GPS - The Gap, Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
+0.15 (+2.73%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT
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Previous close5.50
Bid5.54 x 1400
Ask5.70 x 4000
Day's range5.47 - 5.79
52-week range5.26 - 26.86
Avg. volume8,164,834
Market cap2.098B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.89
PE ratio (TTM)6.08
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend date06 Apr 2020
1y target estN/A
  • lululemon Extends Store Closure on Rising Coronavirus Impact

    lululemon Extends Store Closure on Rising Coronavirus Impact

    COVID-19 derails economic activities worldwide. lululemon (LULU) extends store closures in certain regions until further notice and creates a fund to help employees.

  • Retailers Wish You'd Be Back Shopping By Easter

    Retailers Wish You'd Be Back Shopping By Easter

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Donald Trump wasn’t alone in hoping everyone’s lives could get back to normal by Easter weekend.Retailers’ decisions to furlough hundreds of thousands of U.S. retail workers this week underscore that store closures are set to go on for much longer than initially anticipated. Closings in many major markets around the world will remain in place through next weekend and beyond, wreaking havoc with the prime spring shopping season.Hennes & Mauritz AB said on Friday that net sales fell by 46% in March from the year earlier. It expects a loss in its second quarter. The extended closures will now affect crucial pre-Easter shopping period, worth about $25 billion to U.S. retailers, according to GlobalData. While people may still indulge in filling their children’s baskets with chocolate eggs to create some holiday cheer in this difficult time, crackdowns on even the smallest of gatherings mean they won’t be planning big fancy meals, nor refreshing their bunny-and-chick-themed decorations.  What’s more, consumers can’t take advantage of the long holiday weekend in much of Europe to start shopping for the latest trends for summer. That’s a blow because it typically kicks off the period when consumers refresh their wardrobes, home decorations and gardens for the warmer months. If temperatures soar, that can normally set non-food retailers fair for the coming quarter.  From there, people’s diaries would typically be chock full with weddings, graduations and parties, plenty of reasons to update one’s wardrobe. But the novel coronavirus has radically changed all of that, eliminating pretty much any reason to dress for success. It’s estimated that half of couples planning weddings in the U.S. this year are looking to postpone them, according to data from the Wedding Report. The graduation season has been thrown into question. More than 80 U.S. colleges and universities have either canceled, postponed or been turned their 2020 commencement ceremonies into virtual gatherings. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nordstrom (@nordstrom) on Apr 2, 2020 at 5:40pm PDTThat means everything from floral dresses to pastel hued shoes may have to be offloaded. Discounting to clear unwanted stock means the crisis is likely to last well into the second quarter, and possibly beyond.There’s another reason why the impact on may be bigger than initially feared: Some online demand has evaporated. Retailers have to ensure workers processing internet orders observe strict social distancing rules. So far British online fashion group Asos Plc, which generated 13% of its sales from the U.S., has kept its warehouses in Atlanta, Berlin and the U.K. open, albeit with longer delivery times. But rival fashion chain Next Plc has stopped taking online orders while it reconfigures its distribution centers. This would be in line with its worst case scenario of the business being closed for four weeks, cutting full-year sales by 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion).No wonder store chains have shifted to cash preservation mode. H&M said it was taking a number of initiatives, from cutting working hours to seeking rent reductions, to try to cope. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of staff are being temporarily laid off, with chains such as Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co., Kohl’s Corp. and Gap Inc. halting pay for much of their workforce while preserving some benefits. The longer the hiatus in consumer spending, the more likely that some retailers and restaurants just won’t open their doors again. Others may decide to radically cut down on their brick-and-mortar locations. U.S. department stores, already grappling with the shift to online and mostly lackluster product selections, look particularly challenged.But even companies that do emerge relatively unscathed could find recovery just as demanding. Consumers who have kept their jobs will likely be eager to splash out on holiday and work attire when they’re finally able to move about freely and go back to the office, purchases they can fund with money saved during lockdown on everything from gym memberships and dining out.The question is whether any pent up demand will be enough to alleviate lost sales from those who have been temporarily laid off, or worse, made redundant. Individuals in fear of losing their jobs, or being forced to take pay cuts, are likely to save more. So consumer-facing companies need to brace themselves for a long haul.  It’s going to be some time before stores reopen, and even longer before they get back to any semblance of normality.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Are Retailers Crunching the Right Sums to Fight Coronavirus?

    Are Retailers Crunching the Right Sums to Fight Coronavirus?

