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Rachel Uranga

Stories by Rachel

The Toll of Tariffs

Trade: US-China dispute hammers LA and Long Beach ports, local businesses

For the ports and countless other businesses that depend on trade with China, 2019 was a year to forget.

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Streaming Warrior

Entertainment: Ted Sarandos keeps Netflix at the forefront of Hollywood’s hottest sector

In a year that saw the streaming wars escalate to new heights, Netflix Inc. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos proved himself to be quite the general.

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Burger King

Food: Beyond Meat’s Ethan Brown turns up the heat after sizzling IPO

Ethan Brown once vowed that Beyond Meat Inc.’s burgers would be available at fast food drive-thru windows before his kids were old enough to drive. He’s getting his wish.

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Riches to Rags

Retail: The mall meltdown hit home with the startling fall of high-flyer Forever 21

In a year that saw the retail apocalypse expand significantly, the most prominent L.A. player caught up in the wave was once one of the city’s highest-flying brands.

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Scrubs Makers Square Off

Apparel: Local brands Figs, SPI face legal fight

Santa Monica-based medical apparel manufacturer Figs is the target of a lawsuit filed in September by one of its biggest competitors, Chatsworth-based Strategic Partners Inc.

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Halo Top Creamery Closes Up Shops

New owner shutters locations, lays off staff

Halo Top Creamery sells to Wells Enterprises, shutters the brand’s retail outlets.

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Avery Dennison Acquires Smart Label Unit for $249 Million

Label maker Avery Dennison Corp. purchased a division of Smartrac Technology Group for $249 million.

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Jakks Pacific Names Former Mattel Executive as CFO

Former Mattel executive John Kimble is joining toymaker Jakks Pacific as chief financial officer.

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L.A. Steelcraft Products Sells to Americana Outdoor

Americana Outdoor will acquire the 100-year-old playground equipment brand L.A. Steelcraft Products Inc.

LA Malls Work to Win Back Holiday Shoppers

Malls are going all out this season to boost sales and foot traffic

L.A.’s malls seek to entice holiday shoppers this season with celebrities, cocktails and parties.

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Ports in a Storm

LA, Long Beach are feeling the impact of tariffs

Port of Los Angeles head Gene Seroka warns of consequences from the U.S.-China trade war.

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Valence Links Black Professionals

TECH: Upfront leads $2.5 million raise to support social network startup

The team at Valence Enterprises looks to connect black professionals.

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Imports Plummet at San Pedro Bay as U.S.-China Trade War Drags On

The nation’s two busiest ports saw imports plummet in September when a range of Chinese goods were hit with a 15% tariff. Imports dropped 14% in September — the worst decline in more than a year.

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Jakks Tops Expectations

Toymaker sees sales surge 18% thanks to ‘Frozen 2’

Walt Disney Co.’s “Frozen 2” doesn’t leave Jakks Pacific out in the cold.

Sneaker Attack

Ntwrk blends streetwear style with a QVC approach

Ntwrk’s Aaron Levant and Jamie Iovine look to sell streetwear with a QVC approach.

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Smart & Final Revamps Ecommerce

Grocer aims to provide personalized experience

Smart & Final Stores revamps online shopping portals and mobile apps.

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Salon App Boulevard Makes the Cut

TECH: Booking service enters crowded space

Salon booking service Boulevard raised $11 million in Series A funding, the company announced Nov. 4.

Beyond Meat Thinks Bigger

FOOD: Confidence grows after posting first profit

After his company reported its first quarterly profit, Beyond Meat’s Ethan Brown is looking to go global.

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Mattel Shares Rise on Strong Quarter, New CFO

Mattel shares surged in after-hours trading on better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter and news that the company plans to hire a new chief financial officer.

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Beyond Meat Turns a Profit, Raises Growth Forecast

Beyond Meat turned its first quarterly profit and raised its year-end growth forecast.

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Eyewear Service Lensabl Raises $4 Million, Adds Frames, Contacts

Lensabl raised a $4 million funding round as it looks to move into the contact lens and frame business

Westchester’s HHLA Is a Shoe-In

Revamped mall courts shoppers with Sneakertopia

Sneakertopia pop-up brings retailtainment to Westchester’s HHLA.

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Peerless Flyer

The unconventional path continues to pay off for Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s finds success in its quirks.

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Vet Cinic Startup Modern Animal Raises $13.5 Million

Modern Animal, a startup that wants to revamp veterinary clinics for the digital age, has raised $13.5 million in seed funding.

Flip Fit Sets $3.75 Million Raise

An Inglewood-based tech startup trying to solve one of apparel retail’s biggest challenges raised $3.75 million in seed funding Oct. 23. The apparel app helps retailers with online returns.

