food Lion is working on changing the way CPG vendors such as PepsiCo replenish its distribution centers and stores by offering them visibility into current and expected consumer demand as reflected by store-level inventory and sales. "We're moving to a consumer-driven supply chain," said Scott Craig, director of supply chain at Delhaize America, during the Supply Chain Conference, sponsored by FMI and GMA. More

'Hire a Veteran' campaign salutes PepsiCo for putting America's real heroes to work after serving their country
PepsiCo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Spike TV, a division of Viacom, recently featured PepsiCo in a public service announcement as part of its initiative to support veterans returning from service in the armed forces and to highlight their transferable skills as they transition to civilian jobs. More

Antibiotic-free meat not free of drug-resistant bacteria
ScienceNow    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you're paying premium prices for pesticide- and antibiotic-free meat, you might expect that it's also free of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Not so, according to a new study. The prevalence of one of the world's most dangerous drug-resistant microbe strains is similar in retail pork products labeled "raised without antibiotics" and in meat from conventionally raised pigs, researchers have found. More

Warm January a mixed blessing for supermarkets
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An unusually warm and snow-free month of January favored retailers offering variety and convenience — and likely was a mixed blessing for supermarkets. More

Maintain and use collaborative grocery lists
Lifehacker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The grocery store can be a rather unpleasant place if you're not prepared for it, but using collaborative grocery list apps with your significant other or roommates can make the process easier. Here's how to do it. More

Piggly Wiggly Carolina grows online grocery service
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After offering online shopping in 10 stores for the past four years, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. has expanded its "Click'n Shop" program to 26 more locations, for a total of 36 stores. Using the online shopping solution, Piggly Wiggly Carolina shoppers can buy groceries online and opt to pick up their purchases at the store or have them delivered. Shoppers can also access online circulars to view weekly sale items and then add them to their carts. More

Grocery shoppers can be both fiscally responsible, health conscious
Iowa State Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Grocery shopping can be a difficult task. For the fiscally minded, health-conscious individuals, grocery shopping can be a challenge in trying to stay within a budget while buying healthy food. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., 2 Feb. 12.

DP #5, Update #1.
DP #6, Update #1.
Spring Club Pack, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
2012 May WW Mix & Match Sale (Formerly Case Lot Sale).
Canning, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Easter, Update #2.

12-32, In-Store Marketing Initiatives.
12-34, Store Reset Dates — Nellis has been cancelled.
12-39, Store Reset Dates — Nellis AF.
12-41, Cross Merchandising Support for "Go Lean on Protein" Program.

Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 12-05.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

May 1, 2012, ALA and DeCA Appreciation Day Golf Tournament, Fort Lee, Va.
May 2 & 3, 2012, ALA & DeCA Roundtable, Marriott, Richmond, Va. Watch for information.
June 19, 2012, Congressional Caucus, Washington, D.C.

Exchange News

Ecommerce sales to reach $200 billion in 2012
Luxury Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ecommerce is continuing to increase about 17 percent year over year and will likely account for $200 billion in sales in 2012, according to a presentation at the Women's Wear Daily Digital Forum. More

Pet owners shopping around
Marketing Daily via MediaPost News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pet product marketers and retailers might want to rethink their strategies due to an increasingly competitive marketplace, according to Packaged Facts. Pet owners are shopping around, says David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts. Data from Packaged Facts' September 2011 Pet Owner Survey data show that 47 percent of pet product buyers shop for these items at a variety of stores. More

Home Depot plans to accept PayPal in all stores
Internet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Home Depot Inc. plans to begin accepting PayPal at all of its bricks-and-mortar stores by March, according to a spokeswoman for PayPal, the payments services arm of eBay Inc. More

A breakfast run for the border: Taco Bell starts slinging eggs in the morning
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Taco Bell, the fast-food chain that caters to late-night snacking, is making a play for the breakfast crowd. The Mexican-style restaurant chain recently introduced a breakfast menu at almost 800 restaurants, mostly in nearly a dozen Western states, including California. The rollout adds to the scramble among fast-food heavyweights competing for the morning allegiance of on-the-go consumers. More

