International like-for-like (LFL) sales at fashion retailer Gap - including its UK operation - were down nine per cent year-on-year in May, according to a statement published by the group today.
Comparative monthly sales at the clothing specialist, which also owns the Banana Republic and Old Navy brands, have now been down each month since January, prompting the business to downgrade its full-year predictions in May.
LFL monthly trading was up eight per cent in January, but fell seven, nine and six per cent in February, March and April respectively, resulting in Gap dropping estimates of end-of-year diluted earnings per share to between $1.40 and $1.50.
Overall Gap Inc sales, including the performance of the company in its home US territory, were up just one per cent in May, and Chairman & CEO Glenn Murphy is aware that improvements are required.
“While net sales increased in May, we recognise the need for our brands to consistently deliver at much higher levels of performance – with improved traffic and greater product acceptance – to support our long-term growth strategy,” he explained.
In the 17 weeks to May 28th sales totalled $4.36 billion (£2.67 billion), representing a decrease of one per cent compared with net sales of $4.38 billion for the same period last year.
The retailer’s year-to-date comparable sales, including associated online trading, dropped three per cent compared to a four per cent increase one year before.
Commenting as part of Gap’s Q1 trading statement last month, Murphy said: “We are disappointed in our quarterly performance, however remain invigorated by the opportunities ahead.
“We’re focused on making the necessary adjustments across the business to deliver the kind of sales we should expect from our brands.”