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True Religion Seeks Revival

APPAREL: Denim brand, new CEO attempt comeback

Denim brand True Religion is looking for a revival.

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Faraday Faces Rockier Road

Founder's bankruptcy causes concerns

Jia Yueting, founder of Gardena-based electric vehicle company Faraday & Future, filed for bankruptcy Oct. 14 to address $3.6 billion in debt.

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Imports Fall Again at Ports

Falling imports at the San Pedro Bay ports signaled that an 18-month trade war between the United States and China continues to hurt the ports.

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Forever 21 to Move Ecommerce Facility to Inland Empire, Layoffs Planned

Bankrupt teen-fashion retailer Forever 21 plans to lay off nearly 1,200 workers and move its ecommerce operations to Perris.

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Jakks Pacific Stirs Deal Talk

MANUFACTURING: Toy company remains a top target

Just Play may make a play to buy struggling toymaker Jakks Pacific.

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Chipping Away at China

Trade with Cambodia, Vietnam surges at ports in wake of tariffs

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach sees trade volumes with Vietnam and Cambodia jump and trade tensions with China continue.

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LA Port Rolls Out EV Cargo Stackers

Emission-free handlers lead green initiative

The Port of L.A. unveils its all-electric top handlers for cargo stacking.

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Exploding Kittens Laps Up $30 Million Investment

The creators of the Exploding Kittens card game lapped up a $30 million investment in their company from ex-News Corp executive Peter Chernin.

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VMG Reaches for Popchips

Private equity firm adds brand to healthy snack portfolio

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Forever 21 Plots a Comeback

RETAIL: After Chapter 11, chain plans ecommerce rebirth

Forever 21 files for bankruptcy, plans to shutter up to 178 U.S. stores.

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Port Truckers Brake for AB5

LOGISTICS: Companies, drivers see big changes ahead

L.A.’s trucking industry braces for the impact of AB5.

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Forever 21 Files for Bankruptcy

Fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest brick-and-mortar chain brought down by ecommerce competition.

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Collectible Company NECA Acquires Loot Crate

Bankrupt gamer and geek subscription box service Loot Crate Inc. has received a lifeline from none other than Elvis Presley, or at least from the King’s marketing company, Elvis Presley Enterprises.

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Long Beach Port Turns to Incentives

Initiative follows success of competing LA program

Initiative follows success of competing LA program

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NTWRK App Gets $3 Million Boost from Foot Locker

Fairfax-based ecommerce app NTWRK received $3 million from sneaker giant Foot Locker Inc. as part of a $10 million Series A funding round.

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Sweetgreen Sets $150 Million Raise

Culver City-based salad chain Sweetgreen raised $150 million, putting its valuation at $1.6 billion.

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Bed-Maker Hit by Trade War

TRADE: Commerce company finds itself on a ‘roller coaster’

Tariffs have forced manufacturers like Commerce-based Hollywood Bed & Spring Manufacturing Co. Inc. to find ways to cut costs and remain competitive.

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Ports See Slowdown

Imports at the San Pedro Bay ports were flat in August while exports slid as the U.S.-China trade war drags on. Imports at the L.A. and Long Beach ports, the nation’s largest hub for Asian trade, were near flat for the second consecutive month.

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Beauty Apps Ready for Close Up

TECH: But state’s gig worker bill raises questions

Gig economy legislation could pose challenges for beauty apps.

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Albertsons, Vons, Ralphs Grocery Workers Ratify Contract, Get Raise

Grocery workers at Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs and Pavilions in Southern California averted a strike and ratified a three-year contract Thursday, calling it the best deal they've had in three decades.

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Grocery Workers Union Deal May Avert Strike

Details of the contract weren’t released pending the vote, but union leadership recommended ratification. Results for the vote are expected Sept. 12.

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Grocers Prepare for Possible Strike

Ralphs, other chains eye replacement workers

Ralphs, other chains eye replacement workers

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New Coffee Brands Bring the Heat

BEVERAGES: Roasters blend innovation, ambition

Third-wave coffee roasters jolt L.A.’s competitive coffee market.

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Pop Star Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 for $10 Million

Pop superstar Ariana Grande sued teen retailer Forever 21 for $10 million, accusing the struggling chain and its beauty company of using her likeness to sell their products without authorization.

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Snack Brand Gobbled Up

FOOD: Quest Nutrition sells for $1B to Colorado company

Colorado-based Simply Good Foods Co. makes a deal to acquire El Segundo’s Quest Nutrition for $1 billion.

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