    Companies are drawing on revolving credit facilities to enhance cash positions amid coronavirus induced store closures.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    WRAPUP 2-U.S. weekly jobless claims hit record once again

    The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week shot to a record high for a second week in a row - topping 6 million - as more jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession. Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 6.65 million in the latest week from an unrevised 3.3 million the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday. The figures far exceeded the median estimate of 3.50 million in a Reuters survey of economists.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    RPT-WRAPUP 1-U.S. weekly jobless claims seen at record high - again

    The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits likely shot to a record high for a second week in a row as more jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession. Thursday's weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, the most timely data on the economy's health, is expected to show that claims blew past the previous week's record 3.3 million. It will likely reinforce economists' views that the longest employment boom in U.S. history probably ended in March.

  • Covid-19 Brings a Reckoning to the Business World

    Covid-19 Brings a Reckoning to the Business World

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The coronavirus pandemic has forced Macy’s Inc. — a retail giant venerable enough to be featured in an old Christmas movie and familiar enough to retain bragging rights to New York’s annual Thanksgiving parade — to throw most of its 130,000 workers into the unknown.Macy’s stores, which include Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, have been closed since March 18, and the company said on Monday that it will put a “majority” of its workforce on unpaid furloughs starting Wednesday. It also said all those employees, numerous enough to fill cities the size of New Haven, Connecticut, or Santa Clara, California, will have their health insurance premiums covered “at least through May.” After that, who knows?Meanwhile, a Holland America Line cruise ship, the Zaandam, was recently left floating off the coast of Panama for several days with nowhere to go while a coronavirus outbreak wound through its decks. The ship, one of those mammoth floating hotels that can accommodate as many as 1,432 passengers and 607 crew members, was adrift because no Latin American ports would allow it to dock after it departed from Buenos Aires on March 7. Four travelers on the Zaandam have died, at least two others have been infected with the coronavirus, and another 189 are reportedly displaying “flu-like symptoms.”The Panamanian government allowed the Zaandam and a sister ship that has picked up some of its passengers to pass through the Panama Canal on Sunday to sail toward Florida. A Holland America executive said that transiting the canal would allow the Zaandam’s passengers to make their way home. But who knows? The ship intends to dock in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, but local officials there said passengers haven’t been cleared to disembark. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told Fox News that many of the Zaandam’s passengers were “foreigners” he didn’t want “dumped” in his state.So it goes as the coronavirus tightens its grip worldwide, forcing businesses such as Macy’s and Carnival Corp. (the parent of Holland America) to wrestle with harrowing, existential decisions that affect the financial well-being — and sometimes the survival — of employees and customers. We are likely in the very early stages of what may also be one of the most brutal transformations of corporate and workplace landscapes in generations, with longstanding businesses rocked to their foundations — or entirely brought down.The coronavirus is a villain in all of this, of course. But the pandemic is also a reckoning for businesses that have been slow to turn themselves around, haven’t adapted to earlier transformations in their industries or are simply run too recklessly to survive.Macy’s was struggling long before the coronavirus came along. Its sales have sagged for years, its stores tethered to older, less free-spending shoppers and often located in down-on-their-luck malls. The department store chain has tried to fight back by pursuing off-price retailing and embracing Inc.’s bailiwick — online shopping — more robustly. But Amazon is Amazon and Macy’s is Macy’s, and there’s the rub.The company is doing honorable things as it wrestles with the coronavirus and past mishaps. Its chief executive officer, Jeff Gennette, has given up all of his own compensation for an unspecified period and is finding other ways to cut back on spending. Just six days ago, Gennette said he was doing everything possible to avoid kneecapping his employees with furloughs or layoffs. By Monday, that apparently was no longer tenable. Plans to re-open stores on April 1 were also recently punted."We have no way of knowing how long our stores will remain closed, but we believe it will be at least several weeks before we have a clear line of sight," Gennette wrote in an email to employees.The federal government recently passed its landmark $2 trillion stimulus bill that could potentially offer a lifeline to companies like Macy’s (and other retailers facing the same predicament, including Kohl’s Corp. and Gap Inc.). The legislation sets aside $500 billion in loans and other aid for major corporations that are stumbling. But does it make sense for the government to prop up a company like Macy’s that’s been stumbling for years and might have unraveled even if the coronavirus hadn’t come along? Wouldn’t the money be better spent on direct support for the company’s workers?The decisions Carnival faces in connection with the Zaandam’s wanderings are even more stark. Cruise ships have the potential to act as gigantic, global Petri dishes: Before the coronavirus outbreak, the cruise industry’s largest trade association estimated that as many as 32 million people would take a cruise in 2020.Although the cruise ship is no stranger to viral outbreaks (two years ago, 73 passengers contracted a norovirus on a trip off the coast of Alaska), the Zaandam and other Holland America and Carnival ships have received high marks in recent sanitation inspections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet reports have popped up regularly about other Carnival ships that don’t pass muster. (The parent company manages several brands, and the Princess lines have particularly weak health and sanitation records.) So how well prepared was Carnival for something as cataclysmic as the coronavirus?Moreover, why did the Zaandam set sail on March 7? Well before then, two other Carnival ships had already become poster children for the coronavirus. On Feb. 4, the Diamond Princess was quarantined at a Japanese port after a former passenger tested positive for the virus. A subsequent test administered to that ship’s 3,700 passengers and crew turned up 700 infections; several of those people later died. As early as March 3, it was reported that passengers aboard a Grand Princess cruise in February had tested positive. That Carnival ship, returning from Hawaii, was then detained off the California coast for several days before docking on March 9 to prevent a further spread.The peril for any ships heading out to sea was clearly known by early March. And if passengers weren’t aware of the danger, Carnival certainly was. Some Zaandam passengers have said they were assured that travelers were adequately screened for signs of the coronavirus prior to departure, but now doubt that claim.Although Carnival may be facing broader business hurdles similar to Macy’s, it can expect no financial lifeline from the federal government. Last week’s stimulus blocked major cruise companies from receiving aid because they are incorporated outside the U.S. (a move that has allowed them to avoid paying federal taxes and to skirt some regulations). What goes around comes around, especially during a pandemic.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O'Brien is a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Gap (GPS) Furloughs Employees to Combat Coronavirus Impacts

