By  on August 20, 2008

NEW YORK — Alandales, a California specialty store institution since 1969, has been sold.

Owner Glenn Laiken, who founded the business in Westwood Village, closed the deal on Friday.

The new owner is Irene Becker, who has an 18-year background in manufacturing and retailing in the L.A. area that included Macy’s and Hugo Boss in Beverly Hills, according to Laiken.

“I’m 61 years old and it had become very comfortable for me to keep doing this,” he said. “But for Alandales to go to the next level, it needed new energy and that’s what Irene brings to the table.”

The store was among the first U.S. retailers to bring Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent and Hugo Boss to the States but today sells private label. Laiken said the new owner will continue that tradition and add new merchandise.

Laiken said he will become a consultant to other retailers to help them improve their business. He noted that Alandales had sales of $1.5 million last year and a 36 percent profit level before taxes. “Unless I can make money for other retailers, I won’t charge them a penny,” he said.

He will relocate to Knoxville, Tenn., and run his consulting business from there, said the California native. “Can you believe it,” he asked. “A Jewish kid from L.A. moving to Knoxville? But I fell in love with it and it’s more centrally located for my new business.”

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