Borders Books & Music in Santa Monica, a major anchor of the Third Street Promenade for over a decade, is closing its doors Saturday, January 10th.

Some have suggested that the closure is due to a struggling economy and the existence of another bookstore — Barnes & Noble — at the other end of the Promenade, but Borders corporate affairs manager Mary Davis says, “It doesn’t have anything to do with the recession. We look at our stores from time to time to see if they’re meeting our sales expectations.

“We have eight other stores within 15 miles of this location and two that are just five miles from this location, so when we went through and evaluated this store, we determined that all the other stores are meeting the needs of this location.” Nearby locations include Westchester, Culver City, Westwood and Century City.

“We’ve really enjoyed serving customers at this location,” said Davis of the 29,100-square-foot three-story Santa Monica Borders. “We feel certain that [customers] are going to have the same great experience at our other great Borders stores which are all very close by.”

When asked why the Santa Monica location was closing down instead of another one of the eight locations within 15 miles, Davis said, “That, I don’t know.

“I don’t know the specifics. It’s probably not something we would comment on.”

However, she did say that, as far as she knew, the Santa Monica Borders was meeting sales expectations.

Of the 520 Borders Books & Music stores nationally, Santa Monica is one of five closing, Davis said.

Locations in Sacramento; Cincinnati; Tempe, Arizona; and Gaithersburg, Maryland are also closing.

Borders Books & Music is owned by Borders Group, Inc., which also owns the 465 Waldenbooks, Borders Express, Borders Outlets and airport locations nationwide.

Of the Santa Monica location, Kathleen Rawson, executive director of the Bayside District, says, “It’s a great store and we’ll certainly miss them.

“It is sad to see them go. They’ve been there for some time. Certainly, it has been a very successful store for the Promenade and for the company.”

But Rawson said the store’s closing did not come as a surprise to her, in light of the fact that the nation’s economy is continuing into a downward spiral.

Staff at the Santa Monica Borders locations declined to comment on the closing of the bookstore.

Despite the current economic recession, Internet retailer giant Amazon.com — which also sells books and music — reported record high sales this holiday season, with over 6.3 million items ordered worldwide on the peak day, December 15th, which is a record-breaking 72.9 items per second.

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