    Gap (GPS) Furloughs Employees to Combat Coronavirus Impacts

    Gap (GPS) is furloughing employees in North America and freezing their salary on store closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Stay-at-Home Orders Expand; J&J in Vaccine Deal: Virus Update

    Stay-at-Home Orders Expand; J&J in Vaccine Deal: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., issued stay-at-home orders, with Virginia’s stretching to June 10. The San Francisco Bay Area will extend its mandate to May.New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy followed through on a threat to go after anyone who disobeys orders to stay home, and a Florida pastor was arrested for holding services. New York said new infections are slowing.Italy reported the slowest rate of new Covid-19 cases in almost two weeks and extended containment measures to at least Easter. Spain had fewer deaths after three days of record fatalities. Moscow’s 12.7 million residents were ordered to stay home.Key Developments:Cases top 775,000; 37,000 dead, 164,000 recovered: Johns HopkinsSick crew keeps ship running, risking spread of virusNew York City marshals all hospitals; Navy sails in to helpEx-FDA commissioner says distancing must go on until spread slowsU.S. allows emergency use of drug Trump backed against virusCentury-old vaccine investigated as a weapon against coronavirusSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here.Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here. For BNEF’s view of the impact on energy, click here.Gap Joins Macy’s in Furloughing Workers (5:20 p.m. NY)Large retailers are letting workers go as shoppers stay home. Gap Inc. said it would furlough most of its U.S. and Canada store employees as it anticipates closures to extend past a previously announced April 1 date. Ascena Retail Group, the owner of chains including Ann Taylor, announced a similar move. Macy’s Inc. said earlier Monday that it would furlough most of its roughly 130,000 workers this week.Consumer spending has “sharply declined” amid the pandemic, according to Visa Inc., which lowered its outlook for revenue growth in the fiscal second quarter.J&J Surges After Vaccine Deal With U.S. Government (4:25 p.m. NY)Johnson & Johnson jumped 8% after the company said it would begin a $1 billion-plus effort with the U.S. government to make a vaccine against the virus. It will work with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to further develop a vaccine the company said it’s been working on since January.J&J said it plans to begin building manufacturing capacity for a billion doses of the vaccine. Early doses may be ready for emergency use as soon as January.Read the full story hereCalifornia Calls for Non-Practicing Health-Care Workers (4:13 p.m. NY)California Governor Gavin Newsom made a call to non-practicing health-care workers, asking them to help with the anticipated surge in hospitalizations. “We need you,” he said of nurses, doctors, pharmacists and emergency medical technicians. Facebook Inc. has committed $25 million to provide stipends for additional costs health-care workers might face from childcare to hotel rooms, Newsom said in a press briefing.In the past four days, California’s number of hospitalizations related to the virus have roughly doubled to more than 1,400. The progression matches the state’s modeling, Newsom said, meaning California is on track to needing an additional 50,000 hospital beds and people to staff them.Charges Filed Against Florida Pastor Who Held Services (3:15 p.m. NY)Charges were filed against a Florida pastor who held in-person services at his megachurch on Sunday, Hillsborough Country Sheriff Chad Chronister said during a press conference on Monday. An arrest warrant was issued for Rodney Howard-Browne, who yesterday compared the pandemic to a flu and dismissed the advice of public health experts.Howard-Browne’s behavior was described as “reckless disregard for public safety” by Chronister. The local county is under a stay-at-home order as the state of Florida deals with skyrocketing coronavirus cases and deaths.N.Y. Cases Slowing Though Fatalities Still on Rise (2:17 p.m. NY)New York state reported 253 new coronavirus fatalities on Monday, a 26% increase, but Governor Andrew Cuomo also offered some positive news: The rise in confirmed cases is slowing, and the hospital-discharge rate is rising.While the doubling of infections has slowed from every two days to every six, the number of people who had to be moved into intensive care with intubation surged in one day, the governor said at a briefing in Manhattan.New York added almost 7,000 confirmed infections overnight, for a total of more than 66,000, Cuomo said. Of those, roughly 9,500 are hospitalized, an increase of more than 1,000, and about 2,350 were in intensive care, up 315.France Hospital Deaths Rise by Most to Date (1:56 p.m. NY)France reported 418 deaths in hospitals, the most in a day for the country. The number doesn’t include deaths in other locations, and will add those figures later in the week, according to the health ministry’s press office. The jump brings the total number of hospital deaths to 3,024.Israel PM Netanyahu Tests Negative for Virus (1:45 p.m.)