Kari Hamanaka

Staff Reporter

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

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

Recent Stories

Midday Stock Roundup

Kura Sushi, BJ’s lead local restaurant stock gains

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Working Wardrobes Names CEO

Bonni Pomush to succeed founder and CEO Jerri Rosen

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Arbonne Hires Chief Growth Officer

Christina Snyder tapped for new position

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Irvine Agency Helps With Afghanistan Evacuation

MEDL Mobile’s Technology Tapped

MEDL’s digital services were tapped by a group that includes veterans and human rights organizations looking to help U.S. citizens, U.S. visa holders and Afghan allies who remain in Afghanistan

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Nicolaas Verheem: Building a Box Office Hit

Untethered video tech nabs a 2021 Oscar

Current company goal is to support the media and entertainment industry in its recovery as it begins its bounce back, while also continuing to support the local community

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Fresh N’ Lean Eyes Billion-Dollar Status

New Las Vegas facility to boost output

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was named Fresh N’ Lean’s head of sports wellness last month to help develop a Whole30-inspired meal plan

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Layoffs Hit DealerSocket Following Acquisition

Software Co. for Auto Dealers; Solera Eyes IPOkar

Former OC employees take to LinkedIn after job cuts while Solera reaffirms HQ in Texas

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Tony Smith: An Expanding Menu at Restaurant365

Sees rebound for restaurants it serves

Acquisitions are on the menu as the restaurant industry rebound is helping boost demand for Restaurant365's back-of-the-house software

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Midday Stock Roundup

Alignment Healthcare, Axonics rise

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Report: Rivian IPO Could Raise $5B to $8B

Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker would be one of the largest U.S. IPOs

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Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza Renovations Completed

Boasts Collage food hall; revamped jewelry, beauty, accessories floor

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Fashion Island Reveals Raft of Incoming Tenants

10 in total to come to Newport Beach shopping center

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Midday Stock Roundup

WM Technology up on Sprout deal; Avid Bioservices falls

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WM Technology Buys Cannabis Tech Firm Sprout

Deal adds CRM, marketing software

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Del Taco Pushes into Virginia with Latest Franchise Deal

Agreement totals 10 restaurants

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Taco Bell Pilots Subscription Service

30-day program includes a taco a day

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Hyundai, Vans Latest In OC to Join Metaverse

Driving, Skateboarding Games on Roblox Platform

OC companies continue to blur the lines between real life and digital, as partnerships with Roblox are being made to utilize the platform of more than 43 million users

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Sole Tech CEO Looks To Build Momentum of Skate’s Olympic Debut

A Skateboarder in Paris

Paris is focused on appealing to more than just traditional sports fans as the Olympics wants to be more relevant to a new generation of viewers

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ESPN Taps Sports Commission for Wooden Tournament

Amateur focus for local commission

Orange County two years ago decided to strike out on its own in bringing sporting events to the region, but with a twist

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Chipotle Beefs Up Loyalty Program, App

Enhancements Help Feed A $2 Billion-Plus Business

Addition to rewards program helps continue to generate interest around the digital business for the Chipotle Rewards’ program’s 24 million members

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Midday Stock Roundup

Netlist down; Indie Semiconductor rises

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OC Auto Show Cancelled on Growing COVID Delta Variant Concerns

Originally set for Oct. 7-10 in Anaheim

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Midday Stock Roundup

WM Technology, Xponential shares trading down

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Lugano Diamonds Sold to Compass Diversified

Enterprise value of $256 million

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Charged-Up Rivian IPO; $80B Valuation Cited

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: 1st trucks expected this month

Filed for IPO in late August, a move that could make Rivian Automotive Orange County’s most valuable public company within a few months

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Pokéworks CEO Talks Influencer Marketing

Chain’s Former CMO on Why Influencer Relationships Matter

Marketing focus on a more genuine and authentic approach by using local influencers with perhaps a couple thousand followers, rather than megastars

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Vizio’s Winning More Business on the Ad Front

TV Maker’s Ad Buys In 2022 Season Quadruple

Vizio continues to make and sell its smart TVs and then further generates revenue off the devices division by gleaning audience data and selling ad products to marketers

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Corporate Foundations’ Flexibility Tested During Pandemic

Top Area Groups Scrambled, Pivoted

How to engage with prospective charity grantees proved challenging last year, with corporate foundation teams out of the office as needs also shifted when it came to giving over the course of the pandemic.

High School Offer Sprouts $100M+ Tree Biz

Healthy Trees, Happy Workers for Mahoneys

West Coast Arborists holds contracts with over 300 municipal agencies to manage more than 30 million trees

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Tilly’s Notches Record Gains in Q2

Stimulus checks, strong merchandise assortments helped in quarter

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Midday Stock Roundup

Evolus, Tilly’s trade down

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Genesis Vehicle Lineup to Go All Electric by 2030

Company to focus on fuel cell and battery EV technologies

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Karma Inks Las Vegas Raiders Sponsorship Deal

Becomes official luxury vehicle of NFL team

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Chip Shortages Drag Down Hyundai, Kia August Sales

Smaller OC brands notch gains

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Wraps Pulled Off Hyundai Ioniq 5 Robotaxi

Service through Lyft to begin in select U.S. markets in 2023

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Slapfish Delves into Consumer Goods

Seafood concept launches sauces

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Incipio Acquired by Armor Acquisition

Tech accessories firm’s brands now operating under Vinci Brands

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Hyundai, Kia Vehicles Tapped for Mobility Program

Parent Aims to Ramp Smart Mobility Solutions

Hyundais and Kias are at the center of a new ride-sharing service for people with disabilities that’s currently being tested

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New Chapter for Marketing Agencies as Digital Dominates

E-COMMERCE: Agencies refine business models

Recent wave of M&A and consolidation activities for a handful of OC marketing agencies suggests the business model of the agency world has dramatically changed

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Keep Eye on Irvine For Amazon Department Stores

Local Testing Ground For Other New Projects

New department stores follow in the footsteps of other Amazon brick-and-mortar locations; Irvine may be potential testing ground

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Panda Express Family Adds to OC Holdings

RESTAURANTS: Pays $22M for 108K SF office in Cypress

Priciest office sale in Cypress this year as Panda Restaurant’s founders’ footprint in Orange County grows

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Midday Stock Roundup

Restaurant stocks swing up

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Rivian Looking to Go Public at $80B Valuation

Files confidential draft registration statement for IPO

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Xponential Fitness Sees Studio, Franchise Deal Growth in Q2

Fitness franchisor opened 59 studios in quarter

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Mazda MX-30 Details Emerge

Crossover marks Mazda’s first EV for the U.S.

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Mountain Mike’s to Enter Texas

Projected to grow to be second largest market after California

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Rivian’s RJ Scaringe Confirms September Deliveries, Infrastructure Buildout

New app, more service centers and charging stations on the way

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Taco Bell Taps Lil Nas X for Role of Chief Impact Officer

Music artist previously worked at Taco Bell restaurant in the Atlanta area

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5.11 Parent Weighs Spinoff, IPO

APPAREL: 2021 sales up 14% year-over-year

5.11 is eyeing a new strategic move that has it exploring the public markets again as sales surge

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Arbonne’s Digital Chief Talks Tech Ramp Up

E-Commerce, Mobile, Loyalty Program and Data Insights

Chief digital experience officer Samir Khandhar has his hands full with enhancing the connected experience ecosystem for consultants and customers

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