This message contains images. If you don't see images, click here to view.
Click here to advertise in this news brief.

  Mobile version    RSS    Subscribe    Unsubscribe ALA Business Resource:     
Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only June. 10, 2011
Executive Briefing


Mullen: Pay, benefit cuts 'on the table'
Read the Full Story, Christian Lowe
The Pentagon's top officer recently said service members likely will see cuts in pay and benefits as the military plumbs its budget for nearly half a trillion dollars in savings over the next 12 years.

SECDEF puts military pay 'on the table':

Gates seeks big changes to military pay, pensions
Read the Full Story
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Bill Bartel
In his waning days as secretary of defense, Robert Gates is proposing historic changes to what he calls a "rigid, one-size-fits-all approach" to military pay and retirement benefits.

Gates puts military pay, benefits into risk pool
Read the Full Story
Kitsap Sun, Tom Philpott
Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week delivered his "last major policy speech" and, in it, suggested that politicians show courage in the fiscal crisis by making the military compensation system more efficient.

New Pentagon chief will face the same issues on reductions:

Panetta sees 'difficult choices' ahead to curtail US defense spending
Read the Full Story
Bloomberg News, Tony Capaccio
Leon Panetta, President Barack Obama's nominee to succeed retiring Defense Secretary Robert Gates, says he expects that "difficult choices will have to be made" to rein in defense spending and reduce the federal deficit.

Another plan:

Analysis: How to cut costs and improve performance
Read the Full Story
Government Executive
The federal government faces an estimated annual structural deficit of $500 billion to $700 billion. A deficit of this magnitude represents a major threat to the economic health of the nation.

ALA testifies before House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce:

On May 26, the House Small Business Subcommittee held hearings titled, Defer No More, The Need to Repeal the 3 percent Withholding Provision. The hearing examined the effect of Section 511 of the Tax Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. In the statement delivered by the ALA we strongly opposed the legislation and called for its repeal.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Hollywood guilds to host Michelle Obama in event honoring military families
Company Town via Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hollywood's guilds are teaming up to support first lady Michelle Obama's initiative to help military families. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America West plan to host Obama at an event honoring military families June 13. More

Gates pledges wider US military presence in Asia
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a parting pitch to Asian allies, retiring U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon is considering steps to widen its military presence across the Pacific Rim. He said budget woes won't interfere. More

GOP lawmakers unveil bill to reduce government workforce
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
House lawmakers have introduced legislation that aims to reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent by 2015 through attrition. A trio of Republicans unveiled a bill that would allow hiring one federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job. More

Antiwar Republican is no longer party's pariah
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On matters like abortion, military spending and religion, Rep. Walter B. Jones seems thoroughly in tune with this conservative, staunchly Republican district in eastern North Carolina, home to the Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune and thousands of military retirees. More

Commissary News

Food safety notice: Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce
U.S. Air Force    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Military commissaries in Europe are not selling or receiving lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers from any European sources until further notice, according to a directive from the U.S. Army's European Regional Veterinary Command. The medical command delivered its directive in the face of the current E. coli outbreak in Germany. More

PG online poll: Escalating meat, produce prices most worrisome
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Results of PG's most recent online poll data finds escalating meat and produce prices weighing most heavily on minds of retail trading partners heading into summer, when sales of grill-friendly proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables are of pivotal importance. More

Nutrition at the shelf edge
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the past several years, two parallel trends have been reshaping the supermarket industry: The declining health of the nation and the aging population. Accompanying these health alarms is the proliferation of products in the supermarket as manufacturers and retailers seek to gain competitive advantage and satisfy consumer demand. More

A look at consumers' love/hate relationships with grocers
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
In a bid to determine the passion intensity (love/hate) and the amount of online buzz around America's grocery stores, NetBase has revisited its social media analysis of five major retailers — Safeway, Whole Foods, Kroger, Costco and Wal-Mart — which provides a snapshot of information based on analysis of 95 million social media sources. More

Groupon gets into groceries
Internet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Groupon Inc. recently launched a pilot with Springfield, Mass.-based supermarket chain Big Y Foods to offer grocery-related discount vouchers. But rather than require consumers to present a printed-out voucher or a 2-D bar code on a mobile phone to redeem its offers, Groupon will allow consumers to redeem deals using their grocery store loyalty cards. More

Shop till you learn something new at the market
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"I'm looking for a new rice, and what the heck to do with it," a middle-aged customer announces on a Saturday morning at the shiny new Whole Foods Market in Rockville, Md. This is music to the ears of Michael Kiss. Strategically positioned in the bulk foods section, he is not merely a team member, as company employees are known. He is the in-store cooking coach, a pioneer in Whole Foods' effort to enhance food shopping with the one-on-one experience of, say, an Apple Genius Bar. Without having to make an appointment. More

NCR to add 800 Blockbuster Express kiosks at Food Lion stores
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NCR Corp. is adding 800 Blockbuster Express locations to Food Lion stores in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern U.S. regions as the company continues to expand its footprint for the movie-rental machines. NCR, best known for automated teller machines and cash registers, owns and operates more than 9,000 kiosks under the Blockbuster Express brand. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website since 10 a.m. June 2 and as of 10 a.m. June 9:

  • DP #11, Update #2.
  • DP #12, Update #1.
  • DP #13, CONUS shipper & promotion quantities.
  • DP #16, WW promotion package, Family Appreciation Days.


None received.

  • Adds/changes/deletes for week 11-21, 11-22 (corrected copies) and week 11-23.
  • Guard & Reserve on-site sale schedule updates.
  • CRV values as of June 5.
  • PLU codes updates.

