Gap enjoyed a stronger Christmas this year with group like-for-like sales ahead 2% in the five weeks to January 2 compared to a drop of 14% for December 2008.

Net sales for the American fashion giant were ahead 5% to just over $2bn (£1.25bn).

Like-for-like sales were still negative for its international stores, but down just 1% compared to 5% for the corresponding period last year.

Old Navy was its best performing domestic store with comparable sales up 7% whilst Gap was up 1%. Its Banana Republic fascia fell 3% on a like-for-like basis.

Gap chief financial officer Sabrina Simmons said: “We are pleased that our planned promotions and holiday assortments allowed us to compete effectively while delivering merchandise margins significantly above last year.”  

For its financial year so far to January 2 Gap said sales reached $13.4bn (£8.4bn).