Orange County Business Journal

Kia Tops Premium Peers on J.D. Power Ranking

1st Nonpremium Brand On Initial Quality List in Years

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine topped J.D. Power’s 2016 Initial Quality Study—the first nonpremium brand to do so in the past 27 years.

Women-Owned Firms Turn Revenue Hike Into Big Job Gains

ECONOMY: Largest up 20% overall, 9.2% on local hires

Orange County’s biggest women-owned businesses generated more than $3.75 billion in revenue last year, a 7% annual increase and the sixth consecutive year of growth.

Micro Greens, Mega Growth

Urban Produce to License Vertical Growing System

Urban Produce LLC has branched out—it’s started licensing its high-density vertical growing system in hopes the move will account for about 70% of its revenue within the next five years.

By the Sweat of Her Brow

Expansion in Irvine Done; Asia Growth Ongoing

Chief Executive Natalie Plain is looking for a “perfect partner” to help shape the future of her Billion Dollar Brows business.

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Most OC Auto Brands Below U.S. Pace

One of four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicle sales in June, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Drybar Sells Stake to Atlanta PE Firm

Drybar Holdings LLC in Irvine sold a minority stake to Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, for an undisclosed amount.

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Sfeir to Chapman’s Anderson Center

Chapman University appointed Raymond Sfeir as the new director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research, effective immediately.

DC Shoes Back to Catching Waves With Surf Team

Reinstates Sponsorship To Go With Skate Event

DC Shoes reinstated its surf team after a three-year hiatus. The footwear and apparel brand, owned by Quiksilver Inc. in Huntington Beach, will sponsor four athletes: Bruce Irons and Ezekiel Lau from Hawaii, Kanoa Igarashi from Huntington Beach, and Leo Fioravanti from Rome.

PacSun Likely To Drop About 25% Of Its Stores

APPAREL: Poor-performing shops targeted post-bankruptcy

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. is likely to emerge from bankruptcy with about 450 stores, 25% fewer than it had prior to its Chapter 11 filing, said Ivan Friedman, founder and chief executive of RCS Real Estate Advisors in New York, which is handling lease negotiations for the Anaheim-based retailer.

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Incipio Bids $177M for Skullcandy

Incipio LLC, an Irvine-based maker of cell phone cases and other mobile device accessories, has bid $177M for Skullcandy Inc.

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FivePoint to Sponsor Concert Venue’s Last Season

FivePoint Holdings in Aliso Viejo said it will sponsor the final concert series at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater and is also exploring building an amphitheater on the south end of the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

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Karma Fills New Exec Post

Karma Automotive LLC, the Costa Mesa-based manufacturer of luxury electric hybrid plug-in vehicles, hired Dennis Dougherty as president and chief operations officer, a new position.

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SurfStitch Trims in Irvine

Australia-based SurfStitch Group Ltd. said it plans to eliminate 40 positions at Irvine-based subsidiary SurfStitch USA Inc.

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PacSun BK Auction Canceled

The bankruptcy auction for assets of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. in Anaheim has been canceled, with San Francisco-based private equity firm Golden Gate Capital now set to acquire all of the retailer’s assets.

Top Oakley Execs Continue Exodus

APPAREL: Parent Luxottica tightens grip in Foothill Ranch

A trio of top executives have joined an exodus from Oakley Inc. as Italy-based parent Luxottica Group SPA looks to streamline operations at One Icon in Foothill Ranch.

Fountain Valley Gear Maker in NBA Deal

Fountain Valley-based United Sports Brands’ Shock Doctor was named the official mouth guard of the National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA Development League and USA Basketball.

Arbonne’s New Ambition

Leaner Firm Goes Global for Growth

Arbonne International LLC is living up to its name.

Toll Roads System Picks New Agency to Draw Users

Replaces Everything LA With DB&M Media

DB&M Media Inc. in Costa Mesa will replace EverythingLA on a marketing contract with the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies after the Irvine-based incumbent’s three-year deal expires June 30.

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Ad Agency Adds Exec

Huntington Beach-based Grupo Gallegos created a new management post to be shared between an in-house executive and a new hire, effective July 18.

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NBA Deal for FV Gear Maker

Fountain Valley-based United Sports Brands’ Shock Doctor has been named the official mouthguard of the National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA Development League and USA Basketball.

Volcom’s New Ambassador Pick Stirs Brand’s Fans

Mick Jagger’s Daughter Considered Weak Choice

Volcom LLC, looking to shed its surf-only brand image, hired Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall to be the Costa Mesa-based footwear and apparel manufacturer’s new global brand ambassador.

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Arbonne Stretches to New Zealand

Arbonne International LLC in Irvine said it expanded its skincare, cosmetics and nutrition business into New Zealand.

Stance Socks Get Spot in MLB Lineup

San Clemente-based Stance Inc. now provides the official Major League Baseball sock.

Redone SCP Rolex Boutique Mimics Ocean’s Waves

2,100-SF Shop Opens With Exhibit on Grant Recipients

Rolex helped watch retailer Baron & Leeds celebrate the reopening of its 2,100-square-foot boutique at South Coast Plaza with a photo and video exhibit showcasing Rolex Awards for Enterprise recipients in the Costa Mesa-based shopping center’s Jewel Court.

Kia’s Court

Automaker’s Research Indicates NBA Ties Lift Brand

Kia Motors America Inc. is playing some impressive moves on the sponsorship court.

