says it has reopened 1,500 stores across North America, with these locations generating about 70% of last year’s sales performance. Old Navy is showing “particular strength,” according to Katrina O’Connell, Gap’s chief financial officer, speaking on the retailer’s late Thursday earnings call. “Our brands matter,” said Gap’s Chief Executive Sonia Syngal, who used the earnings call to remind investors and analysts about the size and relevance of the company. Gap reported a first-quarter loss and sales that missed expectations. “We don’t talk about this enough, but Gap Inc. has three multibillion-dollar brands in Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic, with Athleta closely on the horizon,” Syngal said on the call, according to a FactSet transcript. “And Old Navy, Banana Republic and Gap brands rank amongst only nine specialty brands that exceed $2 billion of sales in the U.S.” Despite that, BMO Equity Research thinks the company has a rough turnaround road ahead. “[A]lthough we believe COVID-19 may provide a unique opportunity to refashion the business for the future, we expect growth will be structurally challenging to come by,” wrote analysts led by Simeon Siegel. BMO rates Gap stock market perform with a $9 price target. Gap shares rose 1.5% in Friday trading, but have slumped 30.3% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index
is down 0.8% for the period.