Gap January sales fall 19%Monday, 09 February 2009
Gap last week reported net sales of $757 million for the four-week period ended January 31, 2009, which represents a 19 percent decrease compared with net sales of $935 million for the four-week period ended February 2, 2008. The company's comparable store sales for January 2009 were down 23 percent compared with a 2 percent decrease in January 2008.
Comparable store sales by division for January 2009 were as follows, Gap North America down 18 percent versus negative 4 percent last year and Gap International remained flat versus negative 5 percent last year
"Though January was a challenging month overall, we were able to deliver merchandise margins significantly above last year," said Sabrina Simmons, chief financial officer of Gap Inc. "As we look at the full year, we're pleased our guidance represents growth of more than 25 percent in earnings per share during a very difficult period."
For the thirteen weeks ended January 31, 2009, total company net sales were $4.08 billion, which is a decrease of 13 percent as compared with net sales of $4.68 billion for the thirteen weeks ended February 2, 2008. The company's fourth quarter comparable store sales decreased 14 percent compared with a decrease of 3 percent in the fourth quarter of the prior year.
The company expects diluted earnings per share for fiscal year 2008 to be $1.32 to $1.33 on a GAAP basis, versus its prior guidance of $1.27 to $1.30. The improvement in the company's earnings outlook is driven primarily by expense savings in January. Fiscal year 2007 diluted earnings per share were $1.05 on a GAAP basis.
Gap Inc. will release its fourth quarter earnings via press release on February 26, 2009.