UPS sees improving US economy
The atlanta Journal-Constitution    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shoppers were willing to spend this holiday season, particularly online, UPS executives said. That shows the U.S. economy is getting better, even as the economies of Europe and the rest of the world continue to struggle. More

Pep Boys to be acquired in $791 buyout
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack, has agreed to be taken private by private equity firm The Gores Group for about $791 million. The total transaction, including debt, is valued at about $1 billion. More

Valentine's Day spending to near $18 billion
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Consumers this year are set to spoil their friends, family and loved ones this Valentine's Day in a very big way. According to NRF's 2012 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGinsight, the average person celebrating the holiday will shell out $126.03, up 8.5 percent over last year's $116.21 and the highest in the survey's 10-year history. More

Wendy's reports strongest sales growth since 2004
Business Wire via MarketWatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Wendy's Co. recently reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Jan. 1, highlighted by the strongest same-store sales growth since 2004. More

Store brands step up their games — and prices
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every year, U.S. shoppers buy more generic goods, many of them trading down from more expensive, name-brand labels to save money. But consumers are developing loyalty to store brands for reasons besides price, and that could be a problem for food and consumer products companies as the economy rebounds. (Subscription required.) More

Food industry urged to embrace new growth paths
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The food industry needs to take bold steps — in everything from data practices to supply chain — in order to jump-start growth in the face of unprecedented hurdles, said John Compton, CEO, PepsiCo Americas Foods and Global Snacks Group. More

Banana Republic offers career perks to military
Marketing Daily via MediaPost    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Banana Republic is unveiling a special program aimed at helping those in the military find civilian employment, including a special 50 percent off promotion for service members and their families, and resume-writing and wardrobe workshops around the country. Called "Our Duty to You," the program is meant to flex the brand's expertise in workplace style. More

Exchange Announcements

2012 Exchange Roundtable

Click here for the agenda!

Government per-diem rate for the Roundtable expires Feb. 6, 2012!

Joining forces to give back
March 7-9, 2012
Sheraton Waterside
Norfolk, Virginia

Registration is now open!

Click here for more info.

Washington Update

Secretary of the Army reaffirms support for soldiers, families
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Secretary of the Army John McHugh reaffirmed the Army's support to soldiers and families during a visit to the headquarters of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command on Jan. 11. Although there will be many changes coming to the Army, said McHugh, "What won't change is our commitment to taking care of Soldiers and families." More

Year in review: USAG-HI supports Hawaii's Army family
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, 2011 focused upon resiliency, net zero goals and operating within fiscal constraints, among other initiatives. Directorates and offices achieved numerous milestones, from hosting the 40th Fourth of July Spectacular, to surpassing Army Emergency Relief goals, to supporting Army Force Generation, called ARFORGEN — the Army's core process of building trained and ready forces — with innovation. More

Army's biggest stateside lodging facility nears completion at Fort Lee
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The corridors in the 1,000-room lodging facility at Fort Lee aren't just long, they're Army long. Starting most likely in the fall, the two miles of hallways in the seven-story building will be accommodating initial traffic from military guests at the largest Army lodge in the continental United States. More

Army releases 2012 Modernization Plan for Research, Development and Acquisition
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Army recently released its Modernization Plan in support of the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) President's Budget Request for Army Research, Development and Acquisition equipment funds. The Modernization Plan is a blueprint for the Army's priority equipment necessary for our soldiers to succeed in current operations and to prepare for missions in a complex and unpredictable future. More

LivingFit helps Airmen, families reach weight loss goals
Air Force Services Agency    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new year often begins with resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. Air Force services officials recently launched a new program designed to help Airmen and families accomplish this common goal through proper nutrition and activity. More

Executive Briefing
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