Fashion giant vows to win back customers
Fashion retailer Gap today pledged to 'aggressively' take action to win back customers, following a decline in results for its fourth quarter.

Sales for the fourth quarter ending January 28 were US$4.8 billion (£2.7 billion), a decline of 2 per cent from the same period last year. Comparable sales for the fourth quarter fell 6 per cent compared with a decrease of 3 per cent for the same period last year. Net earnings for the quarter stood at US$337 million (£192.7 million) compared with US$378 million (£216.2 million) the year before.

Sales for the financial year were US$16 billion (£9.6 billion), a decrease of 2 per cent. Comparable store sales for the year fell 5 per cent on the year before.

The company said it expects total comparable store sales will remain negative in the first half of this year before turning 'modestly positive' in the second half of the year.

This year, Gap expects to open about 175 mainly Old Navy-branded stores and close about 135 mainly Gap-branded stores. Last year, 198 stores were opened and 139 closed.

Gap chief executive and president Paul Pressler said: 'Despite challenges in 2005 we delivered on our growth initiatives.

'In 2006, we are aggressively taking action to improve product and win back our customers,' he said.