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his family and close aides tested negative for Covid-19, his office said in a statement. One of his aides who he was in contact with has the virus, prompting them to go into isolation and be tested. He will remain in isolation until receiving further instructions from the health ministry.N.J. Files Charges for Violating Social-Distancing Orders (1:25 p.m. NY)In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy made good on a promise to name and shame people accused of violating social-distancing orders. His attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, sent out a news release detailing cases against a score of people, an unusual move for low-level offenses like disorderly conduct.Among the residents facing charges are four buddies who met to drag race in a school parking lot, men who held weddings, a woman who left her home to toss a Molotov cocktail at her boyfriend’s residence -- unsuccessfully -- and a billiards hall owner who reopened after he was ordered to close. At least a dozen people have been charged with threatening to transmit the virus.Italy Reports Fewest New Cases in Two Weeks (12:30 p.m. NY)Italy reported the smallest number of new coronavirus cases in almost two weeks as the epicenter of Europe’s contagion enters its fourth week of lockdown.New infections in the past 24 hours totaled 4,050, compared with 5,217 the previous day, civil protection authorities said Monday at their daily news conference in Rome. This is the lowest increase since March 17.Fatalities rose by 812 on Monday compared with 756 on Sunday, bringing the total to 11,591. Italy now has 101,739 total cases, the most after the U.S.Read more hereEurope Expected to Start Stabilizing Soon, WHO Says (12:18 p.m. NY)European countries that took measures two to three weeks ago will probably begin to show some signs of stabilization soon, according to Mike Ryan, head of health emergencies at the World Health Organization. The WHO hopes Italy and Spain are nearly at the peak, though reducing the number of new cases requires proactive measures, Ryan said at a press briefing Monday.To know if they are testing enough, countries should be getting roughly 10 negative results for every confirmed infection, Ryan said. “If 80 or 90% of the people you test are positive, you are probably missing a lot of cases.”All Covid-19 patients should be taken to health facilities rather than staying at home, and their close contacts also ideally should be isolated outside the home, he said. Singapore’s success in containing the virus came by sending community workers door-to-door, checking people for symptoms such as fever, and immediately taking anyone suspected to be infected to a testing center, he said.EU Finance Ministers to Meet April 7 on Response (12:01 p.m. NY)Euro-area finance ministers will meet on April 7 to deliver proposals to reinforce the EU’s policy response to the coronavirus, Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said on Twitter.Their meeting comes after EU leaders last week struggled to find common ground on how best to cushion to the impact of the pandemic. Instead, they gave their finance chiefs two weeks to produce new proposals amid disagreements over whether they should deploy the bloc’s bailout fund or push with more ambitious plans such as joint debt in the form of so-called coronabonds.French Fashion Brands Ramp Up Mask Production (12:01 p.m. NY)The French fashion sector’s push to supply protective masks is on track to produce 480,000 units per day with 45 companies participating, Deputy Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said. Those masks, often reusable, will be intended as an additional protection measure for people working outside the medical sector.France’s makers of surgical masks are also ramping up production, targeting 40 million masks in April, Pannier-Runacher said Monday in a briefing to press.Lacoste, Yves Saint-Laurent and Chanel are among the French fashion makers that have said they’ll participate in the effort.CureVac to Start Trials This Summer, Focus Says (10:30 a.m. NY)The