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Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 17:12 GMT
Gap sales disappoint again
Gap share price
Clothes retailer Gap has reported a fresh slump in sales.

The US company, which has more than 3,600 stores across the world, said its sales slid 12% during January.


Each of our brands fell short of our forecasts

Heidi Kunz
Gap

"Each of our brands fell short of our forecasts," said Heidi Kunz, chief financial officer.

The Gap group includes the Gap brand, as well Banana Republic and Old Navy stores in the US.

Gap also said it expected profits in the fourth quarter to come in about 6% below expectations.

Seasonal depression

The San Francisco-based company said it had been forced to chop prices to prompt sales in January.

Gap shop
Gap has blamed sluggish sales in the holiday season

Gap is also predicting that comparable sales trends in the first quarter of 2001 will be in the negative mid-single digit figures.

"Uncertainty in consumer spending and a promotional retail environment will continue to pressure our sales and margins," said Ms Kunz.

As of 3 February 2001, Gap operated 3,676 stores, compared to 3,018 on 29 January 2000.

Gap has reported problems with its performance in the past.


A man burns a pair of Gap trousers at a World Trade Organisation conference

In August 2000, a slump in sales was partly attributed to the mistaken strategy of targeting the teenage market with its Old Navy stores.

Over the past few years, Gap has also been targeted by anti-globalisation protesters.

They allege that the retailer exploits labourers in the third world through the manufacture of its clothes.

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11 Aug 00 | Business
Gap shares slide
21 Aug 00 | Business
Tough time for clothes retailers
19 Jan 01 | Business
US consumer confidence plunges
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