Shares of The Gap (GPS) were trending down Tuesday after a ratings downgrade, despite a more upbeat 2019 forecast for the apparel market and consumer spending in general.
The Gap closed lower 4.11% Tuesday at $24.94 following a downgrade by a Goldman Sachs' analyst of the retailer's stock to sell from neutral.
Goldman lowered its price target to $23 from $27, it notes in its report on The Gap and other retailers in the apparel sector, implies a "12% downside vs. 17% average upside for our Apparel & Accessories coverage."
Two big strikes against the iconic retailer are its still heavy presence in malls across the country, even as more shoppers move online, and falling customer engagement online with the iconic brand.
"Deteriorating brand momentum and elevated promotionality compound continued mall-based retailing pressures," wrote Goldman analyst Alexandra Walvis.
The Gap still gets as much as 50% of its sales from its store network, a number that rises to 60% when the company's stores from around the world are added to the mix, Walvis noted.
Not only are The Gap's business fortunes still closely intertwined with the declining mall sector, but a significant number of its stores are near such ailing department stores as Sears (SHLDQ) , J.C. Penney (JCP) and Macy's (M) , Walvis wrote.