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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Jun. 15, 2012
Executive Briefing

President's Message

Sign of the times:

It was only a matter of time until the subject of meetings and conferences hit Main Street, we have been pointing this out for the last several years. We made sure in our meeting planning that we took this into account from both a location and a content strategy. We will continue to do this in the future to maximize the deliverables. Along these lines, we have also developed a webinar-type capability that we will use to capture some of our brick and mortar sessions and make them available over the internet. You will see a demonstration of this shortly from several of the sessions we captured from the commissary roundtable. This is our first venture into this area so we will continue to improve.

Defense Department:

DoD freezes conferences, associated travel
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Andrew Tilghman
The Pentagon has ordered a freeze on all new large-scale conferences and conference-related travel pending a sweeping review that aims to cut travel costs across the Defense Department.

Over 100,000 have signed up! Email is the way reach out. Don't hope that a few people will visit a website and click on your banner. Deliver your message directly into their inboxes. Contests, Events, Special Promotions, Commissary and Exchange Sales and more. Everybody on this email list has visited the website and signed up to receive your email message of interest to the military community. Contact or (845) 454-7900. More

Now I see the elephant:


Panel: Automatic defense cuts would be worse than feared
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via Arizona Daily Star
Based on a special task force's calculations, the group said the cuts would mean an indiscriminate, across-the-board 15 percent reduction in programs and activities within the military, not the 10 percent that had been estimated.

The Pentagon's biggest threat in years? Budget cuts
Read the Full Story
NPR, Larry Abramson
The Pentagon says it's trying to fend off one of the biggest threats to national security in decades - budget cuts. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, Pentagon officials are warning members of Congress to find a way out of a budget stalemate or risk undercutting the effectiveness of the nation's military.

Gold Medal Products Co.

Gold Medal has more than 350 employees committed to fueling our product lines with sales-generating concessions, as well as specialty foods machines and supplies. In addition to the network of dealers world-wide, Gold Medal has 11 branches throughout the nation to serve you. MORE

The question will be not if there will be cuts in defense spending, rather how big will the cuts be:

In any discussions about reaching a middle ground that will avoid sequestration, the simple fact remains that there will be no segment of the economy or government that goes unscathed. Here is one view of how to prepare for the inevitable.

Preemptive budget cuts suggested for Pentagon
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Walter Pincus
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday that the Defense Department could head off far deeper budget reductions by preemptively agreeing to cut $10 billion a year for the next decade.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association

Washington Update

Hiring veterans is good business
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most companies canvassed in a study recently published say it's good business to hire veterans because of their leadership and teamwork skills, but some negative perceptions about veterans persist among business leaders. More

Direct Mail Reaches Military Families Where They Live
The Military Shopper Insight Study reported that shoppers want information and coupons in advance to help them save money by planning at home. Active duty families living on post will receive Judy Johnson's Military Family Mailbox envelopes for Labor day and again for Veterans Day. Active duty families on post is the segment of the market with the most potential new commissary shoppers. Young active duty families are your core customers. Reach them at home! Get them into the store!

Pentagon must help jobless vets translate skills
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Pentagon and Labor Department must become "more adept" at translating military experience into marketable skills to help veterans find work, according to a report by a Washington-based research group. More

GI bill to benefit 99,000 jobless vets
Army Times via Current Mil-Tech News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new veterans education benefit could help 99,000 unemployed veterans learn new skills in career fields forecast to have high job growth over the next decade, a senior Veterans Affairs Department official said. More

Military will soon pay more for former soldiers than current ones
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Pentagon soon will spend more on health care and other benefits for former military personnel than on the men and women fighting today's conflicts, according to a new study. More

Marines to boost ranks on Okinawa
Stars and Stripes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The United States plans to add thousands of Marines to bases on Okinawa, swelling the ranks here to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War, even as Washington works with Japan on a new agreement to reduce the controversial American military presence on the island, the Department of Defense has confirmed. More


Uniweb shelving provides cost effective solutions to upgrade your existing shelving while allowing more product facings in the same merchandising space which will enhance sales volume for your stores! In addition to retail fixturing, Uniweb can create modular spaces which include cash or manager’s offices, secure rooms, and back offices.

