Kari Hamanaka

Staff Reporter

Kari Hamanaka covers apparel manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, automakers and hotels/tourism. She can be reached at hamanaka@ocbj.com.

Email: hamanaka@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 271

Recent Stories

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P was flat in midday trading Friday at 3,009.4.

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Casual Expansion for Wahoo’s on Menu

RESTAURANTS: Chain plots next phase of growth

Part of the challenge in diversifying Orange County’s food scene is people like Wahoo’s Fish Taco co-founder Ed Lee.

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Richer Poorer Sets New Course After Turmoil

APPAREL: First store, elevating basics, $100M goal

Apparel company Richer Poorer has a pair of matching goals—corporate stability and ambitious sales growth—after a roller-coaster ride over the past five years that included multiple company sales, a change in product focus, and a near brush with bankruptcy.

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Tilly’s Enters Holiday Season on Stronger Footing

RETAIL: Retailer’s riding high after strong Q2

The key holiday selling season’s looking cheerier for retailer Tilly’s Inc.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P was up 0.3% in midday trading to 2,984.5.

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Kia, Hyundai Lead OC Automaker August Gains

Orange County’s largest automakers notched mostly gains in August as they pushed through the final days of summer.

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Taco Bell’s Latest: Redefining ‘Lifestyle Brand’

Back-to-School Means A Stop at Online Shop

Taco Bell Corp. has always pushed the marketing envelope.

OC Retail Roundup: PacSun in DTLA

Changes at Pacific City, Outlets at Orange

Movement continues within and among Orange County retailers.

Fashion Icons Aim To Get in the Green

Industry Heavy Hitters Presented Their Ideas

The latest in the fashion industry’s attempt to reduce its impact on the environment is a new deal that gleaned plenty of buzz late last month, as an initial set of heavy hitters signed on to do their part.

PacSun Could Take DTLA Space

Pacific Sunwear of California is said to be planning a new store in downtown Los Angeles.

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In Blüm: Cannabis Delivery Pitches Safety, Education

Ease of access through same-day delivery is broadening Blüm’s reach.

Karma Takes Wraps Off Concept Car

Unveil Also Came With a New Dealership

Irvine-based Karma Automotive’s SC1 Vision Concept car shows where the luxury hybrid automaker’s head is at when it comes to design and performance moving forward.

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Steve Madden Seeks Apparel Push With BB Dakota

APPAREL: Gloria Brandes remains as unit’s CEO

“It was a matter of ‘if the shoe fits,’” Costa Mesa-based BB Dakota founder and Chief Executive Gloria Brandes said of her decision to move forward with a sale of her multibrand apparel portfolio to Steven Madden Ltd.

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20 Years and Counting For Bayside Restaurant

Change a Constant; Serving Consistency Works

Operating a restaurant is never easy. Just ask Orange County’s Ghoukassian family, which has been in the business for decades.

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New CMO Hired For Irvine’s Alteryx

Heidersbach Experience Includes PayPal

Data science and analytics company Alteryx Inc. (NYSE: AYX) isn’t using AI and word-of-mouth alone for its marketing.

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Karma Unwraps Concept Car

Karma Automotive in Irvine is ready with a version of a new vision: its SC1 Vision concept car.

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Fashion Label Likes Look of Competition

APPAREL: Irvine-based Z Supply feeds off challenges of fast-fashion

Forget about the doom-and-gloom projections that women’s retail is boring, merchandising is dead, and Forever 21 killed the category.

Knott’s Next Ride: Back to Future

Farm Roots, Food, Atmosphere Key to 5-Year Plan

Raffi Kaprelyan believes this will be the summer of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Billabong Restructures, Adds Executive Weight in OC

Orange County is emerging as an increasingly important part of Billabong International Ltd.’s operations as the action-sports apparel maker and retailer begins to find some footing on a turnaround.

Hotel Construction, Remodeling in High Gear

Industry Employment, Though, Essentially Flat

Dirt’s turning at a rapid clip for Orange County’s hotel landscape, and there may be no other local company that reflects that activity more than R.D. Olson Construction.

Coordinated Effort Taps Coveted China Meetings Market

OC Trumps Vegas for 7K- Strong Company Reward Trip

It took a perfect storm of the positive persuasion to bring the Perfect group to Orange County.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.33% to 1,898.81 in afternoon trading Friday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.38% to 1,895.29 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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R.D. Olson Construction Appoints President

Irvine-based R.D. Olson Construction has named Bill Wilhelm president.

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Marriott Awards R.D. Olson With Top Developer Honor

Irvine developer Bob Olson and his company R.D. Olson were awarded Marriott International's Developer of the Year award this week.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.61% to 1,884.18 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

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Taco Bell Names CEO

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. named President Brian Niccol chief executive of the fast food chain.

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Marriott Awards R.D. Olson With Top Developer Honor

Irvine developer Bob Olson and his company R.D. Olson were awarded Marriott International's Developer of the Year award this week.

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Taco Bell Names CEO

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. named President Brian Niccol to chief executive of the fast food chain.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.67% to 1,872.44 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.28% to 1,883.06 in afternoon trading Monday.

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Toyota HQ Shift Adds Depth to OC Automotive Talent Pool

AUTOS: About 3,000 workers at South Bay HQ to be affected

OC automakers stand to benefit from Toyota’s eventual headquarters move to Texas with a wave of worker talent expected to be released into the local market.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.02% to 1,870.40 in afternoon trading Friday.

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Laguna Cliffs Inn Sold

The 36-room Laguna Cliffs Inn was acquired by Classic Hotels & Resorts for $11.2 million.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.17% to 1,894.18 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

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St. John Knits Chair to Quiksilver Board

Huntington Beach-based action sports apparel maker Quiksilver Inc. said Bernd Beetz joined its board of directors Tuesday.

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Goodwill of OC Brings High-Tech to Donation Bins

Goodwill of Orange County on Tuesday revealed redesigned donation bins that include more high-tech features.

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St. John Knits Chair to Quiksilver Board

Huntington Beach-based action sports apparel maker Quiksilver Inc. said Bernd Beetz joined its board of directors Tuesday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.09% to 1,898.28 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.81% to 1,893.72 in afternoon trading Monday.

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USO Center to Open at JWA

John Wayne Airport plans to open its first USO Center.

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Boot Barn Parent Plans IPO for Retailer

The private equity parent of Irvine-based Western wear retailer Boot Barn Inc. is looking to take the company public, according to a Reuters report.

Taco Bell Boss Bound for Louisville

DINING: Headed for top job at parent by start of next year

It looks as though at least one member of this week’s OC 50 won’t qualify for consideration next year.

USO Center to Open at JWA

John Wayne Airport plans to open its first USO Center.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.06% to 1,876.72 in afternoon trading Friday.

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Chinese Ambassador to Visit Nixon Library

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is set to host the People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to the U.S.

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Visitor Spending Rises in Irvine

Visitor spending in Irvine last year grew about 2% to $522 million, according to a report from Destination Irvine, the city's destination marketing arm.

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Retail Roundup: Oakley Opens NY Store

Foothill Ranch-based sunglasses and apparel maker Oakley Inc. opened a store and showroom on Fifth Avenue in New York.

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Visitor Spending Rises in Irvine

Visitor spending in Irvine last year grew about 2% to $522 million, according to a report from Destination Irvine, the city's destination marketing arm.

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Chinese Ambassador to Visit Nixon Library

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is set to host the People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to the U.S.

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