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

Medical device maker’s notch movement Friday.

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Habit Restaurants Beefing Up

Bendel Gets Yum Brands Backing for Burger Joint

Habit Restaurants Inc.’s (Nasdaq: HABT) $375 million sale to Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) is expected to turbocharge growth at a burger business that’s already seen a more than doubling in restaurant count over the past five years.

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Ex-Taco Bell CBO to Lowe’s

Thalberg lands at ‘home’

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Del Taco Plans New Value Offering

Will retire Buck & Under items in menu refresh

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Karma Hires COO

Other positions also filled, carmaker says

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Boot Barn Beats in Early Q3 Results

Sales remain strong in both digital and physical channels.

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Star-Studded Lineup Pads Hyundai Super Bowl Spot

Commercial features Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch and David Ortiz

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Tilly’s Shares Down on Holiday Results

An unexpected holiday slowdown pushed fourth-quarter guidance down.

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Chipotle’s ‘Food Culture’ On Display in Pasadena

Rose Parade Float Hits on Farming Theme

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is serious about eating clean, and its marketing continues to drive that point home.

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Chipotle Cultivates Roses

Fast casual’s Tournament of Roses Parade entry fêtes farming

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Midday Stock Roundup

Cryoport, Evolus down on prelims.

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Brian Niccol: Smokin’ Hot

RESTAURANTS: Chipotle CEO on Breakout 2019, and Future Plans

If a Chipotle employee can’t taste the difference between good guacamole and great guacamole, well, they may be suited to work elsewhere.

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Taco Bell to Test $100K Pay

New Year, new pay, packaging, product

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PVH Speedo Price $170M

Pentland pays $170 million to reunite Speedo businesses in time for Olympic Games.

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Blowout Sale: $255M For Drybar Products

RETAIL: Parent co. retains salon business

The buttercup yellow branding synonymous with blowout salon concept Drybar is set to emerge on the international stage this year following the sale of its products business for $255 million to Helen of Troy Ltd. (Nasdaq: HELE).

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OC Automakers Cap 2019 Generally Up

Car sales’ good cheer

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Habit Stock Pops on $375M Sale to Yum

Burger chain to join global owner of Irvine-based Taco Bell, others

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Tyr Inks Sponsorships Ahead of Olympics

Capped 2019 with Ian Finnerty deal

Pro swimmer Ian Finnerty is now backed by swimsuit brand Tyr Sport Inc., capping a busy year of sponsorship deals for the line in 2019.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Begins Ulta Rollout

Web First; Stores Coming in Q3

Irvine beauty brand Manna Kadar Cosmetics is on a roll.

Pieology Refranchises 21 Sites

Current operator takes another slice

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Midday Stock Roundup

Healthcare REITs rise (keep reading)

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2020 Preview: RETAIL & APPAREL

Change Remains Name of the Game

Who will be next to go?

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Rivian Nabs $1.3B

More cash for carmaker Rivian

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Company to Watch: Boardriders Inc.

It’s time for surf and skate to step up as both sports make their 2020 Summer Olympics debut.

Innocean USA Hits Links, Adds TaylorMade Account

Agency’s Client Roster Diversifies Beyond Auto

Huntington Beach-based Innocean USA’s latest win continues to pad the agency’s client portfolio beyond its roots in automotive.

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Company to Watch: Wienerschnitzel

While some companies fire away on the digital, loyalty and food innovation front, others are looking at the bigger picture to revive older brands.

Person to Watch: José Muñoz

José Muñoz left Nissan Motor Co. to join Hyundai Motor America Inc. in April.

Person to Watch: Ryan Chase

How brick-and-mortar shopping centers choose to respond to continued shifts in consumer behavior and spending remains a key trend to watch in 2020.

2020 Preview: AUTOMOTIVE

The Future is Now for Local Carmakers

Electrification, ride-sharing, urban mobility solutions.

2020 Preview: RESTAURANTS

Growth on Menu For OC’s Top Chains

Discerning palates have just about everyone claiming the foodie title these days.

Company to Watch: Karma Automotive

Which way does Karma Automotive go?

Person to Watch: Hajime ‘Jimmy’ Uba

Kura Sushi USA Inc. (Nasdaq: KRUS) thinks its conveyor belt-style sushi concept has a large runway for growth.

Tilly’s Nod to Melrose Ups Merchandising Game

New Line, New Merchant Keeping Assortment Fresh

New line West of Melrose is a nod to the trendy street of the same name as Tilly’s Inc. looks to pull in older customers with an in-house label.

Midday Stock Roundup

Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. ticks down, a day after revealing news on the patent front.

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Innocean Work Will BeTaylorMade

Innocean goes golfing, gets lunch

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Emerald Expositions Nabs Shop Eat Surf; on CEO Hunt

MEDIA: Action sports outlet complements trade shows

Emerald Expositions Events Inc. (NYSE: EEX) continues its buying spree with action sports news outlet Shop Eat Surf, amid changes coming next year to the Emerald C-suite.

Karma Inks Retail Deal in Sweden

Karma Automotive Inc. said Friday it struck a deal with Callisma Automotive Group to expand the automaker’s presence in Sweden.

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Midday Stock Roundup

NextGen dives following new buy. (keep reading)

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OC Retailers See Strong Holiday Sales

RETAIL: More discounts; consumer behavior shifts

Black Friday is a day? A week? A month?

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Emerald on CEO Hunt, Buys Shop Eat Surf

Action sports online news site Shop Eat Surf said Monday it was sold to San Juan Capistrano-based trade show owner Emerald Expositions Events Inc. (NySE: EEX), following news earlier in the day of a CEO change at Emerald.

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Kia’s New Ride

President Cole on Carmaker’s Next Steps, and Changing Auto Landscape

Kia Motors America Inc. President Michael Cole has hit the ground running.

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Hyundai Marketing Exec Talks Social

Owner Stories Part Of Brand Play for Automaker

Social media continues to lend itself well to telling vehicle owner stories for Hyundai Motor America Inc.

Dior Links With Irvine’s Stüssy

Collab Brings Founder Out of Retirement

It was about time for this one.

Midday Stock Roundup

Stocks up on jobs report.

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Hyundai Gets More Social

Hyundai Motor America in Fountain Valley looks to grow its social media marketing.

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Tilly’s Shares Surge on Q4 Outlook

Irvine retailer Tilly’s Inc.’s strong Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday performance has it optimistic about the rest of the holiday selling season.

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OC Automakers Report Strong November

November proved a good month for Orange County’s largest automakers, with all notching gains.

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OC Weekly Shutters

OC Weekly parent Duncan McIntosh Co. has shuttered the local publication.

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OC Weekly Shutters

OC Weekly parent Duncan McIntosh Co. has shuttered the local publication.

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Restaurateurs Talk Startup Secrets

FOOD: Little Onion’s recipe for biz success

Operating a restaurant is no easy feat, especially when you’re an independent operator.

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