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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Oct. 7, 2011
Executive Briefing

President's Message

An open letter to ALA members:

Dear ALA Members:

The American Logistics Association, following the guidance of your elected Board of Directors, has embarked on an exciting initiative aimed at dramatically improving our ability to promote, protect and enhance military shopping benefits — which, as you know, are now in heavy competition for resources in an ever decreasing defense budget and facing an onslaught of recommendations from various sectors that pose a serious threat. This initiative establishes an affinity organization captured in the title above — The Coalition to Save our Military ShoppingBenefits. The logo is notional at this point but will be finalized shortly.

Why a new organization?

In order to maximize participation from the widest variety of groups and individuals we need to move past the limitations of membership in the ALA proper. The ALA is a trade association and as such, membership is limited to companies that do business or wish to do business in the military resale business channel. We want to open our grassroots education and support network to all groups with an interest in preserving these benefits.

What groups are you targeting?

The Coalition will use the power of the Internet as the primary tool to spread the word. This effort has the dual purpose of increasing usage of commissaries and exchanges and educating patrons and key decision-makers of the value of the benefit. After all, one of the best ways to preserve these benefits is to ensure and demonstrate that military personnel and families want, need and use the benefit. The eligible membership for the coalition appears to fall into three major groups: Suppliers; Patrons; and Employees. The grassroots Internet software application that will be the key communication engine can be tailored to address issues specific to these individual groups. The entire range of issues facing the military resale business channel can be addressed through the new affinity group site. This effort compliments an already robust congressional and agency-focused government relations program of the ALA which is effective and recognized; and it adds an additional dimension of interested groups that cannot solely be represented by the ALA.

How will this affinity group operate?

The Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits is established as a stand alone corporate entity under the direction of the ALA Board of Directors. It will have its own charter and Board of Directors. The named directors of the organization are Chairman Joe Olding of Webco General Partnership, Vice Chairperson Cindy Dulik of PepsiCo, Secretary Frank Hogan of Overseas Service Corporation, Treasurer Frank Pecoraro of Coastal Pacific Food Distributors and Director Kurt Hall of Unilever. The day to day management of the new organization will fall to the existing ALA professional staff.

The ALA has received strong statements of support from the Armed Forces Marketing Council and the Coalition of Military Distributors to support the effectiveness and efficiency of the new organization. The underlying operating model as we move forward is to have an open forum to all destination sites that has a single focus for the issues that are facing the military resale business channel. This overcomes some of the inherent limitations we can accomplish under the ALA banner and it breaks out the unique issues of the military resale. It will allow the patrons, employees and suppliers to become involved in a targeted education campaign with the likely hood of a significantly improved impact.

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A complimentary benefit will be a single site to draw the patrons captured by the Cinsay E-commerce platform that are interested in better understanding and protecting their military shopping benefits. This video streaming, teleconferencing, marketing and promotion engine will integrate with the grass roots affinity website to help accomplish the dual purpose of increasing usage of these benefits and educating those using the benefits of any potential actions that would diminish the value of the benefit. A key feature of the effort is the viral nature of the distribution and communication. By energizing the social network, we plan to reach a key demographic — younger junior enlisted and junior officers and families. The social network will allow us to communicate with people who are not currently using the benefit and get them into the stores, as well as increasing the shopping frequency of those already using the stores. When you step back and look at the opportunities this affords our ability to communicate, educate and influence you will see that it is a strategy loaded with synergy.

How will someone join and what will be the cost?

The initial approach to membership is that it will be free to all. A demo of the new site ( and the education and action program that is the communication engine will be demonstrated at the ALA's National Convention in Orlando. The membership process will be a simple online process and the communication software will capture the information, sort the members, provide a real time capability to communicate with Washington decision-makers and provide information and promotions to patrons to increase usage. It will also provide all the necessary reports to measure the success of communication and call to action campaigns. We are hoping to gain enough support from committees established by the ALA Board along with administrative support from member companies to keep the website current and refreshed. The current costs of starting up the organization were included in this year's ALA operating budget. The day to day management of the organization will be handled by the current ALA professional staff as will the job of keeping the content current and relevant.

How can you help?

We are sending this letter to seek your support in our critical campaign to educate, inform and communicate the value of the military resale benefits to decision makers and patrons. This is not merely a communications strategy it is an outreach program aimed at increasing awareness and at the same the number of authorized patrons that shop in the military stores. This is a solid program and a good investment.

