Gap Inc. reported that net sales for the four-week period ended Aug. 27 decreased 2 percent to $1.17 billion, compared with net sales of $1.2 billion for the corresponding period a year ago.
Comparable sales for August were down 3 percent versus a 2 percent decrease last year. Gap global’s comps were negative 5 percent versus negative 8 percent last year; Banana Republic global’s comps were negative 10 percent versus negative 11 percent last year, and Old Navy global was up 1 percent versus positive 6 percent last year.
Gap Inc.’s business going forward could be affected by the fire in a regional distribution center in Fishkill, N.Y., which remained closed this week. The huge fire that broke out Monday night is under investigation by a variety of agencies.
The Gap Inc. facility, which the company refers to as a campus, is comprised of two buildings and has been handling orders from online customers and providing product to Gap Inc. stores.
“While it will take time to understand the full impact and cause of the fire, we have contingency plans in place and are working across our North American network of distributions centers to continue to serve our customers,” said Debbie Felix, Gap Inc. spokeswoman. Gap’s ship-from-stores capabilities will also help the situation.
The smaller, 1.3 million-square-foot building where the fire took place was primarily for Gap, Gap Factory, Banana Republic and Banana Republic Factory stores in the Northeast. “The smaller building represents about 10 percent of our distribution network’s square footage,” Felix said. The larger, 1.9 million-square-foot building is primarily for Old Navy. Both buildings remain closed.
Gap distribution centers in Tennessee and Ohio are being used to compensate for the Fishkill closure. “It’s part of our contingency planning for any sort of incident that would come up, such as a major snowstorm,” Felix said. “The good news is that all of our employees made it out safely. There were no injuries” among Gap workers. One fireman at the scene did sustain minor injury.
“The fire is currently under investigation. There are some things we just don’t know at this time,” Felix said.
The fire is being investigated by the New York State Police, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Dutchess County Fire Investigation Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.