The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

SoCal business news: California's high rents, Walgreens will close stores, American Apparel sells stock

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Good morning! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday, we compile a list of interesting business stories in the region.

  • Sorry renters. California is one of the most expensive states to pay rent in the nation, second to Hawaii, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (Los Angeles Times). L.A. Times reporter Andrew Khouri says people who rent in California "must earn more than triple the minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment." KPCC's Ben Bergman (@thebenbergman) reported on this topic last year and he wants to hear about your apartment search
  • There was big Disney news yesterday. ABC News President Ben Sherwood will become chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group in February (KPCC). He will replace Anne Sweeney, who is leaving Disney to pursue TV directing. The Wrap analyzes the issues that Sherwood will need to address in his new position. 
  • Disney plans to buy Maker Studios, a Culver City-based digital video firm, for $500 million (KPCC). This is a way for the company to reach out to millennials, who aren't brand-loyal, but listen to what their friends recommend on social media. Variety says to expect more entertainment companies to make deals with multi-channel networks.
  • Walgreens says it will close 76 stores, including 14 in the Western region (Los Angeles Times). The move comes as the company posted weaker profits in its second quarter. 
  • L.A. retailer American Apparel says it will sell $30.5 million in stock, to generate working capital for the troubled company and pay down debt (Bloomberg).  The company's stock isn't doing well in the market. On Tuesday morning it was selling for 61 cents, down 15 cents.
  • A groundbreaking was held for the $350 million Westfield Village at Topanga, an outdoor shopping area in Woodland Hills (Los Angeles Daily News). Daily News reporter Gregory J. Wilcox says the Village will generate 1,400 construction jobs and 1,500 direct jobs.
  • The Oprah Winfrey Network is moving its L.A. headquarters to West Hollywood  (The Hollywood Reporter). Hollwood Reporter's Lacey Rose says the new building will give the company access to sound stages and screening rooms.
  • Google Glass could become fashionable. Google announced a partnership with Luxottica Group, the makers of Ray-Ban and Oakley glasses (PCMag).

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee.

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