Next steps:

This is a fast-moving initiative, but we will make every effort to keep you informed as we move towards a successful launch. We are very excited about the possibilities this new communication tool will provide in our efforts to promote, protect and enhance the military resale benefits. There is no doubt that time is of the essence, and we stand ready to move forward. We are confident that we will have your complete support.

With warm regards,

For the ALA: Chairman David Sisk
For the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits:
Chairman Joe Olding
Vice Chairperson Cindy Dulik
Treasurer Frank Pecoraro
Secretary Frank Hogan
Director Kurt Hall

House approves stopgap spending bill
Read the Full Story
The New York Times, Robert Pear
The House recently gave quick approval to a stopgap spending bill that will finance the government for the first four days of October, until lawmakers can return and vote on a more ambitious seven-week spending bill.

How bad would sequestration be for defense?
Read the Full Story
NationalJournal via Early Bird, Megan Scully
Just how bad would sequestration be for the Pentagon? No one argues that the roughly $500 billion across-the-board defense cut that would be triggered if the supercommittee fails to agree on a plan to reduce the nation's deficit by at least $1.2 trillion equates to a worst-case scenario for the department. But the extent of the damage that could be done to the military with a cut of that size is a topic that is still up for debate.

Report: Budget cuts would hollow military
Read the Full Story
The Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough
A new congressional report spells out in detail how the military would become "hollow" if Congress' supercommittee fails to agree on deficit reductions, triggering $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts.

Military retirees to pay higher health premiums
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via Yahoo News, Pauline Jelinek
Military retirees will pay slightly more for their health care starting Oct. 1, and more cost increases are on the way. Premiums haven't been raised since 1994 and still will be just a fraction of what civilians pay.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Commissary News

How to prepare your distribution center for the holiday
Multichannel Merchant    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
VideoBriefIs your distribution center ready for holiday 2011? How about your contact center? Are your front end and back end in sync with each other? Even if you think you're ready to roll, you may not be. More

Help for military families coming in the mail

Join us in helping young military families with coupons. Active duty families receive the Judy Johnson coupons in their mailboxes in January. Industry partners contact

'Extreme couponing' shoppers pose loyalty test
Bloomberg News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Extreme couponing, a consumer trend spurred on by the reality TV series of the same name, may make deal-chasing U.S. shoppers less loyal to retailers from Kroger Co. to Staples Inc. In the first half of this year, U.S. consumers redeemed 1.75 billion coupons for a savings of $2 billion, according to NCH Marketing Services. That's an 18 percent increase from the same period in 2009, when packaged goods companies began stepping up discounts to spur demand, the Deerfield, Ill.- based firm said. More

Study: Frozen foods help in portion control
Packaging Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
ConAgra Foods Inc., one of North America's leading food makers, presented research findings this week suggesting frozen meals eaten as part of a reduced-calorie eating plan helped participants learn proper portions. More

Marsh rolls out nutrition programs
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marsh Supermarkets in Indianapolis said it has rolled out a set of nutritional programs for customers, including a new website and use of the Guiding Stars shelf-labeling system. The new website,, will focus on healthy eating and feature advice from dietitian Mary Snell, who joined Marsh in May as director of nutrition and wellness. More

Goodness grazing
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
They're the perfect pick-me-ups, and millions of Americans reach for them each and every day. We're talking snack packs, singles, portion-controlled bags and all manner of grab-and-go goodness. Produce suppliers are introducing scores of healthful, convenient and colorful snack options with enough pizzazz to entice American consumers to put down their candy bars and salty snacks in favor of fresh food. Grocers can take advantage of the current boom of these produce-based snacks. More

Fresh ingredients and cooking skills can transform your relationship with food
The Tampa Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Author Kathleen Flinn says the ability to cook even the most basic dishes is a passport to a different life. If you can walk into the produce section and pick out food that isn't in a box, you are buying freedom. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website:

DP #21, CONUS Promotion & Shipper Quantities & Huggies
CONUS Shipper Quantities and Update #1.
Fall Club Pack, Update #3.
2012 45 Day Store Order Promotional Calendar.
2012 Vendor Club Pack Calendar.

None received.

