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.

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Robotic Goods-to-Person Firm Exotec Raises $90 Million

| Mike O'Brien

French robotics firm Exotec, which lists Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo as a major client, has raised $90 million to power its global growth in ecommerce fulfillment. Founded in 2015, Exotec is built on a goods-to-person model with its Skypod bots which uses laser guidance to navigate a fulfillment center.

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Ocado, Sued by AutoStore for Patent Infringement, Responds in Kind

| Mike O'Brien

Ocado, the UK grocery concern that has struck deals with grocers around the world to use its robotic fulfillment center technology, is being sued by AutoStore for intellectual property theft – with AutoStore in turn being investigated by Ocado for patent infringement. AutoStore filed the lawsuits in London and New York.

Amazon: Our COVID-19 Infection Rate 42% Lower Than General Population

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon said 19,816 of its 1.4 million U.S. frontline workers tested positive for COVID-19 from March 1-Sept, 19, adding the figure is 42% below the general population rate of 33,952 based on data from Johns Hopkins. This runs counter to claims of protesters about widespread infection rates in Amazon’s facilities.

MCM Top 3PLs 2021: Looking for Leading Providers in Ecommerce, DTC

| Mike O'Brien

Now in its sixth year for 2021, Multichannel Merchant’s MCM Top 3PL listing showcases leading third-party logistics companies serving ecommerce and direct-to-customer (DTC) businesses. How does your organization measure up? We’re accepting submissions now through Nov. 7. Be recognized as a true leader in the field!

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ShipBob Raises $68 Million in Funding, Plans to Double Its Network

| Mike O'Brien

ShipBob, a provider of third-party logistics with facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe, has raised $68 million to fuel growth, expand its platform and more than double its global network, a signal of the significant venture capital flowing into logistics to support the ecommerce explosion. This brings the total raised to $130.5 million.

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Ecommerce Shipping Outlook: Q4 and the Scramble for Capacity

| Mike O'Brien

A massive shift to ecommerce has already created peak-like conditions for shippers and carriers in 2020. Now comes the actual holiday season, a huge unknown but still expected to generate staggering volumes. This report taps ecommerce logistics experts who discuss the extraordinary challenges facing shippers this Q4.

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Lowe’s Rolls Out Pickup Lockers, With Plans to Go Chain-Wide by Q1

| Mike O'Brien

Catching up with category leader Home Depot, Lowe’s is rolling out lockers for ecommerce order pickup in the front of stores in the New York tri-state area, Philadelphia and Charlotte, NC, with plans to expand to all 1,729 U.S. stores by March 2021. Lockers will be added in Florida, Washington and Texas in the coming weeks.