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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only July 1, 2011
Executive Briefing

President's Message

May God bless and keep America safe and strong:

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

ALA announces key patron awareness initiative:

1133 15th St., NW, Ste. 640
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 202-466-2520, Fax: 202-296-4419

American Logistics Association retains e-commerce technology developer Cinsay Inc. to provide complete interface capability for businesses serving U.S. armed service members

Initiative targets 15 million consumers on behalf of companies doing business with on-base military retailers and veterans' retail outlets

The American Logistics Association, a trade association for consumer package goods and service and distribution companies doing business with on-base military businesses and veterans' retail outlets, has announced that it will be launching a ground-breaking association management, consumer interface and affinity formulation and activation capability.

ALA President Pat Nixon said the technology initiative is designed to keep pace with the changes in the military marketplace and demography to include more consumer outreach, along with a need to be more flexible and contemporary in the offering of service to the association's membership:
  • Whereas most military families used to reside on base, most now reside off base.
  • Over the years, shopping privileges for these stores with savings from 20 to 32 percent off of commercial counterparts have expanded to include more reservists and National Guard and their families.
  • ALA is seeking to raise the profile of the military resale system and morale, welfare and recreation programs with national efforts to recognize and assist military families including first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's Joining Forces initiative.
  • Industry is seeking more avenues to promote their products to the military.
  • The military consumer is more Web savvy and discerning wanting Web as well as bricks and mortar choices.
  • Military retailers are reaching out to their customer base via the Web more than ever, and ALA needs to tailor its management to the evolving Internet trends.
  • Advancements in Web technology including media streaming facilitate communications to this more discerning and sophisticated market.
  • Rapid changes in the military resale system demand instant communication with patrons and ALA member companies.
  • There is a need to amplify messaging via social media to reach out to patrons not using the stores.
  • There is an increasing need to ensure policymakers are aware of the benefits of these programs.
  • Federal budget constraints dictate that consumers need to be aware of the status of their benefits and that a Web driven affinity group is needed.
  • Web communications need to be integrated with more traditional conferences to ensure maximum reach to industry.
"The initiative is designed to get out in front of changes taking place in consumer Internet behavior, a more austere Federal budget climate and the ability of the Internet to create and activate an affinity group to advocate for continuation of these important quality of life benefits for military personnel and their families and retirees and veterans," said Pat Nixon, ALA president.

Nixon said that the effort will raise the profile of the benefits to the military from the operation of these stores including employment of more than 50,000 military family members, savings of nearly $8 billion a year to military households and myriad contributions from industry to causes and charities such as Fisher House, the National Military Family Association, USO and military family scholarship programs.

"We will be turbo-charging our outreach to the nearly 15 million patrons of these programs and increasing awareness of the benefits of these programs to the nearly 100 million Americans who have an affinity with the U.S. military," Nixon said. Nixon also said the program is designed to reach out to particularly to Internet savvy younger military families who need to be aware of and take advantage of the tremendous savings that can be realized by shopping at these stores.

Toward this end, ALA has entered into an agreement with Cinsay, a state-of-the-art e-commerce technology company to apply its technology to allow ALA to adapt to demographic, technology and austerity trends affecting its business.

"We plan to leverage the power of the retailing nature of our business to strengthen the association and the military resale system itself," Nixon said.

"The technology platform will include traditional association Web capabilities enhanced with several new features," Nixon said. "We will be using our relationships with the Military Shopping Channel's celebrity community that has an affinity for the military to raise the profile of the military's retail network. The ALA Web-presence will include an association management portal and a military consumer affinity portal."

Christian Briggs, chairman of the board at Cinsay Inc., said, "We are honored to be selected to further the important work of the association and their prestigious membership. We will be completely customizing the Cinsay technology platform to include both traditional association Web capabilities, as well as a number of exciting new enhancements we think are going to 'wow' members and consumers alike."

