Have a Safe and Joyous Christmas:
"I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses." - Taylor Caldwell
New Year's Resolution:
When I read a release like this I feel relief that there are those stepping up to help our deserving military, but then I am majorly upset that the thousands of things done each year by the military resale commands and the industry partners go relatively unnoticed. This is a great opportunity to use the platform of Saveourbenefit.org to get the word out to the military patron and the media at large. A public relations firm has been brought on to assist with the important messaging strategy necessary to engage the military patron. One of the clear messages must be what great things are being done day in and day out for the military patron by the resale commands and industry.
US military families line up for Christmas gifts
Read the Full Story
Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News, Robert MacPherson
It's an unlikely sight at one of the biggest U.S. military bases: young families lining up and waiting patiently outside a warehouse for free gifts to slip under the Christmas tree.
Everything will be on the table:
Gen. Dempsey announces study on military retirement reforms forthcoming
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The Hill, John T. Bennett
Senior U.S. military leaders soon will commission a sweeping study aimed at paring skyrocketing retirement costs, and it might be ordered by the commander in chief.
A flurry of plans begins to unfold:
We will begin to see over the course of the next several months, a variety of proposals to reach the needed level of savings called for in the budget control act without going the route of sequestration. The plan below comes from the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. We can expect that the military resale consolidation called for in the Congressional Budget Report will find its way into several of the proposals. We will watch for proposals that directly affect military resale and keep you posted, but we must keep in mind that even this proposal would have a devastating affect when you play out the impact of the hiring proposal for federal workers. The military resale program has an unusually high rate of employee turnover that would make the limitations powerful in a very short period of time.
House Armed Services chairman seeks to avert $55 billion in cuts
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Bloomberg News, Roxana Tiron and Kathleen Hunter
The chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee is proposing to avoid about $55 billion of defense spending cuts in 2013 by reducing the federal workforce. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., recently introduced legislation to trim government employment by 10 percent over 10 years by hiring one federal employee for every three who retire.
Trying to ease the pain of cuts:
15 years and out
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Army Times, Rick Maze
Congress has approved 15-year retirements and other voluntary separation tools to help the services manage potential deep cuts to troop levels.
Patrick B. Nixon
Obama signs government spending bill into law
President Barack Obama has signed into law a spending bill that Congress approved to keep the government running, the White House said. Earlier on Dec. 17, the Senate had passed the $915 billion bill to fund most federal activities through next September and avert a government shutdown. It had cleared the House of Representatives on Dec. 16. More
Senate leaders reach agreement to extend payroll tax cut for 2 months
The Washington Post Share
Senate leaders reached an agreement Dec. 16 to extend the payroll tax cut for two months, averting a New Year's tax increase for millions of workers. The agreement also will require the administration to decide quickly whether to allow construction of a controversial transcontinental oil pipeline. More
CFPB plans financial boot camp for military
American Banker Share
The CFPB's Office of Servicemember Affairs is reaching out to the banking and mortgage industries, as well as to members of the military and their families, to help raise awareness about financial challenges — from foreclosures to payday loans — and products that work for them. (Subscription required.) More
Quilting group works to patch wounded veterans' hearts
Los Angeles Daily News Share
Patti Taylor is no surgeon, but she can sew. For nearly five years, Taylor and several volunteers have gathered at Patches, a fabric store in Chatsworth, to handmake Quilts of Valor as part of an effort called Operation Mend. The program is a collaboration of surgeons from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center who receive the badly wounded veterans from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Teams of surgeons offer, for free, facial and hand surgeries to servicemen and women disfigured by improvised explosive devices and other realities of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More
National Guard may receive joint chiefs spot
The most elite club in the military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is set to get a new member: the chief of the National Guard. Congress approved the change as part of the defense authorization bill last week and the president is expected to sign the bill into law. More
Congress directs Defense to use commercial data centers
