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February 24, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Santa Ana's longtime mayor is under investigation for his relationship with an auto parts business owner, to whom the mayor sold a piece of downtown property and then voted in favor of giving the auto parts store an exclusive city contract. As part of his real estate transaction, Mayor Miguel Pulido also purchased a Westminster home from the auto parts business owner for about $230,000 below fair market value, according to property records. Pulido later sold the home for a $197,000 profit.
February 23, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
The gig: Amit Kleinberger, 33, has been the chief executive of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt since 2008. From his company's headquarters in Encino, he oversees what has become the world's largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise, with more than 370 stores. The stores serve sweet and tart flavors of yogurt, with a choice of candy, fruit and nut toppings. There are about 50 Menchie's locations in California. An early start: As a kid, Kleinberger saw the 1987 movie "The Secret of My Success," which stars a young college grad - played by Michael J. Fox - navigating the corporate world in New York City.
February 20, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
If Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings were any indication, the economy could use some shaping up. The Bentonville, Ark., giant, the largest retailer in the world, said its profit for the three-month period ended Jan. 31, plunged 21% to $4.4 billion, or $1.36 a share, from $5.6 billion, or $1.67 a share, during the same period a year earlier. The company's earnings missed Wall Street's expectations of $1.59 a share. The chain's $128.8 billion in net sales, a 1.4% increase, also failed to hit forecasts of $129.9 billion.
February 19, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Signet Jewelers Ltd., a giant in the retail jewelry business, has agreed to acquire Zale Corp. in a deal the companies valued at $1.4 billion. Signet, which operates more than 1,400 Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry stores, will add Zale's 1,680 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to its portfolio. Zale chief Theo Killion will continue to run the company after the acquisition, Signet Chief Executive Mike Barnes said. He will report directly to Barnes.
February 19, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
Here's an image you might not see every day: “The Bachelor” Juan Pablo Galavis selling appliances in upstate New York.  But as a favor to a friend, the ABC-TV reality show star does just that in a commercial for Rochester Appliance in Rochester, N.Y. Galavis, an Ithaca-born, Venezuela-raised former professional soccer player, made his reality show debut as a contestant on "The Bachelorette" in 2013. He didn't win then-bachelorette Desiree Hartsock's heart, but he did land a second chance at love on the current season, which premiered in January.
February 15, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien and Vincent Bevins
Apple threw open the doors Saturday to its first store in Brazil, one of the world's fastest-growing smartphone markets and a region that is crucially important to the company. Chief Executive Tim Cook announced the opening in a tweet : "'Obrigado' to everyone who visited our new store in Rio de Janeiro today and to our terrific customers across Brazil!" The opening is the company's first in Latin America, and comes in a country that is set to host the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016.  The grand opening drew more than 1,700 people, according to the Brazilian newspaper the Globe.
February 15, 2014 | By Hugh Hart
Growing up in a working-class London suburb beset by dull classes and endless winters, Dean Stockton often escaped into a dream vision of California fueled in equal measure by "Back to the Future" and the skateboard bible Thrasher magazine. "When I was 12 or 13," he recalls, "I watched this guy in 'Back to the Future' holding onto the back of a car skateboarding down beautiful-looking streets in the sunshine and I was like: 'That's where I need to be!'" Decades later, Stockton, who signs his work as "D*Face," finally made it to Southern California, bringing with him a cheeky anything-is-fair-game aesthetic.
February 13, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
Writer Andy Cochran shows off a truly authentic voice in his delightfully off-kilter script for "Adult World," a smart, incisive comedy about a recent college grad's booby-trapped immersion into real life. Directed by actor-filmmaker Scott Coffey ("Ellie Parker"), this darkly funny film involves 22-year-old Amy (a game Emma Roberts), an intellectually entitled, rather clueless poet hellbent on literary stardom. But when Amy's strapped parents (Catherine Lloyd Burns, Reed Birney) announce they can no longer finance her dream, she's forced to take a job clerking at Adult World, a faded porn shop owned by a pair of frisky seniors (Cloris Leachman, John Cullum)
February 13, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
Packed with every type of light imaginable - including antique-brass chain pendants, Sputnik sconces and organic-looking wood chandeliers - the first direct-to-consumer Arteriors store, in West Hollywood, is sure to please the lighting-fixated. The business has been around since 1987, when Mark Moussa started the Dallas-based company as a design firm specializing in lighting, furniture and decorative accessories sold primarily to the trade. On Wednesday, Moussa opened the firm's first retail store, on the corner of Melrose Avenue and Huntley Drive, two doors down from the new Design Within Reach studio.
February 13, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Uniqlo, a popular Japanese apparel retailer often compared to American brand Gap, will open its first stores in Southern California this fall at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. The company already has more than 1,300 stores worldwide, including 17 in the U.S. Of those, five are up and running in the Bay Area. The first store in the chain, which is known for its wide array of basics, opened in Hiroshima in 1984. Uniqlo is owned by Japanese holding company Fast Retailing Co., parent to Helmut Lang and Theory.
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