Shares of The Gap (GPS - Get Report) hit a 52-week-low on Tuesday midday after the retail chain offered dismal early earnings and sales results and Jim Cramer says the retail chain could be in trouble.
"Gap offers very little [that's] differentiated," Jim Cramer told TheStreet on Tuesday, comparing the retail chain to several troubled retailers that have filed for bankruptcy.
"No one has a license to do business" in retail, Cramer said. "I mean Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) at one point it was hot and they just filed [for bankruptcy]." Cramer also named other retailers that were once popular with consumers and have filed for bankruptcy, including Quiksilver, Aeropostale, American Apparel and Sports Authority.
"There's no given right to being in retail and Gap has to right itself," Cramer added. "When you have no raison d'etre as a retailer, it's very hard to make it right now."
Late Monday, Gap reported preliminary earnings.
The owner of the Old Navy and Banana Republic brands said that net sales for April fell 7.4% to $1.21 billion compared to last year's period. Sales for its fiscal first quarter fell 6% to $3.44 billion, over last year's first quarter.
As well, Gap's overall comparable sales for April 2016 fell 7% compared to a 12% decrease last year, it said. Comparable sales for the quarter declined 5% versus 4% in 2015.
The company also issued preliminary earnings guidance of 31 cents to 32 cents a share for the first quarter, blaming weaker-than-expected store traffic, beginning in late March and extending into April, which led to higher than expected inventory, pressuring its gross margins.
Analysts, according to Thomson Reuters, were expecting the retailer to report per-share earnings of 34 cents, down 40% from last year's first quarter results. Gap reports full earnings results on May 19.
The San Francisco-based retail chain is likely to close some stores, particularly in its Banana Republic and Old Navy brands. Gap announced that it was "identifying opportunities to streamline its operating model to be more efficient and flexible," and that it was looking at stores outside of the U.S. within the two brands "where it could to sharpen its focus on geographies with the greatest potential," Tuesday's release said.
"Our industry is evolving and we must transform at a faster pace, while focusing our energy on what matters most to our customers," CEO Art Peck said in Tuesday's statement. "We are committed to better positioning the business to recapture market share in North America and to capitalizing on strategic international regions where there is a strong runway for growth."
Shares were falling 12.4% to $19.11 at a recent check on volume that was more than triple the stock's average daily trading volume of about 6.2 million shares.