Congress has thrown a roadblock into the Defense Department's plans to consolidate many of its data centers into facilities operated by the Defense Information Systems Agency or the military services. More
Grocery shopping on speed
The New York Times Share
Grocery shopping was once a relatively genteel pastime. Stores had pressed-tin ceilings and employees in white aprons. Patrons called in orders and had them delivered free. The notion that you might want to palpate your own cantaloupe was absurd. More
Piggly Wiggly uses pharmacy to promote healthy eating
Progressive Grocer Share
Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. is using its 13-instore pharmacies to promote healthy eating. Each month, the customers receive a different healthy-eating tip. In the pharmacy department next to the register, a sign highlights the food of the month along with a small display of the featured item; another sign is placed in the food aisle where the item is merchandised. More
Mobile payments mobilizing in grocery stores
Progressive Grocer Share
Mobile payments, also known as mobile banking, are a payment service that allows individuals to make financial payments or buy goods from their mobile phone as easily as they could from his or her computer. Mobile banking allows for an alternative payment method; instead of paying with cash, check or credit cards, the consumer can pay using their smartphone, via a method that is quick, secure and hassle-free. More
A new grocery giant in the South, Bi-Lo buys Winn-Dixie for $560 million
The Associated Press via The Washington Post Share
The supermarket chain Winn-Dixie is being sold in a deal valued at $560 million to Bi-Lo LLC, the companies said Dec. 19, creating a huge grocery operator in the South. Shares of Winn-Dixie, which has more than twice the number of stores of its buyer, jumped about 70 percent in early trading. The company had struggled in the past, entering into bankruptcy protection in 2005, but has been revamping operations in recent years. More
Northeastern grocery chain recalls ground beef products due to possible salmonella contamination
Garden News Share
Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, is recalling an undetermined amount of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service recently announced. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website as of 1 p.m., 21 Dec 11:
DP #3, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
DP #6, WW Promotion Package, National Nutrition Month Specials.
Winter Club Pack, February CONUS Quantities.
2012 Suncare WW Promotion Package.
2012 Easter Ham Program Promotion Package.
2012 Canning Program Promotion Package.
NOTICES TO TRADE
12-22, Category Plans (Jan. & Feb. 12)
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-51.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR
2012 Exchange Roundtable
Joining forces to give back
March 7-9, 2012
Registration is now open!
The early-bird rate is available through Dec. 30!
Click here for more info.
Update your contact info!
A big THANK YOU! to those members who have already logged in and updated the contact info that ALA has on file for you.
For those of you who have not, please do so at your earliest convenience.
We are gearing up to print the 2012 ALA Worldwide Directory and want to ensure we print the most up to date contact info on all ALA members. The 2012 Directory will hit the streets in early March, debuting at the Exchange Roundtable in Norfolk.
If you have never visited http://ala.enoah.com and activated your account, you will not be able to sign in. Click the "Activate/Create my Account" button, and follow two quick steps to activate your account and begin making updates to your account.
The deadline to make updates to your contact information for publication in the 2012 Directory is Jan. 15, 2012.
Contact us at email@example.com or call 202-466-2520.
We're here to help!
Thank you for being a member of the American Logistics Association!
Target rolls to $60 ditching credit cards, focusing on core business
Target Corp. has been discussing selling its credit card segment for some time now. With its anticipated credit card segment sale, the company can focus on its core business, retailing. Target is the second largest retailer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart and competes with Best Buy, Macy's, Sears and Costco. More
Expert: Increase in holiday shopping indicates increased confidence
ABC News Share
Nearly half of shoppers have not finished their Christmas shopping yet, and the traditional biggest shopping days Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday are all behind us. The outlook seems to be that it's shaping to be a robust season for the economy. Experts say this year consumers have the upper hand, as stores opened for extended hours and online vendors offered major discounts, some even with free shipping. More
Retailers put out the 'help wanted' sign for e-commerce technology workers
Internet Retailer Share
Hiring more e-commerce employees is a top budgeting priority next year for many online retailers, according to research contained in Internet Retailer's new 2012 Complete Guide to E-Commerce Technology. More
E-retailers go deep on discounts
Internet Retailer Share
With only a few shopping days left until Christmas, retailers are poised to offer some big discounts to entice last-minute shoppers. Some retailers increased their discounts this week or promoted more heavily over last week, an Internet Retailer survey of top e-retail sites shows. More
Toys R Us to stay open round the clock till Christmas Eve
