Forever 21 Confronts Malware, Data Breach

Highland Park-based Forever 21 Inc. has found a computer data breach that compromised customer data sporadically over an eight-month period. The clothing retailer, which is the sixth-largest private company based in Los Angeles, with an estimated $4 billion in annual sales, confirmed that a breach occurred through malware installed on point-of-sale devices at some of its U.S. stores. The malware in most cases was only able to find data from cards that did not have the cardholder’s name to go along with the card number, verification code and expiration date. The cardholder’s name also was obtained in some cases.

The retailer has been working with payment processors, its POS device provider, and third-party advisors to correct the condition in all Forever 21 stores, the company said, Payments made on the company’s e-commerce site were not affected, the statement said. The company said customers should notify their banks immediately if customers see authorized charges from Forever 21.

– Stephanie Bedolla

New Owner for 9-Story Building in Golden Triangle

REIT CIM Commercial Trust Corp. has acquired 9460 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills, a 97,000-square-foot, nine-story Class A office building in the city’s Golden Triangle area. The 97,000-square-foot building has “significant retail street frontage.” The 1959 building, which was last renovated in 2008, is located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive, adjacent to the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and near the future Metro Purple Line Wilshire/Rodeo Station. The purchase price was not disclosed, but The Real Deal has reported that the price is roughly $130 million, at about $1,340 per square foot. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of this year, CIM said in a statement.The property was owned by Beverly Union Co. since 1978. Tenants include Union Bank of California, 3 Arts Entertainment and Irv Schechter Co. The property was first built in 1959 and renovated in 2008. Cushman & Wakefield was the seller’s broker on the deal, led by Marc Renard along with Morgan Jackson and Manfred Schaub. Renard declined to comment when reach through a company representative. The buyer’s broker was not listed on CoStar. A nearby 146,000-square-foot Beverly Hills building, 9401 Wilshire Blvd, was sold last month to REIT Douglas Emmett Inc. for $143.6 million, or $981 per square foot.

– Ciaran McEvoy

LAEDC Names Banks Chief Economist

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. has hired local industry economic forecaster Steven Banks as its new chief economist.Banks replaces Christine Cooper, who left the nonprofit business promotion and retention organization last year and is now a regional economist for real estate data firm CoStar Group Inc. Banks, 55, has served in senior leadership roles providing economic forecasting and analysis at Warner Bros., Trust Company of the West, General Motors Corp., and Caterpillar Inc. His most recent post was director of forecasting and analytics at Integral Economics in San Diego, a firm he co-founded with two partners and recently disbanded.

– Howard Fine

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