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.

Amazon Planning a $1.5B Air Hub in Kentucky

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon plans to build a $1.5 billion air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport in Hebron, KY, part of its ever-growing logistics enterprise. Observers continue to believe Amazon’s endgame is to handle shipping and distribution not only for its own fast-growing ecommerce business but for other retailers as well.

Walmart Goes After Amazon with Free Two-Day Shipping

| Mike O'Brien

Firing yet another salvo in its ongoing ecommerce war with Amazon, Walmart is eliminating its fee-based ShippingPass program that was designed as a counter to Amazon Prime, instead offering free two-day shipping on 2 million items at a $35 order threshold.

Wet Seal Suddenly Closing All Its Stores

| Mike O'Brien

Struggling teen apparel retailer Wet Seal is suddenly closing all 148 of its U.S. stores. It joins Limited Stores this month as yet another victim of the rapid shift in consumer buying habits that is hitting store chains hard.

warehouse, distribution center, fulfillment center, ecommerce, ecommerce fulfillment

Supply of Warehouse Space Catching Up with Demand

| Mike O'Brien

After years of an extremely tight market for commercial warehouse space, mostly due to the booming growth in ecommerce, a rapid increase in development including spec projects has been slowly closing the gap. See what the numbers show and how the market is trending.

UPS Acquires UK Truck Brokerage Firm Freightex

| Mike O'Brien

UPS has acquired British firm Freightex to gain entry into the European truck brokerage market. This comes eight months after FedEx closed its acquisition of Netherlands-based TNT Express. See what a UPS unit executive had to say about the rationale behind the move, how it will be integrated with Coyote Logistics and how it’s positioned in the European market.

Kohl’s Using Technology to Transform the Customer Experience

| Mike O'Brien

Retailers need to focus less on the “shiny new objects” and instead focus on systems and solutions that actually move the needle, Ratnakar Lavu, Chief Technology Officer for Kohl’s said at NRF’s Big Show. See what tech tricks the company has up its sleeve, which are coming down the road and how they’re boosting loyalty and engagement.

The State of Retail in 2017

| Mike O'Brien

What is the outlook for retail in 2017? What macro factors will affect it? How about the continued migration to omnichannel and store closures? Multichannel Merchant Senior Content Manager spoke with Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation at the Big Show in New York to discuss these topics and take a glimpse into the “crystal ball.”