NFL, military partner to discuss brain injuries
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a conference room on the third floor of the Pentagon, introductions were made and the conversation quickly turned to concussions. Everyone seated at the long table had impressive credentials from either the battlefield or the football field. More

Commissary News

Coming home
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study confirms what many in the industry have thought (and what many of us as consumers are doing ourselves): People are preparing more foods at home. In fact, 7 in 10 Americans say they are cooking more instead of going out in an effort to save money, according to a survey released in mid-May by The Harris Poll. Fifty-seven percent of consumers agree that going out for dinner is now a luxury, compared to their previous dining preferences, and less than a third (29 percent) say they would cut other expenses in order to be able to eat away from home. More

US grocery shoppers can now pre-shop, compare grocery deals at their local supermarkets across the country
PRNewswire via MarketWatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
MyGroceryDeals allows users to simply add their grocery list and the site will find the best local advertised deals and coupons in their area, saving visits to multiple websites and flyers. Members can also opt-in to an email service, which sends e-flyers to their inbox each week when their favorite store deals become available. More

Dairy groups oppose law allowing raw milk sales
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The two organizations representing America's dairy farmers and dairy foods companies jointly announced their opposition to a U.S. Senate proposal that would allow interstate sales of raw milk. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill, No. 2180, that would allow the direct sale of raw milk and raw milk products across state lines, "greatly enhancing the chances that people will become sick because of increased consumption of unpasteurized milk," the two groups said in a letter sent to members of the Senate. More

Kroger plans coffee K-Cups
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kroger Co, the biggest U.S. supermarket chain, is planning to introduce store-branded single-serve coffee cups compatible with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc's popular Keurig brewers, a company spokesman recently told Reuters. More

Americans spending less money on groceries, but greater share of it on processed food
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Health advocates have one tip for Americans trying to eat less fat, sodium and sugar in their diets: Shop the perimeter. In other words, buy food from the produce, dairy and meat aisles and avoid the inner lanes where processed foods and sugary snacks hang out. But turns out this advice is either badly needed, or being badly ignored, as the greatest portion of Americans' grocery spend is straight from the center aisles. More

'Cake Boss' creator to roll out line to bakeries, groceries
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro says he's long wanted to give fans of his popular TLC reality show an opportunity to taste the creations viewers watch him bake and decorate. More

The way Americans are shopping for groceries is truly worrying
Business Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The latest entry in NPR's eye-opening "Graphing America" series takes a deeper look into how Americans' spending habits have changed at the grocery store. One of the most interesting findings is how much we've reduced spending on groceries over the last few decades, even as the cost of many foods has soared. More

Save money on your grocery bill
Erie Times-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In these economic times, stretching your grocery dollars can sometimes be a challenge. But a little shopping savvy and some creative thinking can help you rake in the savings when purse strings are tight. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., 14 June 2012.

DP #12, Update #2.
DP #14, Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
DP #16, Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
DP #17, WW Promotion Package, Family Appreciation Days/Mix-N-Match Case Lot Sale.
September Mix-N-Match Sale, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Thanksgiving/Christmas Seasonal Package – Non-Food.
Summer Club Pack, Update #2.

12-89, Store Reset Dates – Peterson AFB.
12-95, Loyalty Card/Digital Coupon Meeting.

Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 12-24.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

June 19, 2012: Congressional Caucus, Washington, D.C.
August 21–23, 2012: Hawaii Conference & Food Show. Registration is now open on the ALA Website.
Oct. 1–3, 2012: 65th Annual Convention, Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C.

Exchange News

Macy's hires more than 1,000 students
Business Courier    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Macy's Inc. hired more than 1,000 students from America's colleges and universities this year for slots in the company's executive development program and for summer internships nationwide, the company recently announced. More

For the past 13 years, InCharge Debt Solutions has been committed to helping servicemembers find debt relief. For more information on how nonprofit credit counseling can help achieve lasting debt relief, please contact Shawn Walsh ( We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.

Clothing retailers enjoy being able to charge more
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apparel retailers are charging higher prices and customers are accepting them, in a move away from the promotional approach that merchants were saddled with during the recession. Comments about higher prices were heard during their fiscal first quarters and continued as retailers reported sales for May, the first month of their second quarters. (Subscription required.) More

5 reasons to monitor competitors' pricing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Competitor price monitoring helps retailers achieve their desired market position while realizing the best profit for their products. By keeping a regular watch on the pricing of competitors' products, retailers not only generate the up-to-date information needed for immediate pricing decisions and adjustments, but can also use the information for preseason forecasting. More

Best Buy founder and chairman vacates board earlier than planned
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Best Buy Co. recently said its founder and chairman Richard Schulze is resigning from his position on the board, one he has held for more than 40 years. He said he will explore options for his 20.1 percent stake in the electronics retailer. More

Wal-Mart sees sales lift from Pay with Cash
Reuters via Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is seeing a sales lift from new efforts to get more shoppers buying online while still visiting physical stores, Joel Anderson, chief executive of, the ecommerce arm of the world's largest retailer, said. Wal-Mart launched Pay with Cash in late April, allowing customers to order on its website and pay at a store within 48 hours More

