Coalition battles budget threats to commissary services
WASHINGTON— U.S. commissaries could face severe cuts if Congress fails reach a budget, leaving many military families without the benefits they rely on to make ends meet, according to the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits.
The coalition reported that last year alone, there were five major attempts to undermine this “quality of life” benefit which saves service members, veterans, and their families $4.5 billion annually and contributes billions of dollars to the military communities they support.
Millions of service members, veterans, and their families rely on commissaries and exchanges to stretch their household budgets, the coaltion said. An average military family of four can save $7,000 a year. In remote and overseas locations, it is often the only affordable shopping opportunity available. In metropolitan areas, where prices are consistently higher, commissaries and exchanges help keep prices affordable. For some junior enlisted military families and fixed income retirees, savings are the difference between making ends meet and filing for public assistance. Commissaries and exchanges are also the largest employer of military families in the world and the leading employer of veterans in the nation, adding to the financial stability of the military community.
If Congress fails to work out a more permanent solution, sequestration will still go into effect on March 1, the coalition noted on its website. This means commissaries would see taxpayer support cut by 9.4% or $130 million in operating funds, and by an additional $25 million in surcharge dollars.
Store of the Week: The Hab, Mumbai, India
The art of sewing comes alive at The Hab, a one-stop shopping destination in Mumbai, India, for all things sewing. The colorful store offers a fresh and youthful take on one of retailing’s more staid, and slightly old-fashioned, categories, and more than lives up to its motto: “A hipper side of sewing.”
Owned by USHA International Ltd., which manufactures a wide range of consumer products, including sewing machines, The Hab (short for haberdashery) offers a comprehensive lineup of product. From threads, buttons and beads in all colors and sizes to laces and zippers to stitching tools and the latest in sewing machines, The Hab stocks anything and everything a sewer could ever need.
More than just sell product, The Hab is designed to inspire people to create, innovative and experience the art of sewing. A series of demo stations — each outfitted with the very latest sewing machines — allow for a hands-on experience. Experts are on hand to help customers create their own personalized fashions.
Along with the ongoing demos throughout the day, sewing classes and related design workshops are also available.
A neon-colored sewing machine installation in the front window sets the tone for the high-energy, modern interior. A spiral staircase takes shoppers to a library stocked with specialty books and international publications related to sewing, knitting and crafts.
The Hab was conceptualized and designed by architect Pinakin Patel and design firm Grandmother India Design.
Ralphs, P&G execs to chair women’s leadership event
CHICAGO — The Network of Executive Women on Friday named Donna Giordano, president of the Ralphs division of Kroger, and Monica Turner, general manager of market strategy and planning for Procter & Gamble, co-chairs of the NEW Executive Leaders Forum 2013.
"The Network is fortunate to have the input of Donna and Monica as they draw on their life and career experiences to ensure the Forum’s status as a premier industry event," stated Trudy Bourgeois, president of The Center for Workforce Excellence. "One of the first female presidents of a grocery banner, Donna Giordano has been a true pioneer," she said. "[And] women like Monica Turner have the skills and traits necessary for the future growth of their organizations and the industry as a whole. Monica is ready and willing to lead with boldness and courage."
The seventh annual NEW Forum will be held July 23 to 25 at the Terranea Resort in Los Angeles. More than 250 executives in the consumer products and retail industry are expected to attend the invitation-only event for senior-level women, NEW noted.
As president of Ralphs Grocery, Giordano is responsible for nearly 250 stores in Southern California that employ more than 25,000 associates. Giordano’s retail career began in Denver when she joined Kroger’s King Soopers chain in 1972 while earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Turner, a NEW Board member at-large, joined Procter & Gamble as a sales representative in 1987 after serving as a summer intern. In her current role, she leads P&G’s U.S. market strategy and planning organization in North America, a unit with more than 400 employees and an annual budget of $80 million.