The numbers gap at Gap Inc. finally began to close in the final months of 2002, but not before Gap amassed 2 1/2 years of negative same-store sales results and pushed out legendary chief executive, "merchandise maestro" Millard "Mickey" Drexler.

Its fortunes can be easily read in the performance of its stock. Riding high on the strength of the casual explosion in April 2000, shares passed the $50 mark before word of the first of the comparable-store declines arrived that month. By early October of this year, shares had lost 80 percent of their value and reached a 52-week, and multiyear, low of $8.35. Since then, with the return of positive comps and concrete actions by new ceo Paul Pressler, the rebound has taken the stock back up more than $15.

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