Mike O'Brien

mobrien@accessintel.com / MikeOBmcm

Mike O’Brien has worked in journalism, marketing and public relations for … well, quite a while. At Multichannel Merchant he focuses on the world of direct-to-customer operations and fulfillment, editing MCM’s weekly O+F Advisor newsletter, and programs the annual Ecommerce Operations Summit conference. Previously Mike was a senior account executive for Marx Communications, a boutique public relations firm working with marketing and advertising technology companies. Other past work includes stints as a media relations consultant for a concert promoter, a marketing communications specialist for a pharma software firm, a research analyst covering corporate e-learning and a daily newspaper reporter on every beat imaginable – except sports.

Ongoing Labor Shortage Underscores Need for Optimized Warehouses

| Mike O'Brien

Finding sufficient warehouse staff is a problem that’s not going away soon, so merchants are looking to maximize productivity and efficiency. This special report from Multichannel Merchant explores ways they are creating optimized warehouses to address labor shortages, including tactics like incentives, space optimization and investment in a modern warehouse management system (WMS).

Best Buy Reports Strong Q4 Growth, Adds New Wrinkle to Store Pickup

| Mike O'Brien

Best Buy reported a strong fourth quarter, increasing same-store sales 9% over the previous year and boosting online comp sales by 18%. The company also made improvements to its BOPIS program and is testing an app feature that lets customers notify associates when coming to pick up a large item.

UPS Sues European Union Antitrust Agency over TNT Express Denial

| Mike O'Brien

UPS has filed a lawsuit against the European Union’s antitrust agency, seeking $2.15 billion (1.74 billion Euros) for its 2013 decision which scuttled the carrier’s planned acquisition of Netherlands-based TNT Express. See what preceded the action and how UPS views its commitment to the EU market.

Merchants Differentiating in the Last Mile, Returns, Outsourcing

| Mike O'Brien

As merchants search for ways to contend with the behemoth of Amazon – which accounted for about half of ecommerce sales in 2017 – many are focusing on the last mile, returns and outsourcing to battle back. This MCM Outlook report, based on our annual survey of Multichannel Merchant readers, looks at trends and stats in all three areas.

Toys R Us Closing 200 More Stores, Prospects Growing Dim

| Mike O'Brien

Embattled toy and game chain Toys R Us plans to close another 200 stores, and its web relaunch didn’t happen on schedule, prompting many observers to cast doubts on its future viability. This is on top of a previously announced closure of 170 stores in April.