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RETAILING : Shelves Tumbled Down but Store's Crystal Tumblers Survived Temblor

November 02, 1987|Mary Ann Galante, Times Staff Writer

After getting off to a shaky start, business has been smooth at Orrefors--the oh-so-chic Swedish crystal gallery that just opened at South Coast Plaza.

Just days before the store's official opening party on Oct. 13--complete with a guest list that included the Swedish ambassador--came The Great Crash. The Whittier earthquake on Oct. 1 broke virtually every shelf that had been custom-built for Orrefors.

"We contacted three or four people" before finding a shop that had 25 or 30 people to spare who could work round-the-clock remaking the shelves," said Earl J. Devoto, Orrefors president.

Not to worry. About $15,000 and a few days later, the shelves had been custom-rebuilt and were in place, holding up vases and crystal art pieces with price tags of up to $5,000--none of which had been in place during the quake.

Since then, while sales haven't exactly been smashing, they've been good for a brand new store. The average is about $500 per day, said Peter Nystrom, store manager.

"We're hoping to do around $1,000 a day and more for Christmas," he added.

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