Gap Inc. reported Thursday that March same-store sales were stronger than expected, thanks to an early Easter and continued strength in its Old Navy brand. While the early Easter boosted March, April will likely suffer from that.
Old Navy sales, which rose 14%, helped boost overall sales, which were weaker at its namesake and Banana Republic stores, the retailer said. Sales at Old Navy decreased 7% year over year. Gap stores saw a 7% drop, same as a year earlier, and Banana Republic stores saw a 3% drop, better than 4% last year.
Analysts had expected a .6% increase in same-store sales, but the retailer posted a 2% increase. The five weeks ending April 4 were up 1% to $1.53 billion, up from $1.51 billion year over year.
Old Navy, Gap Inc.’s more modestly priced brand, continues to carry the retailer. But Gap Inc. is making visible moves to improve all of its affiliated brands. The company welcomed new CEO Abe Peck in February, and he’s been reshaping his team. In February Danish branding guru Rebekka Bay left; EVP and creative director and longtime executive Scott Key now heads up a merged e-commerce and marketing structure at Gap. That’s also when the company announced the closure of its online-only Piperlime brand.
"We are especially pleased with the strong customer response to Old Navy during this peak spring shopping month, and we remain focused on the steps necessary to drive improved product consistency across our entire portfolio," said CFO Sabrina Simmons.