Lucy Nicholson/Reuters /Landov
The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Uber says it will expand to more Chinese cities next week.
Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a daily round up of interesting business stories. Every day, KPCC compiles this awesome list.
Is KCET going bankrupt? The LA Weekly reports that the public television station, now known as KCETLink has lost $12.5 million last year. KCETLink Al Jerome spoke to KPCC in January, saying that the station lost ad revenue after it ended its relationship with PBS. He said the station's business was improving this fiscal year. KCETLink had landed a $1 million one-year grant for its nightly news show SoCal Connected. We'll be monitoring this issue.
In other media news, A.H. Belo Corp., the parent company of the Dallas Morning News, reported that digital ad revenues increased 7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to NetNewsCheck. The increase was in part due to the Dallas Morning News' involvement with 508 Digital and Speakeasy. Speakeasy provides sponsored content--when businesses pay for articles that will appear on the Morning News' GuideLive, entertainment website. Sponsored content has raised some eyebrows among journalists, including investigative journalism website ProPublica's president.
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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: A man carries a shopping bag in a Uniqlo store in Manhattan on February 13, 2013 in New York City. Uniqlo will be opening its first Southern California stores this fall.
Japanese retailer Uniqlo will open stores in Southern California malls for the first time this fall.
The new locations will be in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and the Beverly Center in L.A., both malls confirmed to KPCC on Thursday.
Uniqlo is known for its affordable, stylish clothes. Short sleeve t-shirts, for example, are listed on the company's website with a pricetag of about $13. The retailer opened in 1984 and is operated by Japanese company Fast Retailing and has grown to more than 1,300 stores worldwide in 14 markets.
Uniqlo said its global sales were roughly $11.6 billion for its 2013 fiscal year ending Aug. 31 and says its parent company, Fast Retailing, is the world's fourth largest retail apparel company.
"Uniqlo is a globally recognized fashion brand that will resonate well with our shoppers both locally and from around the world," said Debra Gunn Downing, executive director of marketing for South Coast Plaza.
Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Here's a daily round up of interesting business stories in the region. Every day, KPCC compiles this list for your reading.
The big news is Comcast's plan to purchase Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. But what does this mean for Hollywood? Deadline explores how the deal could impact various levels of entertainment, including streaming video.
One of the big issues affecting this space is net neutrality. Should internet service providers demand fees from companies that provide streaming video services? Last month, two Netflix executives said they would "vigorously protest" that.
Deadline reports that how Comcast proceeds on this issue could be a spoiler for Netflix.
Retail sales nationwide declined in January due to the really cold weather, according to Reuters.
But that hasn't affected sales at San Bernardino-based grocery chain Stater Bros. Markets. The Press-Enterprise reports that Stater Bros. had its best sales day on Christmas Eve in the store's 78 years in business. The Stater Bros., which has 167 Southern California stores, had $3.9 billion in sales in 2013, according to the Press-Enterprise.
Since opening less than three months ago in Hancock Park, the French-inspired bistro and bakery, Republique has been packed every night. It’s been called the city’s hottest new restaurant, but it also might be the most controversial, because of a three-percent surcharge that’s added to every tab to pay for workers’ health care.
“It’s a little odd,” said Jessica Leblanc, who was eating pastries at Republique on a recent morning. “I’m kind of stunned. I don’t know how I feel about it.”
“I was very surprised,” said a customer sitting nearby, sipping a latte. (She asked not to be identified) “Quite honestly, I had an immediate reaction that was not positive.”
On Yelp, online reviewers have been less kind, calling the surcharge “obnoxious” and “tacky.”
“It is not MY responsibility to take care of YOUR employee's health care. That is YOUR job,” wrote one reviewer, continuing, "I will not be returning because of the 3% charge." Another simply asked, “Are they crazy?”
Orange County Register Publisher Aaron Kushner (left) and company President Eric Spitz.
The parent company of the Orange County Register is betting that bigger is better.
Freedom Communications said Wednesday it's expanding the distribution of its newspapers into five desert communities, including Palm Springs, with a new weekly publication called the "Desert Enterprise."
The "Desert Enterprise" will be distributed in 200 news racks and locations in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta and Indian Wells on Fridays starting on Feb. 21. The first edition will have 24 pages.
"Desert Enterprise will be a community-building newspaper that covers the developments, activities, people and businesses within the desert communities with depth and verve," said Aaron Kushner, Freedom's CEO in a press release.
The expansion into the desert communities follows Freedom's aggressive strategy to increase its presence in Southern California. Kushner's investment group, 2100 Trust, purchased Freedom in 2012.