Toys R Us is giving last minute holiday shoppers a break this year, thanks to round-the-clock shopping right up until Christmas. Toys R Us stores nationwide will stay open for 112 hours straight starting at 6 a.m. Dec. 20 and continuing through 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the toy giant said. More
Consumers want better product info, search from online retailers
Marketing Charts Share
The leading improvements US and Canadian consumers want from online shopping sites are more detailed and visual product information (37 percent), better search (29 percent) and easier access to a customer service representative via live help options such as click-to-call or live chat (20 percent), according to an Oracle study released in December 2011. More
Wal-Mart gives $140,000 to 9 nonprofits on the 8th day of holiday Facebook campaign
The Sacramento Bee Share
On the eighth day of its "12 Days of Giving" Facebook campaign, Wal-Mart is awarding $140,000 to nine nonprofits aiding veterans, active members of the military and their families. Over twelve consecutive days, Wal-Mart will award a total of $1.5 million to 145 organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. More
Fast-food restaurants contain at least some healthful items for hungry travelers
The Washington Post Share
Carolyn Butler writes, "During a recent car trip to Florida with my kids, we were pressed for time and only made pit stops directly off the highway. Which is to say that three times a day, there and back, we ate fast food — McDonald's, Wendy's and Chik-fil-A. By the end of the day, even my McNugget-and-french-fry-loving kids were begging for a healthful snack." More
Study: Consumers don't use social media for local business info
Convenience Store News Share
More and more businesses are turning to social media to attract and retain customers, but the information may not reach as many people as expected. Although a majority of adults get information on local businesses from the Internet, only 1 percent of those consumers rely on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, according to a new study from The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. More
NRF: Christmas shopping far from over
The Gourmet Retailer Share
Over the next few weeks, millions of Americans will visit stores and websites in droves some for the first time all holiday season to complete their holiday shopping lists. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Consumer Intentions and Actions survey conducted by BIGresearch, as of the second week in December, the average person has completed 46.5 percent of their shopping, less than the 49.5 percent the average person had completed by the same time last year. More
Breakfast, lunch or dinner MILITARY STAR® cardholders save when dining out
Army & Air Force Exchange Service Share
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is taking a bite out of the price of dining as shoppers using their MILITARY STAR® Card at participating Exchange restaurants will now receive 10 percent off their entire purchase.
"Whether it's a Whopper at Burger King, a foot-long sandwich at Subway or any other selection at an Exchange restaurant, diners who use a MILITARY STAR® Card can take 10 percent off the bill" said the Exchange's Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. "This discount is effective at our more than 1,700 restaurants worldwide."
In addition to saving at the Food Court, MILITARY STAR® Card holders receive exclusive savings at the pump with a five cents a gallon discount every time they fuel up at Army and Air Force fuel stations. On top of the everyday savings, steeper discounts are offered periodically throughout the year. From Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 30-Jan. 4, 2012, the Exchange will provide a 20 cents per gallon discount at Army and Air Force fuel stations when using a MILITARY STAR® Card.
NEXCOM associates support local food bank
U.S. Navy Share
Navy Exchange Service Command announced Dec. 19 that its associates in the Hampton Roads region donated 5,981 pounds of canned goods to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. "With the 5,981 pounds, we can provide 4,984 meals," said Abby Weber, Food and Fund Drive Coordinator for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. "Thank you so much for your incredible support." More
Deployed service members receive a warm welcome home
U.S. Navy Share
Operation Welcome Home Maryland volunteers greeted more than 300 service members arriving at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall airport returning from overseas deployments, Dec. 19. OWHM is an all-volunteer force that has greeted more than 190,000 military personnel returning from deployments since 2007. "These are our heroes, and they deserve a really great welcome home," said Ken Funk, OWH team leader and treasurer. "They are the ones that protect us every single day by fighting for our freedom and protecting our rights." More
Video program helps military families stay in touch
The Boston Globe Share
Alison Murray's son, Phillip Kiy, turned 21 last week. But unlike most 21-year-olds, Kiy didn't celebrate his landmark birthday at a bar. Instead, he spent it with his Army artillery unit in Afghanistan. Murray wasn't about to let the occasion slip by unnoticed, however. With the help of Operation Best Wishes, a program started by a military credit union employee that lets military families send video messages to loved ones stationed overseas, Murray threw her son a virtual birthday party. More