Orange County Business Journal

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.

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.

Sold on Corporate Lawyering

Young GC Anything But Stock-Still in Retail-Based Career

Libby Stockstill didn’t just join Billabong International Ltd.’s in-house legal team in Irvine—she built one.

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.

Tease photo

Blizzard to Start eSports League

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Inc. plans to establish a professional esports league for Overwatch, its team-based shooter game that attracts some 20 million players.

HB Media Buyer Gains Steam With Analytics

MARKETING: Expects billings to Jump to $500 million this year

Ocean Media appears to have found a course through the choppy seas of change.

Yamaha Shifts Gears for Trip to L.A. Auto Show

MARKETING: To set up shop in section dubbed ‘Garage’

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA will bring just about everything but automobiles to the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.

Karma Revero Takes Cross-Country Spin to Woo Buyers

2017 Model Debut Car Of Revived OC Automaker

Karma Automotive LLC in Costa Mesa is taking its 2017 Revero on a Driven by Intention tour, giving prospective owners a chance to experience the $130,000 sports car.

Tease photo

Automakers’ October Sales Mixed

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

Tease photo

Quiksilver Adds to Board

Quiksilver Inc. in Huntington Beach added the former chief executive of Danone to its board of directors.

Tease photo

Apparel Firm Takes Over LA Plant

AST Sportswear Inc. in Brea plans to resume operations at the former American Apparel’s dyeing and finishing plant in Hawthorne in Los Angeles County, after acquiring its equipment in an auction.

I Spy a Turbo-Charged Advertising Campaign

Spots Highlight Mitsubishi Outlander Safety Features

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. launched several “I Spy” TV commercials that highlight safety features on its 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander.

NextVR Goes Beyond Tech to Tell Own Story

MARKETING: Next phase follows $80M round, deals with NBA, Fox

NextVR is done explaining the “how” of the broadcasting in virtual reality, and now is moving on to “why” it should be among consumers’ top sources for live entertainment, alongside ABC, CBS and other traditional media powerhouses.

Agency Gets Creative With Its Growth

ADVERTISING: Rauxa picks up accounts as it charts new paths

Ask the folks at Vans Inc. in Cypress about Rauxa, and they’ll likely say it’s a tech company developing their “Customs” website for shoppers to personalize the classic slip-on shoe.

Tease photo

Hyundai, Kia Settle With States

Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. will pay $41.2 million to 33 states and the District of Columbia to settle an investigation of the automakers’ “2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings and related advertising.”

Tease photo

Porsche Motorsport Decamps

Porsche Motorsport North America has left Santa Ana for Carson, a move first announced in 2012.

Tease photo

OC Car Sales Up 1.1%

Sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers for the first nine months of the year increased 1.1% to 147,360, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

Tease photo

Volcom Down in Q3

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. posted $76.5 million in revenue for the September quarter, a 13.6% decrease from the same period last year, according to Kering, its Paris-based parent.

Tease photo

Vans’ Sales Up

Vans Inc. revenue was up 7% in the third quarter, leading the Greensboro, N.C.-based parent, VF Corp.’s outdoor and action sports group that includes the North Face and Timberland brands and had $2.3 billion in revenue for the period.

New Shade of Grays: Emphasis on Proprietary Retail

APPAREL: Mother-daughter label now has four stores open

Kelly and Marie Gray are taking a breather after a whirlwind year that saw their Grayse LLC in Irvine realign its retail strategy to focus on a flock of fledgling brick-and-mortars.

Kia Gets Clever

Automaker Plans ‘Full Blend’ for Marketing To Stand Out Among Bigger Rivals

Kia Motors America Inc. is preparing to tap into a “full blend” of marketing channels—including virtual reality—as it launches the Niro hybrid SUV and other vehicles scheduled to debut in the coming months.

Auto Group Poised for Growth With Buys, Build

AUTOMOTIVE: Shelly beefs up luxe footprint with moves

Shelly Automotive Group is on the move in every sense of the word.

Shoemaker Inspires Longer Runs to Help Girls Group

ASICS to Donate Pair For Every ‘Extra Mile’ Logged

ASICS America Corp. in Irvine launched a marketing campaign that encourages athletes to add a mile to their workouts.

Tease photo

NBA Games to Air in VR

Laguna Beach-based virtual reality content maker NextVR Inc. has struck a multi-year deal with NBA Digital in New York to live-stream National Basketball Association games in virtual reality during the upcoming season.

Tease photo

Holiday Pop-Ups for Wet Seal

Wet Seal LLC in Irvine plans to open 13 temporary stores during the upcoming holiday season.

Tease photo

New Boss for Speedo USA

Speedo USA in Cypress promoted John Graham to role of president.

Tease photo

Interim Venue to Replace Irvine Meadows

Five Point Communities Management Inc. in Aliso Viejo said part of its property bordering Orange County Great Park would be available for the operation of an “interim amphitheater,” pending approval by the city of Irvine.

Campaign Aims to Boost Pursuit of People’s Passions

Boost Mobile Says It’s There ‘Where You At’

Boost Mobile in Irvine launched a “We Are Where You At” marketing campaign that “celebrates consumers pursuing their passions.”

Advantage Solutions Aims to Take Data Marketing Up a Notch

MARKTING: New media unit to devise real-time pitches to shoppers

Irvine-based Advantage Solutions has launched a business unit that relies on data collected monthly from some 150 million mobile devices to advertise to specific customers when they’re most likely to make a purchase.

