Orange County Business Journal

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Hyundai Plans ‘Instant Replay’ Super Bowl Ad

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc.’s return to the Super Bowl will include a 90-second documentary filmed during the game that will air right after the final whistle.

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First COO for Incipio

Irvine-based Incipio Group promoted Ann Fong to chief operating officer, a new position.

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Oakley Parent Sets $49B Merger

Oakley Inc.’s Italy-based parent, Luxottica Group SPA, plans to combine operations with Essilor International S.A. in France, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

El Pollo Loco Ad Celebrates Its LA-Infused Identity

‘Road to Authenticity’ Highlights City Vibe

The first ad campaign Vitro developed for El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. in Costa Mesa, “Road to Authenticity,” launched after the holidays with a TV commercial that ties the brand to its Los Angeles roots.

Tilly’s Goes Nimble in Face of Stalled Traffic

RETAIL: Maintains store count, hikes focus on events, digital

Tilly’s Inc. plans to withstand challenges vexing the brick-and-mortars nationwide with a 2017 playbook that includes renewed focus on e-commerce as well as a red-carpet rollout for shoppers that do venture into its 225 stores.

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New Operator for GG Knitting Mill

Broncs Inc. in Compton has reached an initial deal with American Apparel LLC to take over the lease for its textile facility in Garden Grove, according to news reports.

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Nordstrom Out at MainPlace

Nordstrom Inc. in Seattle said it plans to close its department store at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana in March. The closure will affect about 195 employees.

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RIP, South Coast Plaza’s Escher

Werner Escher, South Coast Plaza’s executive director of domestic and international markets has died after a battle with cancer.

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PE Firm Buys Sandal Brand

Courtney Group Inc. in Newport Beach acquired sandal brand Flojos from Conscious Corp. in Thousand Oaks on undisclosed terms.

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Kia Stinger Unveiled

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine debuted its first sports sedan Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Vans Joins Year of Rooster With Special Kicks

Line Features Palette Of Chinese Zodiac Critter

Vans Inc. in Cypress marked the Year of the Rooster—which runs from Jan. 28 to Feb. 15, 2018 on the Chinese calendar—with a specially designed shoe collection developed in cooperation with Shanghai-based designer Kim Kiroic.

Emerald Buys Into Digital Trends to Grow Trade Shows

Tool Box Includes Beacon Technology, Data Analytics

Trade show producer Emerald Expositions LLC, a champion of face-to-face communication, appears to be thriving in the age of digital business models.

5.11 Tactical’s Target: Fast Growth at Retail

MARKETING: Irvine-based gear maker seeks locations around U.S.

Irvine-based 5.11 Tactical, an apparel and gear designer outfitting soldiers, firefighters and police officers, has a mission of its own—it plans to grow its 13-store retail lineup at a pace of one or two additions a month this year.

Sole Brother

Behind Lake Forest-Based Skate Brand’s Deal With French Rubber Giant

What do Pierre-André Senizergues and the Michelin Man have in common?

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New President, CFO for Raj Swim

Privately held RAJ Swim in Tustin hired Brenda West as its new president, making her the first person outside the swimwear maker’s founding family to hold the position.

Etnies, Michelin Debut Shoe

Skate brand etnies and Michelin today introduced “the toughest outsoles in history” for its Marana OG skate shoe.

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Automakers Grew Sales in 2016

Orange County-based automakers trailed the national sales pace in December even as most notched gains for the year, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

Marketing: Kevin Bailey

How Bailey Got Vans to $2 Billion

Kevin Bailey oversaw Vans Inc.’s upward trajectory to $2.2 billion in sales during a 7-year stint as president of the footwear and apparel brand—a performance that earned him a recent promotion and honors this week as the Business Journal’s Business Person of the Year in the marketing category.

Kia Blazes Alt Fuel Trail With Cross-Country Drive

Lands Guinness Record For Least Fuel for Hybrid

Kia Motor America Inc.’s 2017 Niro received a Guinness World Record title for the lowest fuel consumption for a hybrid car driving the U.S. from coast to coast.

Hyundai Looks for New Grip After Sales Drift

AUTOMOTIVE: CEO switch, SUV surge, driverless car on radar

Hyundai Motor America Inc. needs a “diverse product lineup in its SUV segment” if it plans to increase its 4.6% share of a U.S. automarket that looks poised to plateau, industry insiders say.

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Kawaski, Citi to Offer Credit

Foothill Ranch-based Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. has arranged for Citi Retail Services to offer consumer financing via Kawasaki-branded credit cards at motorcycle manufacturer’s 1,100 authorized dealers.

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Hyundai CEO Out

Hyundai Motor America Inc. has parted ways with Chief Executive Dave Zuchowski, who led the Fountain Valley-based automaker for the past three years.

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Autobytel Sells Specialty Product

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine sold its specialty finance leads product to El Segundo-based Internet Brands Inc. for $3.2 million.

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Yamaha Unit Buys Engine Maker

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA in Cypress said its Kennesaw, Ga.-based Outdoor Power Equipment division acquired Subaru Industrial Power Products on undisclosed terms.

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UCI Applications Set Record

The University of California-Irvine received a record 102,210 admission applications and expects the number to grow by the Jan. 3 deadline for the fall 2017 term.

Fashion Island Tests Interactive User Tech For Irvine Company

RETAIL: Chatbot helps navigate guests’ brick-and-mortar experience

Irvine Company is using Fashion Island as a testing ground for a concierge chatbot that helps shoppers find brands, stores or services offered at the outdoor mall in Newport Beach.