In addition to traditional association Web offerings of static information and conference registrations, the association management portal will provide for Web streaming of employee training, product information, interactive teleconferencing for government and industry people who cannot travel to ALA's conferences, and Web-streaming of information back and forth from government to industry. The consumer portal will provide an avenue for industry to display products, offer electronic and downloadable coupons, register beneficiaries for information on their commissary, exchange and MWR benefits, provide other promotions and discounts and connect to the various websites of the exchanges, commissaries, other on-base MWR programs and the Military Shopping Channel.

About ALA
The ALA is a modern, best practice trade association that has become industry's "First Call" when dealing with the complex issues of navigating the military marketplace. The military channel comprised of military Commissaries (grocery stores), Exchanges (convenience stores, department stores, food concessions, gas stations, communications and electronics, wine, beer and spirits, ship's stores, tactical retail outlets), Morale, Welfare and Recreation sales and services (restaurants, child care, fitness centers, libraries, auto service), Veteran's Canteen Service (retail outlets in VA Hospitals and offices), constitutes a business environment with close to $20 billion in annual sales.

About Cinsay
Cinsay Inc. delivers groundbreaking media and e-commerce experiences through its next-generation video, advertising and e-commerce enterprise platform. Leveraging the latest Internet and mobile technology, the Cinsay platform leverages the strong impact video content has on a consumer's decision to purchase and then Cinsay's proprietary e-commerce software brings the store to the consumer and successfully turns a viewer into a shopper and a shopper into a buyer.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Commissary savings at risk to help ill Lejeune vets    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In these tight budget times, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has learned it must cut current spending to fund new initiatives for veterans. To free up billions of dollars for the cost of providing VA health care to veterans and family members exposed to contaminated water over three decades at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., won approval, without debate, to consolidate all base exchanges and commissary operations worldwide into a single for-profit retailing system.

To view bill, click here.

Defense budget hinges on debt talks
DefenseNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With tension surrounding the U.S. debt talks growing, President Barack Obama stepped forward to argue that non-security discretionary spending should not be the only target of budget cuts. A balanced approach that also includes tax reform and trimming the Pentagon's budget is needed, the president said during a June 29 news conference. More

Gates: Defense not the cause of budget deficit
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Military spending is not the cause of the $1.4 trillion U.S. budget deficit, and even a "disastrous" 10 percent cut would only reduce the budget shortfall by some $50 billion — about 4 percent, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says. More

Americans see Army, Marines as most important to defense
Gallup    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans believe that the U.S. Army and Marines are the most important to national defense, followed by the Air Force and Navy. This differs from the years prior to the start of the Iraq war, when Americans named the Air Force as the most important branch of the armed forces. More

Employment opportunities for military spouses expand
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Defense Department officials and U.S. Chamber of Commerce leaders recently joined Jill Biden in launching the Military Spouse Employment Partnership to connect husbands and wives of service members from all military branches with long-term career opportunities. The program aims to match the skills of military spouses who want to work with the needs of businesses nationwide. More

At Pentagon, is change in US Army attire a step back from a war footing?
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just as the U.S. troop draw down in Afghanistan announced by President Barack Obama has been characterized as the beginning of the end of the war, the U.S. Army is making a highly symbolic change that similarly signals an ebb in combat footing. More

Commissary News

SVM to match Commissary Gift Card donations 'operation basic needs'
The Sacramento Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The newly launched Commissary Gift Card can be used by military personnel, retirees and their families to make purchases at any one of the commissaries operated worldwide. In honor of the men and women that serve our country, SVM, LP is matching all Commissary Gift Card purchases donated to USA Cares through a special designated website. More

America's first zero-packaging grocery store to open in Austin
Time    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefEver feel a pang of guilt throwing away glass bottles, plastic containers, and loads of other completely reusable packaging materials? If that's you, then the zero-waste grocery store in.gredients coming to Austin, Texas, will be your new favorite store. More

