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Old Navy, Waldenbooks to close

BRADENTON — The Old Navy and Waldenbooks at the DeSoto Square Mall will be closing.

Kimbra Hennessy, spokeswoman for the mall, said the bookstore’s last day will be Jan. 24.

A manager and sales associate for Old Navy confirmed the clothing store’s last day will be Jan. 26.

On Wednesday, store closing signs were posted throughout the Waldenbooks, whose parent company is Borders.

Bonnie Schmick, spokeswoman for Borders, said the Waldenbooks store is closing because it is considered an underperforming store.

“It’s closing as part of our previously announced initiative to right size the Waldenbooks segment by closing underperforming stores,” Schmick said.

Borders announced the initiative in March 2007, and since then about 100 Waldenbooks and Borders Express stores have closed, Schmick said. Each bookstore usually has about 10 employees.

“We certainly will make every effort to place qualified employees at a nearby Waldenbooks or Borders store,” Schmick said.

No closing signs were posted at the Old Navy but inventory on the sales floor was limited.

Several shelves and display tables were vacant near the back of Old Navy’s sales floor, and clearance signs were posted through much of the store.

Manager Joe Adamo said the store would be closing Jan. 26, but referred all other questions to the retailer’s corporate headquarters in San Francisco.DeSoto Square Mall, located at 303 U.S. 301 Blvd., has about 70 retail stores.