SAN FRANCISCO (
nearly closed the gap in its profit as Old Navy sales started to recover, but the specialty-retail chain still has plenty of work to do on its namesake and Banana Republic stores.
During the second quarter, the company earned $228 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $229 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected earnings of 32 cents.
But sales were still down 7%, falling to $3.25 billion, while total same-store sales dropped 8%. By division, comparable sales stores tumbled 10% at Gap stores and 15% at Banana Republic. Old Navy performed the best, relatively, with sales sliding just 4%.
So far the company has been unable to overcome four years of slumping sales. But Gap has focused on re-jiggering its Old Navy business to target frugal moms, and it looks as though those efforts have begun to pay off.
Last week the company said that it's
as part of its effort to improve fits and merchandise selection at the higher-priced chain.
While the company refrained from providing forward-looking guidance, if the moves at the Gap match the success the company has had at Old Navy, it could be poised for a better second half.
- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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