Consumer shopping preferences shifting: Online vs. traditional
MediaDailyNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Growing positive marketing efforts and results have consumers shifting preferences when it comes to digital shopping versus the in-person shopping. According to Nielsen, online purchasing for consumers — when it comes to "easiest" — tallied a 68 percent positive response. This compares with mobile purchasing's 27 percent score and in-store's 20 percent number. More

Driving shoppers crazy
STORES    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nothing kills that warm, fuzzy relationship with consumers that retailers strive to achieve and maintain like a rude associate who chats on her cell phone as she rings up an order, or a worker who refuses to make eye contact or say "thank you" — even after a shopper has bagged her own groceries. Employees who feign ignorance or say they'll check stock — only to disappear and never return — also aren't endearing themselves or the retailers they represent to shoppers. More

5 new loyalty perks for shoppers
SmartMoney    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Becoming a card-carrying member of your favorite business's loyalty program is getting more rewarding — even as many stores ditch the actual cards themselves. Retailers, supermarkets and other companies are increasingly adding new benefits to their loyalty programs, which offer shoppers discounts and other perks in exchange for regular business. More

At the Body Shop, it's an experience with the world
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Body Shop on the bustling British retail strip of New Bond Street in London is an oasis of calm. Staffers give hand massages around the "story telling" table, customers peer at handmade notices on the Community Wall, where signatures for the Stop Sex Trafficking campaign are solicited. The prototype for a new "experience based" the Body Shop appears to be going swimmingly. More

Small area restaurant chains see growth options, obstacles
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lookout Tin Drum fans: Founder Steven Chan is planning to share a homegrown favorite restaurant with the rest of the world. After years of prodding, Chan is franchising the Pan Asian fast casual concept he started on Georgia Tech's campus in 2003. It's a big step because he's operated the business on very little debt, which he's achieved by slowing adding locations as his budget has allowed. But Chan, like dozens of other local metro restaurateurs, has caught expansion fever. More

Retail sales in US declined for a 2nd month in May
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retail sales in the U.S. fell in May for a second month, prompting economists to cut forecasts for economic growth as limited job and income gains hold back consumers. The 0.2 percent decrease matched April's drop that was previously reported as a gain, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Sales excluding car dealerships slumped by the most in two years. More

Father's Day spending to increase 10 percent
The Gourmet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gift givers are planning to spend more than ever this Father's Day, according to the latest National Retail Federation survey. The average person will shell out $117.14 on dad's gifts this year, up 10 percent from $106.49 last year, according to NRF's 2012 Father's Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight. More

Burger King rolls out summer BBQ sandwiches, bacon sundae
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Burger King will try to lure customers this summer with a barbecue party — and a bacon sundae. The world's second biggest hamburger chain is launching several pork, beef and chicken sandwiches as limited-time offers. And for a sweet ending, the company is offering a bacon sundae — vanilla soft serve with fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles and a piece of bacon — that started in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this year. More

How to do world-class convenience store foodservice
CSNews Foodservice    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At the recent National Restaurant Association Show, Convenience Store News presented a tactical panel discussion, entitled "How To Do World-Class C-store Foodservice." The overriding message of the panel was that convenience stores need to think and act like restaurants. Food safety and quality, hygiene and cleanliness are paramount whether c-stores follow Kwik Trip's vertical integration model or Nice N Easy's reliance on local distributors and making all food fresh at the store level. More

Wal-Mart sees sales lift from Pay with Cash
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is seeing a sales lift from new efforts to get more shoppers buying online while still visiting physical stores, Joel Anderson, chief executive of, the ecommerce arm of the world's largest retailer, recently said. Wal-Mart launched Pay with Cash in late April, allowing customers to order on its website and pay at a store within 48 hours. More

Exchange Chapter Announcements

Nothing stock about Exchange assortment
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Stock assortment selections are an important subject for both the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and its customers. Spotting hot trends and getting those items quickly on the shelves is a daily mission. In fact, the Exchange is setting a new standard in data collection through partnerships with Nielsen and the NPD Group, globally recognized leaders in consumer and retailer market research. These relationships provide access to raw data, analysis tools and other additional services such on-site representation at Exchange headquarters for one-on-one training with Buyers.

In addition to research, the merchandise selection process is determined by several factors. Buyers meet with suppliers at trade shows as well as vendor and Exchange offices to review product lines. They review trade magazines, attend trade shows, review competitive weekly tabloids and visit the competition. The Exchange also utilizes category management and outside consultants to ensure stock assortments reflect industry practices.

