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

Hyundai Ad in Super Bowl

Hyundai Motor America confirmed it will again advertise during the Super Bowl.

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Karma Unwraps SC2 Concept, Revero GTS

Irvine automaker Karma Automotive revealed on Tuesday a new concept car and 2020 Revero GTS during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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OC Restaurant Association Buys TacoTuesday Domain

The OC Restaurant Association said it’s bought the domain TacoTuesday.com in what will, in the near term, be a marketing play for restaurants before eventually monetizing parts of the site.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% to 3,113.15 in midday trading Friday.

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Karma Names Head of Silicon Valley Office, Autonomous Driving

Karma Automotive hired an executive to lead its new Silicon Valley office and its autonomous driving program.

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Retail IRL

ComplexCon: a Study in What’s Moving the Needle in Retail, Experiential Marketing

“Stop! Stop running!”

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Volcom Nabs Winter Olympics Deal

Volcom inked a deal making it the official apparel partner for the U.S. snowboard team.

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St. John Seeks Relaunch Under New Creative Director

Irvine luxury knitwear label St. John said a new capsule collection and social media campaign reflects a relaunch of the brand under recently hired creative director Zoe Turner.

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Former Toyota Racing Manager Jumps to Mazda Motorsports

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations said it named Nelson Cosgrove as director of its Mazda Motorsports division.

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OC Retail Buoyed By New in Fashion, Food

Sales of $8.8 Billion Represent 4.5% Gain

Pop ups, first-to-market concepts, beauty and food have helped fuel growth for Orange County’s largest shopping centers, setting the group up nicely as they enter the key holiday selling season.

Designers Sound Off: Where Streetwear’s Headed

Niche Not in Lexicon; Heritage Brand Goals

Streetwear—love or hate the label—continues to be the darling of men’s wear, leading the conversation on not only design but how brands—including numerous firms based in Orange County—speak and sell to their audience.

New Name, Focus For 5 Lagunas Mall

RETAIL: Office space, hotel envisioned on site

Transformation plans for the former Laguna Hills Mall continues with a new name and new uses.

Karma Realigns, Cuts Staff as Plans Change

AUTOMOTIVE: Aspirations now go beyond manufacturing

Seven months after announcing a refueled and revamped business plan, Karma Automotive LLC is downsizing its workforce and once again tweaking its business model—moves that underscore the uphill battle the fledgling luxury electric automaker faces.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Glaukos, Impac report earnings. (keep reading)

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Streetwear Growing Up

Apparel makers talked the merits—and future—of streetwear at the recently concluded ComplexCon.

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Laguna Hills Mall Gets New Name, Plan

Transformation plans for the former Laguna Hills Mall continues with a new name and new uses.

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Beauty M&A Continues: Benchmark to KDC/ONE

Irvine beauty formulations firm Benchmark Cosmetic Laboratories has traded hands.

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Jannard Retires, Cancels Hydrogen Project

INNOVATION: Famed Oakley, Red Digital founder cites health issues

Serial entrepreneur and inventor Jim Jannard, one of the most influential businesspeople and inventors in Orange County’s history, said he’s calling it quits on a storied career that runs more than 40 years and spans multiple industries.

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Emerald Expos Bolsters Portfolio

San Juan Capistrano-based Emerald Expositions Events Inc. (NYSE: EEX) bought G3 Communications in New Jersey for an undisclosed sum.

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Bastion Collective Continues Buying Spree

Marketing and communications firm Bastion Collective USA said Monday it acquired consumer insights firm and consultance db5.

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Kia Leads October for OC Carmakers

Orange County automakers saw mostly positive results in October, with the sport utility vehicle segment doing particularly well for some.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.8% to 3,062.78 in midday trading Friday. (keep reading)

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Kia Names President

Irvine automaker Kia Motors America gets a new president next month.

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Habit Shares Pop on Q3

Irvine fast casual burger chain The Habit Restaurants Inc. continues its push on service, modernizing its fleet of stores on the digital front and adding drive-thrus in its recently ended quarter.

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Boot Barn: Strong Q2, Upbeat on Season

Irvine-based Western wear retailer Boot Barn Holdings Inc.’s better-than-expected results for the September quarter has it rosy on the upcoming holiday selling season and beyond.

