by: Darren Pai
KAHALA (KHNL) - Thinker Toys at Kahala Mall usually expects a store full of customers during the holidays. But this year, the staff is feeling more grateful than usual for the business.
"We tried to get back on our feet right after the flooding. And as soon as we got our walls fixed, we got up and running," said store manager Anita Lastimosa.
Shops were forced to clean up and make repairs after flooding from heavy rains in March shut down the mall.
"Our walls got wet from the back, so they needed to change the bottom part of it," Lastimosa said.
Now holiday decorations are up, shoppers roam the halls, and business is looking up.
"We've had our share of challenges this year," said mall manager Scott Creel. "But all the stores are open and operational and fully stocked and ready for business."
Companies like Apple computers took advantage of open space to plan new stores in the mall. But merchants are still waiting for Consolidated theaters to re-open its multiplex.
"That's to generate people coming into the mall," Lastimosa said. "They usually shop either waiting for the movie to start or right after."
After a challenging year, merchants here say all they want for Christmas is a little increase in business.