Store input and feedback are also critical factors in product selection. The Buying Teams conduct quarterly conference calls to designated facilities and participate in "Meet the Buyer" visits. During these meetings, buyers frequently walk various departments to ask shoppers if they are able to find the styles, pricing and sizes they are looking for and find out what patrons would like to see added to their Exchange's stock assortment.

"We study the market extensively when deciding upon stock assortments," said the Exchange's Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. "Our Buyers review all of the information available and take every bit of information into account when making selections on what the Exchange stocks on its shelves. The result is selections as unique as the locations our facilities serve."

Satisfying all Exchange customers in regards to merchandise assortment is an ongoing challenge, but one the organization continually works to achieve. In the event that a shopper is looking for a particular product or brand, they are encouraged to talk with their local store management to discuss the specific items they would like made available.

Save the date!
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June 25: ALA New York Chapter Golf Event
Click here for registration form and directions.

Operation Give Back — Mission Summer
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Participating locations:
Fort Bragg
Fort Hood
Fort Campbell
Fort Lewis
Fort Bliss
Wright-Patterson AFB
Lackland AFB
Scott AFB
Nellis AFB
Tinker AFB

Timing: June 29-July 1

POS will be sent to the Industry POC's by June 15 for placement in the stores two weeks prior to generate excitement. Any donations, gift cards, raffle items, etc. can be mailed to the attention of the base GM. Please put Operation Give Back on the mailing so they know exactly what it is for.

This is a very high profile event with our customer and going to a very good cause. Need to be sure Industry is supporting this event at these 10 bases. All companies supporting will be credited in Industry publications.

Please let Marcia Doyle know what support you or your manufacturers are offering (i.e. gift cards, tastings, donations) at so she can make sure no one gets left out.

Exchange Announcements

ALA Exchange E-Blast week 6/15/12

The ALA Exchange Council welcomes Mr. Tom Schull to AAFES and Military Resale!

Kharl Mena and the NEW team has designed the following banner for its customer and exchange site. Great work!

ALA Executive Briefing June 8, 2012

AAFES Sales Flyers — to view click below: Chapter Announcement:

The Hampton Roads ALA will be hosting its 13th annual Benefit Luncheon for AREA, NEREA and HRALA Scholarship Programs on Nov. 28, at the Virginia Beach Sheraton from noon-3 p.m.

Special guest speakers will be NEXCOM CEO Robert Bianchi and AAFES COO Mike Howard. Companies interested in sponsoring the event should contact Cory Belkov at

Click for flier.

June 25: ALA New York Chapter Golf Event
Click here for registration form and directions.

Save the dates:

June 19, 2012
Rayburn House Office Building
Room B339
Washington, D.C.

Thank you for registering for the 2012 Congressional Caucus! We have a very full schedule planned, beginning with breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

Guest speakers throughout the day include Robert Gordon, John Kamensky, Rick Maze, Robbie Rich, Dr. David Vine, Congressman Joe Wilson, R-S.C., Congresswoman Susan Davis, D-Calif., Congressman Adam Smith, D-Wash., Congressman Stanford Bishop, D-Ga., Congressman Allen West, R-Fla., and Congressman Randy Forbes, R-Va. Additionally, a panel will address base access policies, procedures and legislation, and a team will cover federal and nonappropriated contracting in a volatile budget environment.

A full schedule of events is now available on our Caucus webpage:

2012 Congressional Caucus

See you next week!

August 21–23, 2012 — Hawaii Conference & Food Show, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu

Oct. 1-3, 2012 — 65th Annual Convention, OMNI Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Go to:, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.

Washington Update

Fort Hood WTB opens new campus to help soldiers heal
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Soldiers assigned to the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade here now have a consolidated campus environment to better serve their needs and fit their mission of healing. III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General Lt. Gen. Don Campbell Jr. joined WTB leadership June 6 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the new WTB barracks to officially open the complex. More

Job fairs offer opportunities for transitioning soldiers, veterans, family members
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are you a soldier transitioning from active duty and looking for your next job? A veteran? Or a family member wanting to continue your career? Garrison Army Career and Alumni Program and Army Community Service offices support hundreds of job fairs on or near our installations every year. The following is a list of events for transitioning soldiers, veterans and family members coming up in the next three months. More

AF consolidates 3 field operating agencies
Air Force Personnel Center    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Three San Antonio-based field operating agencies officially consolidated with the initial operational capability announcement, Air Force officials said. The Air Force Personnel Center, Air Force Services Agency and Air Force Manpower Agency, FOAs under the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, are now the new Air Force Personnel Center, and efforts are underway fully integrate the agencies' functions. More

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Executive Briefing
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