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 Operations Summit conference. Previously Mike was a senior account executive for Marx Communications, a boutique public relations firm working with marketing and advertising services clients. 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 the corporate e-learning market and a daily newspaper reporter on every beat imaginable – except sports.

Belgian Postal Service to Acquire Radial for $820 Million

| Mike O'Brien

In a surprising move, bpost, the Belgian postal service, announced plans to acquire U.S.-based third-party logistics and ecommerce software firm Radial for $820 million, as it looks to expand its client base here with Radial’s broad omnichannel, logistics, and fulfillment capabilities.

Amazon Reportedly Testing Local Delivery from Merchant DCs

| Mike O'Brien

Once again raising the specter of cutting out more business to UPS and FedEx, Amazon is reportedly testing a program that involves making local deliveries from the warehouses of retailers selling on its marketplace. See what the move entails, and what else Amazon has been doing to beef up its logistics and delivery capabilities.

Toys ‘R’ Us Launches Online Marketplace

| Mike O'Brien

Toys ‘R’ Us announced it is launching an online marketplace in 2018, less than two weeks after declaring bankruptcy and saying it will keep its stores open through the process. The move makes Toys ‘R’ Us more competitive with eBay, where it has maintained an online store for more than a decade.

Walmart Passes on Holiday Hiring, Target Boosts Minimum Wage

| Mike O'Brien

As the peak holiday season hiring frenzy kicks into gear, Walmart has decided to set itself apart by announcing it will once again offer extra shift hours instead of hiring thousands of seasonal staff as many other major retailers do. Target meanwhile plans to raise its minimum wage to $10 per hour and then to $11. See what holiday hiring plans are in the works for other retailers and service providers to meet the seasonal crush.

Parcel Shipping Volumes Growing Rapidly Worldwide

| Mike O'Brien

Driven in large part by ecommerce, parcel shipping volume in 13 major global markets grew by 48% from 2014 to 2016, going from 44 billion parcels in 2014 to 65 billion in 2016, with projections of annual growth between 17%-28% over the next four years, according to a study by Pitney Bowes.