by Brian Lipton

Gap Inc.Gap Inc. has announced that it will take steps to better position the company for improved business performance and to build for the future, in light of a continuing stream of disappointing earnings. The company stated that is identifying opportunities to streamline its operating model to be more efficient and flexible, while more fully exploiting its scale advantage. Additionally, the company is evaluating its Banana Republic and Old Navy fleets, primarily outside of North America, in order to sharpen its focus on geographies with the greatest potential.

The news was announced on the same day that the company reported that for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, Gap Inc.’s net sales were $3.44 billion compared with $3.66 billion for the first quarter last year, while the company’s comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 were down 5 percent versus a 4 percent decrease last year. First quarter earnings will be released on May 19.

In addition, April net sales were $1.12 billion for the four-week period ended April 30, 2016, compared with net sales of $1.21 billion for the four-week period ended May 2, 2015. On a slightly more positive note, Gap Inc.’s comparable sales for April 2016 were down only 7 percent versus a 12 percent decrease last year, with Banana Republic showing the sharpest increase in performance.

“Our industry is evolving and we must transform at a faster pace, while focusing our energy on what matters most to our customers,” said Art Peck, chief executive officer, Gap Inc.