Great things are happening in Huntington Beach!
2019 Preview: RETAIL & APPAREL
Not even Orange County’s largest and most profitable mall operators can escape the effects of a changing retail landscape, where big-box retailers and large department stores continue to go the way of the dinosaurs.
The actions taken by Sears Holdings Corp. to close several stores in OC has grabbed plenty of headlines over the past few years, but the conversation in 2019 will shift from a doom-and-gloom attitude to curiosity on how Orange County developers will reimagine those empty spaces.
It’ll be interesting to see what OC’s retail landscape has in store next year at sites like Irvine Co.’s Market Place, where one of its largest tenants Lowe’s said it would be shuttering early next year, due to a company restructuring plan.
Several other notable area centers are due for a renovation, including Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza, Westminster Mall and Brea Mall.
COMPANY TO WATCH:
Former rivals and two of the top surf brands are officially under one roof.
Huntington Beach-based Boardriders completed its acquisition of Australia-based Billabong International Ltd. in April—an entity that now has nearly $2 billion in sales, roughly 10,000 employees worldwide, more than 630 stores and 7,000 wholesale accounts.
The merger adds the brands Billabong, RVCA, Element, VonZipper, Xcel, Kustom and Palmers to Boardriders’ portfolio, which includes Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes.
While the integration will be a multiyear process, company changes should slowly start next year as it plans to relocate Billabong’s Irvine headquarters to Huntington Beach by spring.
Boardriders has also taken steps to woo consumers with its first U.S. store in Malibu. Taking a cue from the 12 Boardrider shops already established in Europe and Australia, the experiential space features yoga classes, a barbershop, coffee bar and art exhibits, in addition to an assortment of clothing from its portfolio of brands.
PERSON TO WATCH:
The Vans global brand president has the weight of $5 billion on his shoulders.
The action-sports clothing and footwear manufacturer announced in October an ambitious plan to grow sales from $3 billion to $5 billion by 2023.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on how the plan is implemented, and the early returns for Costa Mesa-based Vans, the largest and most profitable nameplate for North Carolina-based parent company VF Corp., which bought the business for $396 million in 2004.
Palladini, who has been with the company since 2004, took on the top role in 2016 after serving as the brand’s vice president and general manager for the North American region. He’s responsible for heading the company’s global strategy and leading its regional teams to drive growth, as well as overseeing global marketing, product and sales in the Americas.
Palladini said at the company’s annual investors day conference this past fall that its new phase of growth will be about “remaining very sharp and very clear about who we are and who we are not,” adding that it’s moving beyond its counterculture roots by also emphasizing creative expression to help tap into a bigger market.