El Pollo Loco Taps San Diego Ad Shop

MARKETING: New campaign to aim for ‘Main Street foodies’

El Pollo Loco in Costa Mesa hired Vitro as its creative agency of record following a competitive review.

Tease photo

OC Company Buys Las Vegas Expo

San Juan Capistrano-based Emerald Expositions LLC acquired Digital Dealer Conference & Expo from Dealer Communications in Boca Raton, Fla. on undisclosed terms.

Zillow Sells Software Unit Amid Expansion in Irvine

MARKETING: Seattle brand’s local office up to 250 OC workers

A software firm that served as the springboard for Zillow Group Inc. to establish a major presence in Irvine has been sold—but don’t expect the online real estate marketer to close up shop in OC.

Irvine-Based Avocado Board Eyes China’s Potential

MARKETING: Talks set for Chicago later this month

The Chinese language has several names for avocado—“è lí,” which literally translates to “crocodile pear”; “niú yóu guǒ,” the “butter fruit”; and “lào lí,” the “cream pear.”

Campaign Promotes BJ’s Chain as Chock Full of Value

Ads By New Agency Let the Good Times Roll

BJ’s Restaurants Inc.’s new “Moments That Count” marketing campaign was developed by its new advertising agency of record, DDB San Francisco, and features ads that emphasize the importance of consumers’ time off and that BJ’s is just the right place to enjoy it.

Tease photo

Ranking Shows Automakers’ Climb

The brand value of Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. is up this year, according to Interbrand’s 17th annual Best Global Brands report

Tease photo

FAO Schwartz Brand to Irvine Outfit

Irvine-based ThreeSixty Group Inc. acquired the FAO Schwarz brand from Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. in Wayne, N.J on undisclosed terms.

Tease photo

Hyundai Up, Other Carmakers Lag

Three out of the four Orange County-based automakers fell behind the national sales pace on new-vehicle sales in September, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

Tease photo

Avocado, Heart-Health Group in Pact

The Hass Avocado Board in Mission Viejo formed a four-year partnership with the American Heart Association “to galvanize Americans to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables every day.”

Prep for Healthcare’s Future

Providence St. Joe Strategist Had the Instinct

Annette Walker loves “architecting the future of an organization … figuring out how to make sure it’s here 100 years from now and how it anticipates the challenges.”

Northgate González Aims for Latino Generation Next

RETAIL: ‘Grab-and-go’ part of grocer’s prototype in La Habra

Plans for Northgate González LLC’s upcoming store in La Habra call for a 4,000-square-foot “restaurant within the market” that will include a “coffee and juice bar, a deli, a hot foods section, and indoor and outdoor seating areas” for 33, according to documents filed with the city’s planning commission.

Vans Goes Indie in Ad Campaign Shot on iPhones

Solicits Photogs’ Work For Worldwide Marketing Push

Vans Inc.’s newest global marketing campaign was shot exclusively on the iPhone 6s Plus.

Tease photo

Mazda Ad Shop CCO Departs

The chief creative officer of Mazda North American Operations’ advertising agency of record, Garage Team Mazda in Costa Mesa, has “chosen to leave his position to pursue other interests,” according to the Irvine-based automaker.

Tease photo

Auto Show Makes Room for Trucks

This year’s Orange County International Auto Show will occupy 25% more room at the Anaheim Convention Center for its Oct. 6-9 run.

Tease photo

Online Retailer to Open South Coast Plaza Pop-Up Store

Irvine-based menswear company Combatant Gentlemen next month plans to open a pop-up store at Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza that will remain open throughout the holiday season.

Avocado Board Aims for Apples

MARKETING: MV outfit backed by feds touts 5-year plan

You’ll be hearing about the benefits of “an avocado a day” in the future if Hass Avocado Board’s new five-year strategic plan bears fruit.

Alcatel Signs as VR Partner for Live Nation Collective

Irvine-Based Brand to Show Tech at Concerts

Smartphone maker Alcatel Onetouch in Irvine signed on as the exclusive mobile handset and VR accessories partner of Live Nation Worldwide Inc.’s Ones To Watch, a Los Angeles-based “collective of bloggers, music geeks and concert fanatics” dedicated to discovering and presenting new artists.

J.D. Power Play In Costa Mesa

Auto Vet at Helm as Renowned Ratings Specialist Sets Up HQ

It’s no surprise that J.D. Power and Associates—the outfit that cut its teeth on automotive industry ratings—moved its headquarters to Costa Mesa last fall.

Kia Playbook: Jackson, Bosworth in for Sorento Spot

Throwback Recalls ’80s Game Tecmo Bowl

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. is hoping its prospective Sorento SUV customers are old enough to remember the 1980s, and specifically Tecmo Bowl, a football game made for Nintendo Entertainment System that paved the way for the Madden NFL game series.

Lots to Like in Lido

L.A. Brands, Boutiques Flock to Revamped Retail Center

Newport Beach resident Athena Kasparoff, shopping bags and a long-time sales consultant in tow, perused the latest offerings from Bailey44, a Los Angeles-based brand usually found at better department stores in upscale retail centers.

Biggest Drugmakers Hold Steady on OC Jobs

Allergan Still No. 1 for Local Employment

The largest drugmakers with headquarters or significant operations in Orange County employed 3,210 here during the 12-month period that ended Aug. 30, about the same as a year earlier.

Page of .