DeCA FY 11 September Sales Data.
DeCA Distributor Map as of 9/29/11.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-40.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

ALA Meetings

2012 Exchange Roundtable

March 7-9, 2012
Sheraton Waterside
Norfolk, Virginia

Exchange News

Marketers reach out to a new demographic: Infants to 3-year-olds
Adweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Licensed characters, of course, have been plastered on packaged foods, toys and every piece of clothing and accessory imaginable for decades — some reach back a century. But over the course of the past couple of years something has shifted. Now the strategy of marketing branded goods to tots has ramped up to the point that even high-end fashion brands are jumping in. More

The Limited to launch plus-size concept
Women's Wear Daily via Beauty Wired    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Long overlooked by major retailers and brands, the plus-size market finally is getting some attention. Next month, The Limited launches eloquii by The Limited, a division catering to full-figured women with designs "in the same spirit" as the main chain. "There will definitely be a common sensibility between the two brands," said Linda Heasley, chief executive officer of The Limited. More

More spending expected this Halloween
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Let's do the time warp again. Rather than give in to fear after what's been a pretty scary year, more Americans than ever are planning to party like the good old days and immerse themselves in Halloween ghoulishness, according to the National Retail Federation. More

Retailers discover useful in-store apps keep shoppers from escaping
PC Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Major brick-and-mortar retailers are fighting mobile apps that push consumers online, enhancing their own mobile apps with in-store assistance. The problem, according to a panel at the GigaOM Mobilize conference in San Francisco, is that brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy, Target and others risk becoming physical showcases for goods later purchased online. More

Salads are nice, but burgers are what really sell
The Associated Press via The Salt Lake Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans talk skinny but eat fat. No matter that first lady Michelle Obama has been on a crusade for a year and a half to slim down the country. Never mind that some restaurants have started listing calories on their menus. Forget even that we keep saying we want to eat healthy. When Americans eat out, we order burgers and fries anyway. More

Prices for food and gas soon could fall
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Consumers might catch a break on the price of gasoline and baked goods and sweets as the Thanksgiving-Christmas season approaches, because of a sudden tumble in worldwide commodity markets. More

Subway opens 32 new convenience store locations
CSNews Foodservice Retailing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Subway, a division of Doctor's Associates Inc., opened 32 locations in convenience stores throughout the world during August and September. Subway also announced it opened five new "green" locations during August and September. More

Wal-Mart, T-Mobile offer cheap prepaid plan
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart and T-Mobile recently announced they are joining up to offer a $30 per month prepaid 4G data plan. The plan, which has no annual contract, includes 5 GB of data at 4G speeds, unlimited text messages and 100 minutes of talk. After the first 100 minutes, the company will charge 10 cents per minute. More

Exchange Announcements

2 warehouses with 250 jobs coming to Suffolk
The Virginian-Pilot    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A vision for a massive distribution hub west of downtown Suffolk, Va., took two big steps toward reality Sept. 28. Gov. Bob McDonnell announced that Ace Hardware Corp. plans to spend $14 million and hire 75 workers to build a distribution center in the new warehouse park across Route 58 from the existing Target warehouse. A Navy spokesman also said the Navy Exchange Service Command recently signed a lease for a neighboring 350,000-square-foot distribution center. More

Washington Update

Official: Military spouse jobless rate 26 percent    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The Pentagon's effort to build a network of companies interested in hiring military spouses is more about leveling the playing field than obtaining preference for the unemployed wives and husbands, says the Pentagon's top family policy official. More

US Army cutting nearly 50,000 soldiers
UPI    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Army plans to reduce its number of soldiers by nearly 50,000 during a five-year span, a general said. The Army Times reported Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, service personnel chief, said the reductions would begin in March. More

Installation Management Command employees enjoy a free ride to work
U.S. Army MWR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than a dozen Installation Management Command employees ride to and from work for free in a VIA Van Pool, through the U.S. Army Mass Transit Benefit Program. "All I can say is this is the best thing since sliced bread — nope it's better than sliced bread! Love it!" said passenger Debbie Martin, an IMCOM Family and MWR programs employee. "It's less wear and tear on us, less wear and tear on our wallets and less wear and tear on the environment." More

App puts US Army Europe in mobile users' hands any time, any place
U.S. Army Europe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are you paying U.S. taxes? Are you serving the U.S. government abroad? Are you a citizen of a European nation? Do you benefit from regional stability? Many people around the world are linked to U.S. Army Europe, and the recently released USAREUR application for mobile devices is designed to strengthen those links and keep people informed on the latest Army in Europe information, news and events. The app puts key elements of the USAREUR website in users' hands wherever they are, said Kevin Downey, USAREUR's webmaster and the creator of the app. More

Executive Briefing
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601  Download media kit
Lisa Smith, Content Editor, 469.420.2644   Contribute news
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