Omnichannel No Longer?

In this week’s edition is a widely cited Forbes interview with the new CIO of Target, Mike McNamara. I thought an interesting part of the interview discussed omnichannel, which for a long time was significant buzz-word within retail. McNamara’s position is that it is a “tired” word and thinking about two separate channels no longer makes sense-it is really one digital channel. Given the recent news about Wal-Mart and others, it does seem that the brick and mortar + e-commerce retailers of last year are quickly becoming the digital platforms of tomorrow.

Material Handling

A robotic arm with a suction cup, two-finger gripper, and 3D camera won a warehouse bot competition put on by Amazon.  Bots competed to see which could pick up and put down items on a shelf. (BBC)

The new Target CIO has cited supply chain innovation as one of his two top priorities.  Mike McNamara, formerly the CIO of Tesco, whose first priority is “digital”, said Target’s supply chain is a network which makes all of the inventory available to customers anytime and shipping decisions based on economic or shorter lead times. (Forbes)

According to the appropriately named research firm Research and Markets, the global material handling market is projected to rise from $115.342 billion in 2015 to $148.542 billion in 2021.  The Asia Pacific region was cited as the fastest growing market in the near future. (Yahoo Finance)

Real Estate

PREMIER Design + Build’s EVP Brian Paul gave an interview with discussing the redevelopment of industrial properties. Paul cited the importance of designing redevelopment to maximize efficiency. (GlobeSt)

REI opened a new fulfillment center in Goodyear, Arizona.  This is the third fulfillment center for REI, the others being in Washington and Pennsylvania, and will service 60 of its stores. (The Republic)

Prologis completed 16 build-to-suit development projects in the 1H of 2016. These projects encompassed over 6.8 million square foot and were located in both the US and abroad. (Yahoo Finance)

XPO exercised an option to purchase the 552,330 square foot building they occupied in Phoenix for $30.4 million ($55.04 PSF).  XPO had been leasing the property from Lincoln Property Company since 2013. (Phoenix Business Journal)

Amazon India has announced the addition of six more fulfillment centers in India.  Amazon previously had 10 fulfillment center in  India. (India Times)


GE and Microsoft have joined to bring GE’s Predix platform-as-a-service offering to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Predix is an operating system and platform for building applications connecting industrial assets, infrastructure, and operations. (Computerworld)

Business Insider created a video showing Under Armour’s new manufacturing facility. The video details some of Under Armour’s R&D and manufacturing within the facility. (Business Insider)







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Chuck Berger

I partner with industrial companies to develop real estate strategies and solve real estate challenges. Based in Orange County, California, USA. Find me on Twitter @chuckberger and on LinkedIn at

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