New lows: Beverage manufacturers are churning out low- and no-calorie versions of their functional drinks
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans are cutting calories, not just by switching what's on the end of their fork, but also by throwing back better-for-you versions of their favorite beverages. Armed with stevia sweeteners and other flavor enhancers, manufacturers are bringing line extensions to the party — and to the delight of consumers, there is little sacrifice to taste. More

Hot ideas, fresh from the oven
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Supermarket bakery products continue to evolve, along with ways to market and prepare them. Whether from the in-store bakery, frozen and refrigerated cases or commercial bakery aisles, consumers are choosing an ever-widening range of sweet and savory baked goods — and even concocting their own creations at home from ingredients also purchased at grocery stores. More

Mintel: Sauces, marinades market seasoned with growth
Gourmet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The return to the kitchen that has been seen throughout the U.S. recession has amped up many food and drink segments, and the sauces and marinades market is joining the upward swing. "With more people staying in and preparing meals at home, we are not surprised to see this category increase," notes David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website:

DP #16, Far East Promotion and Shipper Quantities.
Severe Weather, Far East & Alaska Quantities.

11-79, Store Reset Dates — Edwards AFB.
11-80, Store Reset Dates — Whiteman AFB.
11-86, DeCA Gift Cards.
11-92, Seasonal Promotion Calendar — 2012.

Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-26.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values as of June 26, 2011.
View Fort Bliss grand opening pictures:

2011 ALA/DeCA Hawaii Conference & Food Show: Aug. 15 – 18, 2011, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii. Registration and agenda information is now available on the website.
Commissary Council Consumer Awareness Team (CAT) golf tournament, Sept. 12, 2011, Country Club of Petersburg, Va. Contact Ainsley Everhart,, for further information and registration.
64th Annual Convention, Oct. 3 – 5, Orlando World Marriott Center, Orlando, Fla. Watch for registration information.

ALA Meetings

2011 meetings
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For details on any of our events, visit our Web page at

2011 ALA/DeCA Hawaii Conference & Food Show: Aug. 15-18, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu. Watch for registration information.

ALA Hawaii Scholarship Golf Tournament: Aug. 16, Kapolei Golf Course, 91701 Farrington Hwy., Waipahu, Hawaii 96797, Phone: 808-674-2227
(Assists DeCA/ALA beneficiaries in going to college.)

Three $4,000 scholarships to be awarded. You can help make this happen!

Shotgun start: 1-1:30 p.m., dinner and awards: 6 p.m. $135/person (industry), $95/person government. (Registration must be received by Aug. 6 to quality for government rate.)

Entry includes greens fees, cart, boxed lunch, buffet dinner and door prizes. Prizes also awarded for longest drive, closest to the pin, best score and hole in one.

Commissary Council Consumer Awareness Team Golf Tournament: Sept. 12, Country Club of Petersburg, Va. Contact Ainsley Everhart at for further information and registration.

64th Annual Convention: Oct. 3-5, Orlando World Marriott Center, Orlando, Fla. Watch for registration information.

Exchange News

Consumer confidence falls in June
The Street    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans are feeling queasier about the economy, according to a June survey by the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. According to 3,000 households polled in the survey, a weak jobs market and less-than-ideal income levels are the main complaints. The confidence index often correlates to equity prices, the state of the job market, media reports and gas prices. More

Walmart offers dime-a-gallon gas discount in 18 states
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just in time for the Fourth of July driving weekend, Walmart is rolling back prices — on gasoline. The giant retailer is offering 10 cents off a gallon at Walmart and Murphy USA stations when purchases are made with a reloadable Walmart gift card, MoneyCard or a Walmart credit card. More

Higher gas prices affecting grocery spending
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With national gas prices 40 percent higher on average today than a year ago, many shoppers are having difficulty affording their weekly groceries. It is also a difficult situation for CPG companies, with manufacturers experiencing increased costs due to rising commodity and processing prices, and retailers seeing tight margins squeezed even tighter. More

