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BUSINESS
December 22, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
When a toy designer's young daughter becomes fascinated by the gel-like beads in a flower vase, there is only one conclusion to draw: "There has got to be a toy in here somewhere," says Ron Brawer, a partner in the Maya Group and a toy industry veteran. The fast-growing Torrance company has gone on to develop dozens of playthings based on those transparent polymer pellets. One of those toys, a modified water gun called the Xploderz XBlaster 200, was a finalist for the 2012 Outdoor Toy of the Year Award from the Toy Industry Assn.
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BUSINESS
June 23, 2012 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Like most guys, Eric Lugo wants to look handsome. But he doesn't want to be caught applying makeup. So the 26-year-old uses skin-care products with names like Kiehl's Facial Fuel and Lab Series' Power Brightening Serum. "I want to keep myself up and maintain my looks, but I'd never use anything that looks like it's made for my girlfriend," the Los Angeles banker said. "This stuff looks like it's for guys, not girlie at all, so I feel OK using it. " Retailers are seeing a booming market in cosmetics and skin care for men. But they face one big challenge - most guys are squeamish about products that seem too feminine.
IMAGE
May 22, 2011 | By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Any surfer who has tried to catch a wave will tell you that timing is everything. And Sundek — the once-iconic '70s surf brand known for the rainbow stripe arching across the seat of its swim trunks — seems to have caught a killer curl on its way back to U.S. beaches. Founded in San Francisco in 1958, Sundek was an early sponsor of surfers and became known for its trademark multi-stripe and triple-stitched, two-ply nylon shorts, created specifically for surfing. While the label had faded quietly from the U.S. market by the mid-1990s, it lived on in Europe, licensed by Florence, Italy-based Kickoff SpA, where its American and surfing heritage roots and trimmer cut were a draw.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Lucky Brand Jeans is coming home again. Los Angeles private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners has agreed to pay $225 million to acquire Lucky from New York fashion company Fifth & Pacific Cos. The acquisition means that Lucky, founded in Vernon in 1990 and moved last year to a 1940s Art Deco building in downtown Los Angeles, will be locally owned once again. Denim veterans and Lucky co-founders Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman used clever marketing - including the "Lucky You" label stitched into the fly - to create one of the country's most popular mid-level denim jeans.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2001 | Greg Johnson
School uniform sales grew by 22% over the last two years, reaching $1.1 billion in 2000, according to NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, N.Y.-based research firm. A survey of 9,000 U.S. households found that 14% of respondents with school-age children had at least one child who is required to wear a uniform. Uniforms now account for 5% of the $20.4-billion children's apparel market. NPD described uniform sales as a "significant share" of the overall children's apparel market.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2011
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision Blizzard) 2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks) 3. Battlefield 3 (Electronic Arts) 4. Assassin's Creed: Revelations (Ubisoft) 5. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft) 6. Madden NFL 12 (Electronic Arts) 7. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Sony) 8. Saints Row: The Third (THQ) 9. The Legend of Zelda: SkywardSword (Nintendo) 10. Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros. Interactive) *Rankings are based on North American sales of games sold as discs.
HEALTH
September 20, 2010 | By Elena Conis, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Super-thick, creamy nonfat Greek yogurt has become a highly popular product, with the benefits of a high-quality protein. A few short years ago, Greek yogurt was a rarity on supermarket shelves. These days, however, brands and flavors abound. The super-thick, creamy yogurt has become a highly popular product — and with good reason, says Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. "It has all the benefits of a high-quality protein without the fat and without the calories," she says.
BUSINESS
October 6, 2004 | From Reuters
Most Americans are planning to curb their holiday spending this year, making it a challenging shopping season for U.S. retailers, according to a holiday buying survey by NPD Group. Nine out of 10 consumers said they would spend the same amount as or less than they did in 2003. Americans plan to spend an average of $655 this holiday season, the survey showed Tuesday.
BUSINESS
December 30, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
While Apple and Microsoft saw their share of laptops sold to businesses and other organizations in the U.S. decrease in 2013, Google dramatically increased its portion of sales. From January through November, Google sold 1.76 million Chromebook laptops in the U.S., up from 400,000 during the same period in 2012, according to a recent report by NPD Group . that tracked sales through commercial channels. That includes devices that were sold to businesses, government agencies, schools and other organizations.
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