ALA Meetings

ALA Congressional Caucus
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Gordon will join us on the morning of June 14 in Washington, D.C., at the Rayburn House Office Building and address the congressional caucus. In light of the recent budget stress, this is a must-attend event. (This event is sold out.)

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.

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

Exchange News

Dollar General pricing news
The wall Street Journal via Yahoo Finance Message Board    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It would be tough to control a chain-store reaction. But that's a risk facing retailers that compete with Dollar General. The discounter recently said it would forgo gross-margin growth this year to keep retail prices low in the face of higher commodity costs. More

Wal-Mart unveils mini-stores near dollar rivals
The Seattle Times    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Walmart of the future could very well be the size of your local drugstore. Wal-Mart Stores recently unveiled its first Walmart Express, its answer to the growing threat of dollar stores, which have been successfully maneuvering the post-recession economy. More

Rude, pushy salespeople top list of consumer gripes
Advertising Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
They might put up with waiting in line in the store or listening to annoying hold music, but consumers will walk out of the store if confronted by a rude or pushy salesperson — or by no salesperson at all. According to a Consumer Reports National Research survey of 1,010 adults, 64 percent of those questioned admitted to actually leaving a store during the past year as a result of poor customer service, while 65 percent acknowledge being "tremendously annoyed" by a rude salesperson. More

Industry rips 'compromise' swipe fee amendment
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retailers have come out against an amendment to the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011 offered by Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., which would delay debit card swipe fee reforms. "The latest Tester-Corker swipe fee language was developed by big banks, for big banks, without input from retailers or consumers who are counting the days until reforms take effect July 21," noted Jennifer Hatcher, senior vice president of government relations at the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute. More

Calling all c-store foodies
CSNews Foodservice Retailing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For convenience stores that focus on food — as many do in the channel these days — this year's National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held May 21-24 in Chicago, stirred up some great menu, packaging and display ideas on the vast show floor and in the more than 70 educational sessions offered. Convenience Store News made note of several food inspirations that could give forward-thinking convenience operators a competitive edge. More

Wal-Mart seeking 'new generation' customer
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores will emphasize everyday low prices, strong cost controls and push to be a leader in global e-commerce in an effort to win the "next generation customer," Mike Duke, the retailer's chief executive officer, said in remarks recently at the company's annual meeting. More

Male shoppers more likely to resist lifestyle changes
Gourmet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most studies into shopper behavior dissect shoppers by income, ethnicity or geographic location, but very few focus on shopping habits of men versus women, despite the fact that there is an increasing number of men at least partly responsible for shopping, either because they work or stay at home, or are a part of two-income households where shopping responsibilities are shared. More

Exchange Announcements

WCDC fixing WMS problems
Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service West Coast Distribution Center implemented a new warehouse management system May 1. Since that time, Exchanges (primarily in the Pacific and the Western continental United States) have experienced a disruption in service that has resulted in facilities being temporarily out of stock on select items. It is expected that facilities in Operation Enduring Freedom may feel some effect. However, because of the additional lead-time, there have been no reports to date.

We are doing everything possible to minimize the impact. In fact, the Exchange has mobilized an Implementation Team and supplemental HQs staff to assist Distribution Center management with resolving this temporary disruption. While the teams are still working through some operational issues concerning receiving and shipping, the Exchange has noted gradual improvements in both areas.

In the meantime, the Exchange's Waco and Dan Daniel Distribution Centers have been utilized to fill some emergency orders to augment shipments out of the West Coast Distribution Center during the past four weeks and will continue as needed.

Several software program fixes are expected to further improve concerns by the end of this week. The West Coast Distribution Center is expected to return to normal operations by the end of the month.

New VCS associate director of operations
Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I am pleased to announce James Leahy as the VCSCO associate director of operations. He will replace Mike Wallace who retired, officially, in March but has been on board overseeing the replacement process. Leahy will assume oversight responsibility for day-to-day field operations, region manager oversight, field staff development, coordinating national policy, financial budgets and representing senior leadership in various forums.

Leahy joined VCS in 2007 as chief merchandising officer. Prior to joining VCS, Leahy held the positions of merchandise manager and VP merchandise manager for Macy's Department Stores. Since joining the team, Leahy has played a significant role transforming our retail division by inserting sound business practices, new reporting mechanisms and exciting programs which resulted in significant retail sales increases and earnings. Our consistent improvements in customer service scores can also be attributed to Leahy's leadership and forward thinking approach to managing his operation. I'm confident he will bring the same level of attention, leadership and intensity to his new role.

Over the next few months, Leahy will be working with Wallace traveling the country learning more about the intricacies of our operations. I'm sure you he will visit your facilities soon. Please join me in congratulating Jim Leahy!

Washington Update

Casing ceremony marks new era for Army MWR
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Employees of the Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command joined together June 2 for the casing of the FMWRC colors near the Nation's capital. In accordance with 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law, the command is moving from Alexandria, Va., to a new home at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. More

General, Sheila Casey honored for service to Army families
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retired Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and his wife, Sheila, recently were honored by the Army’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command for their contributions to Army families. On May 25, in a ceremony in Alexandria, Va., both were awarded the Order of the White Plume, the highest award the Army can present to individuals in support of Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs. More

Executive Briefing
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601  Download media kit
Lisa Smith, Content Editor, 469.420.2644   Contribute news
This edition of the Executive Briefing was sent to ##Email##. To unsubscribe, click here. Did someone forward this edition to you? Subscribe here -- it's free!
Recent issues
June 3, 2011
May 27, 2011
May 20, 2011
May 13, 2011

7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063