Fashion retailer Gap’s international division posted falling like-for-like sales in January.

Last month, its international comparable store sales fell 5 per cent, compared with an increase of 1 per cent for the same month the previous year.

Like-for-like sales at Gap’s North American division fell 4 per cent in January.

Gap chief financial officer Sabrina Simmons said: “January is a clearance month for our company and our brands focused on selling their holiday merchandise to make room for spring assortments. Despite the fact that we entered the month with more units than we had planned, our efforts to clear merchandise were successful and total company merchandise margins were slightly above last year.”

For the 14 weeks to February 3, Gap reported total sales of US$4.92 billion (£2.53 billion). Over the same period, the company’s comparable store sales fell 3 per cent. For the fourth quarter, Gap’s international division posted a 1 per cent decline in like-for-like sales.