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Nike to Sell Hurley

Costa Mesa-based Hurley International LLC is to be sold to brand licensing and management firm Bluestar Alliance LLC.

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Irvine a Test Track for Autonomous Hyundais

Irvine will serve as the hub for a pilot program testing a fleet of autonomous Hyundai Konas.

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Juice It Up CEO on Brand Refresh, as 25 Looms

Stiff Competition Keeps Chain on Its Toes

Can being an original be enough to turn heads these days?

Slapfish Keeps Focus On Grassroots Marketing

Company Buckles Down On Digital Efforts

Slapfish’s new deal with investment firm Mac Haik Enterprises Ltd.’s restaurant division gives it a capital injection and franchise expansion.

VF Still Upbeat on Vans

The outlook remains bright for Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc., even as parent VF Corp.’s shares took a hit Friday after releasing disappointing results for its recently ended quarter.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose up 0.5% to 3,024.22 in midday trading Friday. (keep reading)

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Jannard Steps Down

Jim Jannard, the founder of Oakley, Red Digital Cinema Camera Co., and more recently the Hydrogen phone project on Thursday said he’ll retire.

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Modern Drives

Hyundai has evolved. It wants consumers to know it.

Hyundai rhymes with Sunday, sported a return-your-car-if-you-lose-your-job policy during the Great Recession, and at one time promoted a 24/7 product strategy—that is, seven model launches in 24 months.

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BJ’s Shares Up on Q3 Results

A slowdown across the broader casual dining segment and the impact of Hurricane Dorian on certain East Coast states impacted the third quarter for Huntington Beach-based restaurant operator BJ’s Restaurants Inc.’s (Nasdaq: BJRI).

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SeneGence to Sell in Hong Kong

Foothill Ranch-based cosmetics and skincare company SeneGence International said it’s expanding its direct-selling model to Hong Kong.

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Apparel Co.’s New President, HQ

Multi-brand apparel owner Z Supply LLC plans a move to larger headquarters in Costa Mesa under new leadership.

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Slapfish Sells Stake

Fountain Valley-based fast casual seafood restaurant Slapfish got an undisclosed investment from Houston-based Mac Haik Enterprises.

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Karma Bows Silicon Valley Office

Irvine automaker Karma Automotive Inc. said Wednesday it expanded into Silicon Valley with a San Jose office.

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Chipotle Beats on Q3, Slows Store Growth

Newport Beach-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) delivered better-than-expected results for its September quarter on Tuesday, even as construction of drive-thru lanes slows its store growth projections.

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Juice It Up Charts 2020

Irvine-based Juice It Up estimates it can open about a store a month next year; it has 83 now, including 16 in OC.

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Hyundai Taps Innocean Exec to be CMO

Fountain Valley automaker Hyundai Motor America confirmed Monday the appointment of Angela Zepeda to chief marketing officer.

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OC Auto Dealers Down Modestly, Carmaker Jobs Up

Mitsubishi Departs OC; Rivian Ramps Up

Sales took a dip among Orange County auto dealers amid an industry landscape that continues to evolve locally.

King of the Hill

How Fletcher Jones Motorcars Newport Beach’s GM Stays on Top

Being nice can get you to lots of places. Just ask David Gonzalez.

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Hyundai Seeking New CMO

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America said Friday it has begun the search for a new chief marketing officer, following its confirmation of CMO Dean Evans’ resignation.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.4% to 2,985.53 in midday trading Friday.

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True Grit in the 21st Century

Ethan Wayne Looks to Expand the Duke’s Legacy

The T-shirts are folded next to the single-action revolver and shotgun, which sit near the leather journals, the bourbon and beef jerky as if the Duke himself was gearing up for a boat trip on the Wild Goose.

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Tesla Plants Flag in South OC, Continues Infrastructure Buildout

Lake Forest Service Center Expands EV Maker’s Reach

Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk and team are going “at max speed.”

Slow and Steady At Retailers as Holiday Looms

Industry Largely Positive Amid Notable Closures

The National Retail Federation said this month it’s expecting a lift in holiday retail sales—November and December—of 3.8% to 4.2% over last year to between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.

Del Rosso to Genesis Motors CEO

Genesis Motors North America said Friday it named Mark Del Rosso chief executive officer, effective Oct. 21.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes rose after President Trump indicated a deal with China is close. (keep reading)

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