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

Vizio’s Connected Pitch Finds a Growing Audience

CEO Wang builds ‘future of smart TV industry’

Viewers, investors and advertisers are tuning in as Vizio aims to build and maintain its standing as “the future of the smart TV industry”

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Xponential Bulks Up on Fitness Franchising Thesis

CEO Geisler in shape for 2022’s fitness race

CEO Anthony Geisler knew it wasn’t the greatest time to go public last July, but he pushed forward anyway, raising $120 million in the IPO

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Rivian Charges Up

RJ Scaringe Built OC’s Most Valuable Public Company. Now Comes the Hard Part.

Upstart went public in November and is making waves as Orange County’s largest IPO on record, by a wide margin

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Red Digital Cameras Star In ‘Matrix Resurrections’

Production 1st to Film With OC Firm’s Gear

Red Digital cameras weren’t in full production at the time of filming, making The Matrix the first production to record with them

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WaBa Grills Up Growth as an OC Newbie

Operator keeps eye on franchise growth, innovation

Waba Grill placing growth on the grill as it plans to move headquarters to OC, incubate new restaurants, and expand a Korean chicken sandwich concept

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Jim Jannard Has Fun With ‘Inventions Wrapped in Art’

Oakley Founder Keeps Busy With New Design Projects

On the front of the “mad scientist” who started Oakley and Red Digital Cinema LLC, Jim Jannard seems to continue having fun in retirement.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Romeo Power falls; Rivian rises

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Midday Stock Roundup

Sonendo, Xponential down

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Karma Enlists Swiss AR Firm to Test Tech in EVs

WayRay’s Tech For Drivers and Passengers

The two companies say the technology would provide road alerts for drivers or other information as well as upgrade the passenger experience

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Luxury Comes in Form Of High Tech at Genesis

Fragrance Setting Among New Features for G90

Refreshed version of the luxury automaker’s G90 sedan coming soon, with some high-tech touches as it aims to redefine what luxury means in the automotive world

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Midday Stock Roundup

Rivian falls; Xponential climbs

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Rivian Down on Q3 Results

Company confirmed second plant in Georgia

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Chipotle’s Next Digital Kitchen to Tout Chipotlane

Ohio tapped for latest restaurant design iteration

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Taco Bell to Bump Average Minimum Wage to $15

Targeting pay boost by mid-2024

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South Coast Plaza Announces General Manager

Molly Unger to oversee day-to-day operations of shopping center

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El Pollo Loco Makes Marketing, IT Adds to Board

Deborah Gonzalez, Nancy Faginas-Cody newest directors

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Pacsun Bolsters Digital-First Strategy with Same-Day Delivery

Service launched at 40 stores

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MSI Leverages Import Connections to Aid Community

Provides Support, Funds To Health, Frontline Workers

MSI even helping students get online as employee matching program during the pandemic leads to major push to raise funds across various communities

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Serving Up California Love

Wahoo’s Wing Lam & Friends Find Calling in New Charity

Started during pandemic by providing meals, charitable program California Love Drop continues to expand and build new connections within the Orange County Community

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Tilly’s Tweaks App; Digital Sales Solid

E-Commerce Could Near 25% of Sales in Long Term

Tilly’s mobile app recently received major refreshes as Irvine chain sees digital channel remain strong, even with store traffic bouncing back in a big way

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Pacsun Rolls Out First NFT, Readies for Metaverse Mall

Digital Pacworld Mall Up Next for Retailer

Malls are going digital as Pacsun to focus on Pacworld, a mall in the metaverse on Roblox

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Del Taco Inks $575M Quick-Serve Combo

Being sold to Jack in the Box

Factoring in debt, the deal is worth about $575 million and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year

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California Pizza Kitchen to Begin U.S. Franchising

Program begins in 2022

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Howard’s Makes Another Retail Buy

Riverside deal brings Taylor’s Appliance into fold

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Home Franchise Concepts Buys Aussie Pet Mobile

Second purchase this year

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Midday Stock Roundup

Del Taco soars on sale; Vizio rises

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Del Taco Sold to Jack in the Box

Purchase price of $455.3 million equates to $12.51 per share

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David Grant on the Evolution of South Coast Plaza

GM on COVID, adaptation, going global

After postponing initial retirement plans, David Grant is wrapping up his time at South Coast Plaza after 40+ years

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El Pollo Loco Delves Into Merch, Online Retail

Pairs With Local Artists On New Launch Collection

El Pollo Loco is among the latest non-apparel companies to get into the merch business to bolster branding

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Del Taco, Taco Bell Offer Holiday Cheer

Seasonal Merchandise Sold at Online Shops

Taco Bell and Del Taco wasted no time in participating in another tradition customary to apparel retailers: Cyber Monday and holiday merchandise

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OC Newbie Phoenix Motor Plots $150M IPO

Makes passenger vans, super duty trucks

Phoenix Motor stands out with a different proposition from buzzier electric vehicle names such as Rivian or Tesla with a focus of Class 4 vehicles

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Midday Stock Roundup

Tilly’s climbs; Alignment Healthcare slides

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Tilly’s CEO Upbeat on Current Quarter

Ended Q3 with record sales, earnings

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Smart Agency Buys PR, Marketing Ops of Brower Group

Agency to focus on commercial real estate, finance

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Taco Bell Taps Jordan Brand Exec to Head Branding

Sean Tresvant’s appointment to global chief brand officer is effective Jan. 10

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CycleBar, StretchLab, Rumble Get New Zealand Master Franchisee

Deal is for at least 30 studios over the next 10 years

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Genesis Motor Posts Record November Sales

Led local pack in sales growth for the month

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Kura Sushi Adds Native Foods CEO to Board

Carin Stutz joins board Dec. 1

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EV Maker Phoenix Motor Files for IPO

Plans to raise as much as $150 million

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Hedge Fund Manager Inks Record Deal for Laguna Beach Home: Report

Oceanfront property trades for $70M

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Midday Stock Roundup

Rivian rises; Axonics slips

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Checkerboard Connections

Vans Juggles Multiple New Endeavors to Stay Relevant

Checkerboard popularity pushed Vans sales through the roof in 1982 and now the company is OC’s largest apparel and footwear company by revenue

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Vizio: In-House Team Manages IPO, Pandemic, More

Tackles gamut of issues for TV giant

A pandemic IPO, doubling of the employee headcount, contracts, litigation and navigating ever-changing regulatory waters has kept Vizio's legal team busy the past two years

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TMC Builds Duo of Instagrammable Hotel Brands

HOSPITALITY: Shared spaces, unique experiences

Shifting demographics of travelers brings plenty of room for companies looking to offer a more contemporary take on travel

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David Grant Guides SCP Through Retail’s Evolution

GM Leaving Center After 44-Year Career

David Grant announced his departure as general manager of OC’s largest shopping center, South Coast Plaza, earlier this month

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TMC Taps Tech For The Next-Gen Traveler

Texting, Digital Check-Ins, Streaming Services In Use

Digital marketing is key to understanding how guests spend their time and helps brands merge with their lifestyle

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Stance Delves Into Activewear

Stance Active launches in the U.S.

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Apparel Company Z Supply Launches Giving Arm

Z Supply Foundation to focus on social, environmental, educational charities

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Midday Stock Roundup

Rivian Automotive, Romeo Power trading down

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Vizio Platform+ Spikes On Targeted Ad Demand

Upwards of $110M Projected for Q4

Platform+ revenue surged 134% to $85.9 million in the quarter, with advertising leading the increase via a 271% jump to $66 million

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