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.

Walmart sign

Walmart Lowers Guidance, Sends Shockwaves

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart like Target lowered its quarterly and year-end guidance, citing the continuing drag of overstocked inventory and shoppers focusing on lower-margin essentials and less on general merchandise. The scenario is causing a negative effect on pricing and profit, causing a hit to its stock and others in retail.

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Cross-Border Ecommerce: Facing Logistical Challenges, Seizing Opportunities

| Mike O'Brien

With worldwide cross-border ecommerce sales reaching as high as $2 trillion by 2030, the opportunity is hard to ignore, but there are logistical hurdles to overcome. The good news: provider networks have made it easier than ever for even SMBs to jump in. This MCM report taps cross-border experts to explore both the risks and rewards of cross-border ecommerce in 2022 and beyond.

UPS city delivery

UPS Exceeds Q2 Targets but Sees Lower Volume

| Mike O'Brien

UPS exceeded its Q2 revenue and earnings projections, but lower volume due to consolidation steps, including reducing Amazon packages by contractual agreement, plus the challenged macro picture didn’t resonate well on Wall Street. UPS is also piloting a delivery density program for major retailers through an OMS partnership.

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Körber Supply Chain Acquiring Assets of enVista

| Mike O'Brien

Körber Supply Chain, a unit of Hamburg-based Körber AG, is acquiring order management and freight audit assets from enVista, with the KKR-backed joint venture looking to more than double to $1 billion in revenue in 5-6 years as it pursues larger firms like Manhattan Associates and Blue Yonder.

FedEx ground stepvan

FedEx Suspends Sunday Delivery in Some Markets

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx is suspending Sunday delivery for its Ground network in some lower-density markets starting Aug. 21, citing a focus on “improving efficiency and reducing costs,” the move coming amid calls from contractors for relief from high costs, including elimination of Sunday service.

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Feds Investigating Amazon for Warehouse Safety

| Mike O'Brien

Federal prosecutors in New York and OSHA officials are investigating working conditions at Amazon warehouses around the country, according to various media reports, beginning in New York, Orlando and Chicago. The OSHA inspections arose from referrals issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

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AB5 Trucker Protest Snarls Port of Oakland

| Mike O'Brien

Truck drivers blocked the Port of Oakland Monday, protesting California’s AB5 law that requires contractors to be reclassified as employees. The law affects an estimated 70,000 independent truckers, many of whom fear losing their livelihood, according to various media reports. There were similar protests last week in LA/Long Beach.

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Can Selfies Help Reduce Apparel Returns?

| Mike O'Brien

Can selfies help solve the nagging problem of apparel returns? That’s the assertion of Nosto, provider of what it calls a commerce experience platform. Of consumers surveyed in the U.S. and UK, 61% said if brands posted photos and videos online of actual shoppers wearing their products, it would cut down on the number of returns.

back-to-school mom + kids

Consumers Scrimp for Back-to-School Expenses

| Mike O'Brien

More than a third of U.S. consumers said they plan to cut back on other spending in order to be able to shop for back-to-school items due to ongoing inflation concerns, according to the annual survey from Prosper Insights & Analytics commissioned by the National Retail Federation. More than half had started shopping as of early July.

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WineDirect Taps Tech to Scale, Drive Order Accuracy

| Mike O'Brien

WineDirect, a leader in ecommerce and fulfillment for wine brands, was seeing its subscription business explode, requiring greater personalization on many orders. In this special report, learn how its used technology to meet the challenges of various order types and regulatory requirements, while maintaining a top-flight CX.