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2013 Year in Review: Busy Year for Well-Known and Up-and-Coming Retailers

Bebe Stores Inc. opened 2013 by naming Steve Birkhold as chief executive officer and announcing a turnaround strategy for the retail chain, which runs a fleet of 235 stores.

Gap Inc., the largest specialty retailer in the world, got more serious on extending its global reach by focusing on global rather than domestic growth.

Hot Topic Inc. was acquired by New York–based Sycamore Partners in a cash deal valued at $600 million. The new owners took the public company private.

On Valentine’s Day, Topshop opened a highly anticipated flagship store—its first in California—at The Grove in Los Angeles. The resurgent Halston label started the rollout of boutiques with a shop at the Beverly Center mall, and Joe’s Jeans Inc.’s Marc Crossman announced the premium denim–based line would roll out 70 full-price boutiques.

Fast Retailing announced it would open several of its popular Uniqlo stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. No stores are planned for Southern California—yet—and American Apparel announced plans to acquire prominent New York boutique Oak.

Beverly Hills saw a flurry of new luxe retail openings, including a remodeled Hermès and a new Céline store. Lucky Brand opened a Beverly Hills flagship store, and new retailer Gratus opened on North Canon Drive.

West Hollywood made news when it became the first city in the nation to outlaw the sale of fur apparel. But that wasn’t the only news for the city—and its surrounding retail neighborhoods.

West Hollywood boutique LASC celebrated its 30th anniversary of selling men’s fashions.

Robertson Boulevard saw new boutiques open for Tommy Hilfiger, Colombian swimwear brand Ondademar and Stacey Todd but lost tenant Moods of Norway Inc. when it moved its West Coast flagship to Melrose Avenue.

On Sunset Boulevard, Calleen Cordero, New York brand Haute Hippie and Orphic, a rock ’n’ roll high-fashion boutique, opened, and TAGS, formerly Live! On Sunset, moved to a new space on the boulevard. Boutique chain Kitson opened a new 8,000-square-foot store in the Beverly Center. Kitson also opened its second airport boutique at Los Angeles International Airport in the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

There was plenty of shopping center and department-store news in 2013, as well.

The Ratkovich Co. acquired the Macy’s Plaza mall in downtown Los Angeles for $241 million, and Caruso Affiliated—developer, manager and owner of The Grove and The Americana at Brand—took over management of the Paseo Nuevo retail center in Santa Barbara, Calif. Former Caruso Chief Operating Officer Paul Kurzawa was named head of retail development and entertainment at Hollywood studio DreamWorks Animation. He announced plans to explore opportunities to develop Dreamworks retail spaces around the world.

The Glendale Galleria unveiled a major renovation with a price tag of more than $100 million. A new Bloomingdale’s opened at the General Growth Properties–owned mall. Kitson, BCBG Max Azria, Silver Jeans Co., Pink, Original Penguin and Boarders also opened at the renovated center. Across the street, Nordstrom opened one of its only full-line shops at The Americana.

Beverly Center named Ralph Barnes general manager of the prominent mall, and the Galleria at Tyler mall in Riverside, Calif., and Laguna Hills Mall in Laguna Hills, Calif., both began major renovation projects.

Los Angeles’ Fairfax Avenue cemented its place as a streetwear hub with the opening of a flagship store by prominent streetwear brand Crooks & Castles. Neighboring streetwear stores include Diamond Supply Co., Supreme, The Hundreds and new brand TheSeventhLetter.

On Los Angeles’ Westside, Abbot Kinney Boulevard continued to attract high-end boutiques, including Ruti, Roots Canada, Margaret O’Leary, Heavenly Couture, Left House and Mise En Scène.

Meanwhile, downtown Los Angeles was booming with new retail, including Urban Outfitters; Acne Studios; Alchemy Works, a new multi-brand shop owned and managed by the owners of Apolis; and a Ron Robinson pop-up shop at the new Guerilla Atelier boutique. Sport Chalet opened a “Next Generation” store at the FIGat7th retail center, where Zara and Victoria’s Secret are scheduled to open in 2014.

Urban Outfitters also opened a 10,000-square-foot emporium at the Malibu Country Mart in Malibu.

Other prominent openings in California included a new Madison men’s shop at the multi-line retailer’s West Third Street location, a new 1,220-square foot Lanvin store at South Coast Plaza and a 7,000-square-foot Levi Strauss & Co. flagship on Market Street in San Francisco.

Volcom opened a boutique on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Australian swim label Seafolly opened its first U.S. store in Newport Beach, Calif., and Trina Turk opened her ninth U.S. store in Manhattan Beach, Calif. New brand Best Dressed Monk opened a shop in Santa Barbara’s exclusive Montecito neighborhood, and Alternative, formerly Alternative Apparel, opened its third boutique, this one in San Francisco’s hip Hayes Valley neighborhood. West Hollywood boutique Kin opened a new location in the exclusive Bel-Air area of Los Angeles, and bridal and lingerie label Claire Pettibone took over the castle-like former Lloyd Klein brand building at 7415 Beverly Blvd.

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2013 Year in Review

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