Private label brands continue to post gains across major channels
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Store brands wrapped up a decade of strong growth, posting sales increases across all three major retail channels in 2010, according to the latest Private Label Yearbook published by the Private Label Manufacturers Association. Total private label sales in U.S. supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers including Walmart, rose nearly 2 percent in 2010, while dollar share advanced by almost half a point to reach a new record level. Overall, sales were at $88.5 billion. More

Walmart downsizes its stores
MSN Money    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Walmart stores are about to get smaller — the new ones, anyway. The company still runs the giant, sprawling supercenters that we're familiar with. But now it's opening more midsized stores under the Walmart Market name. They're about the size of an average supermarket. More

Consumer spending in US unexpectedly stagnated in May as prices climbed
Bloomberg News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Consumer spending unexpectedly stagnated in May as employment prospects dimmed and rising inflation caused Americans to cut back. Purchases were little changed, the weakest outcome since June 2010, after a revised 0.3 percent gain the prior month that was smaller than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures show. More

Shoplifting on the rise: A sign of recovery?
CNNMoney    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
That latest sign of an economic recovery: shoplifting is back. Typically, an increase in shoplifting is believed to be an indicator of tough economic times. But a recent study by the National Retail Federation, which found that retail theft by employees is on the rise, says the recent spike in stealing could very well mean the economy is on the upswing. More

Retailers scout new paths in shaky times
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retailers and the companies that provide their wares are searching for new ways to grow as shoppers are still not confident enough about the economy to open their wallets and spend. More

Sources: Sears Holdings considering Washington area for headquarters move
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sears Holdings Corp., owner of the Sears and Kmart retail chains, is considering the Washington area as a place to relocate its corporate headquarters, according to two people familiar with the company's plans. The company is one of more than 100 in Illinois with tax breaks that are scheduled to expire and last month suggested that it would considering leaving. More

Costco partners with Kawasaki dealerships
Kantar Retail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Costco has partnered with Kawasaki Motors to offer its members special pricing on powersports vehicles. More

Exchange Announcements

New IDs put personal info at the Exchange on a 'need to know' basis
U.S. Air Force    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Social Security numbers are enjoying the top-secret clearance they have always deserved as the Department of Defense officials have removed the nine digit number from identification cards issued after June 1. Authorized Exchange shoppers who receive the new ID will notice some changes when writing a check, putting something on layaway or making a return at an Army & Air Force Exchange Service facility. More

Washington Update

Ground broken on USO Warrior Center at Fort Belvoir
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Ground has been broken on a major USO center at Fort Belvoir that will provide wounded Army soldiers with a place outside the hospital to recover from injuries and to be with their families. The Wounded Warrior and Family Center at the Army post in Fairfax County will be the nation's first stateside USO facility providing non-critical care and support for recovering service members and their families. More

Strengthening mission readiness through family services
Coast Guard Compass    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Coast Guard performs a long list of services on an average day. From saving lives to screening vessels, Coast Guard men and women work diligently to protect those on the sea, protect America from threats delivered by sea and protect the sea itself. But while impressive, these accomplishments are only possible with the support of families and the network of family resources that enable our Coast Guard men and women to focus on their duties. More

DOD wants your opinion on MWR programs
U.S. Marine Corps    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Beginning June 15, the Department of Defense will conduct a customer satisfaction survey to evaluate Morale, Welfare and Recreation program delivery. This second biennial survey will collect feedback from Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve members on their experiences with the MWR program overall and with a core set of MWR programs including fitness, libraries and recreation programs (outdoor recreation, recreation centers, automotive skills, single member services and leisure travel). More

Remembering the fallen at the Gold Star Mothers' brunch
Defense Viseo & Imagery Distribution System    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The beautiful room at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott was filled with large round tables and crowded with women in white dresses, men in suits and Marines in uniform. People laughed and smiled as they enjoyed brunch together. Onlookers never would imagine that hidden behind the laughter, lies unimaginable heartache. More

Executive Briefing
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