Gap September Sales Flat From Last Year

Gap (NYSE:GPS) reported on Thursday flat September sales from a year ago on weaker demand, both online and at its older, more established stores.

The San Francisco-based retailer’s sales for the five weeks ended Oct. 1 were $1.35 billion, up slightly from $1.34 billion a year ago. Comparable sales, which include online sales, were down 4% during the period compared with a 1% decrease in September 2010.

“While there were some bright spots across our brands and business units, we’re clear and focused on the steps necessary to improve our business performance going forward,” said Gap CEO Glenn Murphy.

Comparable sales, or those at stores open more than a year, slipped 4% in Gap North America and 1% in both Banana Republic North America and Old Navy North America. The company’s international segment saw the biggest drop, falling 13%.

Gap, along with many of its rivals, has been struggling to make up for a recent downturn in the economy and a drop in consumer confidence. Those challenges have been weighed further by consistently higher raw materials costs.

So far this year, total sales are $9.12 billion, which is flat from the 35-week period ended Oct. 2 2010. Comparable sales year-to-date are down 3%.