Angels Enlist Ad Agency Help

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Santa Ana-based Amusement Park to create a campaign targeting “women and other groups typically outside the scope of MLB marketing.”

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Angels Ads Aim at Less Obvious Fans

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Santa Ana-based Amusement Park to create a campaign targeting “women and other groups typically outside the scope of MLB marketing.”

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Advantage Solutions Makes Buy

Irvine-based Advantage Solutions acquired ecommerce specialist Sage Tree LLC in Naperville, Ill. on undisclosed terms.

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OC Auto Brands Beat Sales Slowdown

All four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicles in May, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

Source at Beach Enlists Help to Fill Shopping Center

Hires Real Estate Firm To Rustle Up the Right Mix

Lynwood-based M+D Properties, developer of the Source at Beach in Buena Park, hired the Los Angeles office of Madison Marquette real estate investment management firm to help identify additional tenants for its 428,000-square-foot shopping center.

Apparel Makers Inch Up Local Employment By 1%

Slow Growth Comes As Biggest Tweak Leadership

A lot can happen in a year, and the past 12 months were no exception for the 53 largest apparel companies based in Orange County. The top three on this week’s Business Journal list are under new leadership, one emerged from bankruptcy, and several others have traded hands. A few firms also notched significant local staffing changes, the metric the list is based on.

Mission Viejo Mall Makeover Stirs Flurry of Activity

RETAIL: Kaleidoscope seeks ‘experiential’ stores for bare spots

A recent visit to Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo felt like showing up to a party two days early.

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Tilly’s Shares Up

Shares of Tilly’s Inc. in Irvine were up 12% in midday trading Thursday following a first quarter report that exceeded Wall Street expectations on revenue and despite a higher-than-expected loss.

Vietnamese Style, Heritage Celebrated at Fashion Week

Event Showcased SoCal, Vietnam-Based Designers

Viet Fashion Week, showcasing designers of Vietnamese heritage, was held over the weekend outside the Westminster Mall.

Moro-San’s Mission

Globetrotting Exec Wants to Redefine Mazda

Masahiro Moro—or Moro-san as employees at Mazda North American Operations call him—reclined at his office in Irvine, where a picture of a red RX-Vision concept sports car Mazda Motor Corp. introduced in October at the Tokyo Motor Show hung on the wall directly across from his desk.

Kia Motors Speeds Up ‘Parent Media’ Ties With Event

Was Premier Sponsor Of Recent Mom 2.0 Summit

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine was the presenting sponsor and official transportation sponsor of the Mom 2.0 Summit at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point last month.

PacSun Set for BK Auction in June

RETAIL: SF-based private equity firm lined up as stalking horse

The fate of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. could be decided in a bankruptcy auction that’s scheduled for next month, with a stalking-horse bid in place and the possibility of additional interest in the Anaheim-based teen apparel and accessories retailer on the horizon.

Her Piece of the Pie

Gymboree Exec Divides Time, Conquers Challenges

Kimberly Sentovich looks at every day as a pie, slicing each as she sees fit, and almost never coming up with equal pieces for her work duties and personal life.

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Nissan Takes $2.2B Mitsubishi Stake

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. said it will take a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the parent company of Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc., for about $2.2 billion.

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OCVA to Nab China MICE

The Orange County Visitors Association in Irvine has added a “Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions” effort to its Beijing office.

Vans Takes on Olympian Challenge

Brand Hopes New Skate Circuit Will Lead to Tokyo Games

Vans Inc. is betting its future on what some consider a lifestyle rather than a sport.

Behr Ads Aim to Inspire Homeowners of All Stripes

Campaign Encourages DIYers’ Self-Expression

Paint maker Behr Process Corp. in Santa Ana released a flight of four TV spots that celebrate self-expression and aim to “inspire DIYers to transform their homes with colors that bring them joy,” according to Jodi Allen, the brand’s chief marketing officer. “This campaign is all about finding a color that’s right for you with paint that will give you a beautiful, lasting finish and a space that is all your own.”

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Autobytel Shares Crater on Q1 Results

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine reported mixed results for its March quarter, exceeding Wall Street expectations on revenue but delivering below forecasts on earnings

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Working Wardrobes HQ to Irvine

Working Wardrobes, a non-profit that provides career training, job placement assistance and professional wardrobe services, is moving from Costa Mesa to Irvine.

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Most OC Carmakers Beat U.S. Pace

Three of four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicle sales in April, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Sock Maker Raises $30M

San Clemente-based Stance Inc. received $30 million in Series D funding led by Mercato Partners in Salt Lake City.

Speedo's Splash

New Line Launches in Time to Catch Buzz of Summer Olympics

It’s not your mother’s aqua aerobics, but both of you are welcome to join in.

‘The Voice’ Contestant Pays Her Dues Selling Boots

Chain Takes Advantage Of On-Air Banter

Boot Barn Inc. in Irvine recently hired country music star Kelsea Ballerini as the face of women’s apparel brand Shyanne, but the real buzz is coming from its employee who is competing on NBC’s “The Voice.”

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Anaheim Apparel Maker to Be Sold

Midlothian, Texas-based Ennis Inc. said it plans to sell Alstyle Apparel LLC in Anaheim to the newly formed Alstyle Operations LLC for $76 million in cash and $12 million to cover a 60-month equipment lease.

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Mitsubishi: U.S. Cars OK With EPA

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. said the fuel economy data for its vehicles model years 2013 to 2017 sold in the U.S. is accurate and is not affected by testing irregularities its Japan-based parent revealed last week.

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