By  on January 26, 1994

LOS ANGELES -- Several Westside stores here are expected to reopen their doors today, and others are scrambling for ways to generate business in what is best described as a difficult market.

Stores in Santa Monica Place will reopen for business today, nine days after last week's devastating earthquake. While mall officials have downplayed damage suffered by the Frank Gehry-designed building, sources said the center suffered structural and water damage. The center's anchors -- The Broadway and Robinsons-May -- are expected to reopen Saturday after cleanup from water damage is finished.

While these stores will be eager for customers to return, others that have been open have turned to promotions to boost business, which a few stores estimated has dropped more than 50 percent.

Some are advertising "earth-shattering" savings, while Na Na Trading Co., located on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, is using the tag line "The Big One Is Coming" to describe its current sale. Na Na co-owner Paul Kaufman said that the quake "definitely is hurting business," despite the fact that the store suffered only minor damage. He said he hoped the ad for the store would remind customers about replacing items that were lost.

"Na Na has some practical things, but we might not be the first place that people think about," Kaufman said.

"On the whole, however, there is too much going on here for time to stand still in Los Angeles. Unless your house is totally destroyed, you're going to want to get on with your life," he said.

Elsewhere, The Broadway gave away hot dogs and had a jazz band playing in its Beverly Center women's apparel department over the weekend. And Bullock's has set up a registry system, much like a bridal registry, to help residents replace items lost in the earthquake.

Meanwhile, the status of several buildings near the temblor's epicenter is shifting as much as the ground underneath.

The Bullock's in Sherman Oaks, which last week was reported to be condemned, now may be saved, said a spokeswoman for R.H. Macy & Co. The Broadway, which had a store in the condemned Northridge Fashion Center, still has five branches closed in the Los Angeles area.

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