US fashion giant Gap continued to struggle to lift sales in America last month, despite an improving performance internationally.

Net sales across the group fell 19 per cent to US$757m for the four weeks to January 31. Like-for-like sales across its stores fell 23 per cent compared to a drop of just 2 per cent for the same period last year.

Gap’s international stores, including the UK, were the only ones to outperform the previous year with flat like-for-likes compared to a 2 per cent decrease in January 2008.

Like-for-likes at its eponymous Gap fascia in the US fell 18 per cent with its young fashion offer Old Navy plummeting 34 per cent.

Chief financial officer Sabrina Simmons said: “Though January was a challenging month overall, we were able to deliver merchandise margins significantly above last year.”

Over the 13 weeks to January 31 Gap’s total net sales fell 13 per cent to US$4.08bn.