Updated from 3:09 p.m. EST

Shares of Gap ( GPS) jumped Monday following media reports that the struggling specialty retailer may be up for sale.

According to CNBC , Gap has hired Goldman Sachs to help explore strategic options -- a move that often signals that a company is looking to sell itself.

Reuters also reported that Gap has hired the investment bank, but said it's unclear what Goldman has been hired to do.

A Gap spokeswoman declined to comment on the reports.

"We consider this rumor and speculation, and as a matter of company policy, we can't comment on it," the spokeswoman said.

Shares of Gap recently were up $1.52, or 8%, to $20.41, having jumped as much as 11% earlier. The company, which has long been speculated to be a takeover candidate, has traded at a 52-week range of $15.91 to $21.39.

The San Francisco-based retailer, which owns the brands Old Navy, Banana Republic and Gap, is in the midst of a long sales decline and has been promising a turnaround for almost a year that has yet to bear fruit. Last week, the company said its same-store sales for the key holiday period tumbled 8%, and it slashed its earnings forecast for the fiscal year.

At the time, the company said it is reviewing brand strategies for Gap and Old Navy, and also that it is "committed to making the necessary changes to improve performance."

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