2017 Preview: RETAIL & MARKETING

Orange County will have a prominent role in the marketing industry’s deepening use of artificial intelligence as more tools emerge to help brands connect with consumers on a personal level.

City of Santa Ana Calls in the Pros for Profile Refresh

Hires Nashville Shop to Work on Its Public Image

Santa Ana hired North Star Destination Strategies in Nashville, Tenn., to develop a “community brand” for the city to market itself to residents, businesses and visitors.

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Fashion Island Unveils Chatbot

Fashion Island launched a concierge chatbot that helps shoppers find a specific brand, store or service offered at the outdoor mall in Newport Beach.

El Pollo Loco Goes Crazy on Mobile Ordering Trend

Latest Chain to Embrace On-the-Go Business

El Pollo Loco launched a mobile app that customers can use to place orders, and revamped its website to support online ordering. New York-based marketing technology firm Olo developed both features.

Oakley In Deal At Big Bear Resort

Oakley Inc. has signed on as the official eyewear and goggle brand of the Big Bear Mountain Resort, which includes the Bear Mountain, Snow Summit and Snow Summit Bike Park venues.

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Blizzard Branches into Books

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. in Irvine launched a book-publishing label, Blizzard Publishing, which will develop and release new and out-of-print titles related to the company’s “Warcraft,” “StarCraft” and “Diablo” games, both directly and through ongoing global partnerships.

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Vans Boss Moves to Parent Co.

VF Corp. in Greensboro, N.C. promoted Vans Inc. President Kevin Bailey to the same post for the parent company’s Asia-Pacific region.

Stance Steps Into Classic Disney Character Lineup

Sock Maker Debuts Duds For Men, Women, Kids

Stance Inc. in San Clemente is collaborating with Disney Consumer Products Inc. on a men’s, women’s and kids collection featuring Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Goofy.

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November Mixed for OC Carmakers

Two out of four Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace on new-vehicle sales in November, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Tilly’s Beats on Q3

Tilly’s Inc. surpassed analyst expectations on third-quarter revenue and profit, and hiked its 2016 forecast, sending its shares up more than 35% in Thursday trading to more than $13 a share and a $371 million market cap.

Mazda Makeover Unifies Marketing

AUTOS: Irvine HQ takes new shape after trim of 100 staffers

Chief Executive Masahiro Moro’s vision to transform Mazda North American Operations from an automaker “that just sells cars to a company that delivers a great experience” has taken its next steps following staff cutbacks and a restructuring at its headquarters in Irvine.

Kia Spreads Word on Hybrid SUV Through App Bot

Sings Praises of Niro Via AI-Powered Text Chats

Kia Motors America Inc.’s new Niro hybrid SUV is getting lots of marketing attention these days.

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Acquisition May Stem American Apparel Cuts

American Apparel LLC said a $66 million bankruptcy sale to Gildan Activewear Inc. could help it stave off a round of layoffs, including of 332 workers at its dye house in Garden Grove.

Marketing Groups Grow Effort to Court SF Travelers

Dana Point Organization Joins Concerted Campaign

Visit Dana Point recently joined a consortium of local destination marketing organizations on a campaign that aims to attract visitors from the San Francisco area.

OHL Leads on $1.2B Plan to Widen 405

CONSTRUCTION: Expected to bring 800 trade jobs over 6 years

The Irvine office of OHL USA Inc. is part of the joint venture whose $1.2 billion bid for the I-405 Improvement Project was deemed “best value” last week by the Orange County Transportation Authority’s board of directors.

Hyundai’s New Take on Tech

AUTOS: Carmaker forms IT ‘subdivision’ at FV headquarters

Here’s what the world didn’t see when Hyundai Motor America Inc. showed off its first self-driving vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week:

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Acquisition May Stem American Apparel Cuts

American Apparel LLC said a $66 million bankruptcy sale to Gildan Activewear Inc. could help it stave off a round of layoffs, including of 332 workers at its dye house in Garden Grove.

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Hyundai Joins New Waive

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in January will place 150 of its IONIQ EVs in the WaiveCar car-sharing fleet in Los Angeles with an option for 250 more cars in additional cities by the end of 2017.

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Hyundai Plans Self-Driving Car

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley introduced its Autonomous IONIQ concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.

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Emerald Buys Again

Emerald Expositions LLC in San Juan Capistrano bought RFID Journal LIVE event and several regional expos from RFID Journal LLC in Hauppauge, New York on undisclosed terms.

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Hyundai Owners Get Voice Controls

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley will work with Amazon.com to offer remote voice-control features on its entire 2017 lineup.

OC Retail Keeps Streak

Biggest Shopping Centers Post 1.7% Increase, Top $8B in Sales

The largest shopping centers in Orange County managed a seventh straight year of growth in taxable sales with a 1.7% gain.

Black Belt, Fast Rise

St. John Knits’ Zabat-Fran Brings Varied Background to General Counsel’s Job

Christina Zabat-Fran brought a black belt in taekwondo and an exhibition-quality art portfolio to go with her law degree when she took the job as the in-house counsel at St. John Knits International Inc. in Irvine.

Downshift on Sales Gains for Auto Dealers

AUTOS: 1.5% hike for biggest; Karma top automaker for jobs

The 40 largest auto dealers in Orange County combined for $5.3 billion in sales for the 12-month period that ended June 30, a 1.5% increase that marks a significant slowdown from recent years, according to this week’s Business Journal list.

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