German biotech CureVac AG will start a trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine in early summer, the magazine Focus reported, citing an interview with CureVac supervisory board member Friedrich von Bohlen. The vaccine could be ready be year-end.Earlier this month, CureVac denied speculation that the U.S. government tried to buy the business or its technology amid the intensifying race to produce a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.Abbott Surges on Five-Minute Test (9:45 a.m. NY)Abbott Laboratories shares surged after the company unveiled a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.The medical-device maker plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, said John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics. The molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can quickly be detected when present at high levels. A thorough search to definitively rule out an infection can take up to 13 minutes, he said.Read more herePoland Election Plan Faces Pushback (9:45 a.m. NY)Pressure is growing on Poland’s ruling party to delay the May 10 presidential election as the authorities introduce more curbs on civil liberties to contain the coronavirus.On Monday, a deputy science minister became the first government official to publicly call for the vote to be postponed. Meanwhile, municipalities are growing wary of having to help organize as many as 300,000 volunteers on local election committees that supervise voting and count ballots.Read more hereChina to Reveal Data on People Infected With No Symptoms (9:07 a.m. NY)China’s government indicated it will start releasing data on how many people are infected with coronavirus but don’t have symptoms, as domestic and international criticism of the country’s portrayal of the outbreak grows.Local governments should emphasize efforts to monitor, track and isolate these asymptomatic infections, a meeting on Covid-19 led by Premier Li Keqiang said Monday. These efforts will help close loopholes in epidemic control work, according to a statement released on the website of the State Council, the top administrative body in China.Trump Says Hazard Pay for Hospitals Is Being Looked At (8:49 a.m. NY)The president told Fox News that hazard pay for hospital workers dealing with the coronavirus is being looked at. He said hospitals were being asked to consider possible bonuses, among other measures.Tokyo Governor Urges Residents to Avoid Night Clubs (8:39 a.m. NY)Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike urged residents to avoid bars and night clubs, which are seen to be behind a recent increase in virus cases in the city. Tokyo reported 13 new cases of infection on Monday, bringing the total to 443.U.A.E. to Open Drive-Through Testing Centers (8:33 a.m. NY)The United Arab Emirates plans to open drive-through testing centers nationwide, the official news agency WAM reported on Monday.Netherlands Reports Its Slowest Case Growth: (8:20 a.m. NY)New cases in the Netherlands rose by 8% to 11,750, the smallest daily gain since the country reported its first case in late February. The RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment also said total deaths climbed to 864 after it recorded 93 more fatalities, an increase of 12%, below the recent average.The growth of new cases has slowed gradually over the past week. The RIVM expects to be able to say whether there’s a real flattening over the course of this week.The government is set to extend restrictions, such as keeping schools and restaurants closed, until after April 6, Dutch news agency ANP reported.Portugal Cases Slow (7:54 a.m. NY)The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Portugal rose 7.5% to 6,408 as of 11 a.m. on Monday from 5,962 on Sunday morning, the government’s Directorate-General of Health said. That’s slower than a daily increase of 15% reported on Sunday and a 21% gain on Saturday. The total number of deaths increased to 140 on Monday from 119 reported through Sunday morning.Germany Asks Companies to Suspend Dividends (7:53 a.m. NY)German listed companies will have to suspend dividend payments to qualify for government assistance designed to ease the impact of the coronavirus crisis, according to two people familiar with the policy.Decisions will be taken on a case by case basis, but the general rule will be that dividends should not be paid if companies want to tap into the aid program and borrow from state bank KfW, said the people, who asked not to be identified by name because the policy isn’t public. The KfW declined to comment.Germany is in line with France in insisting firms forgo dividend payments.The Latest on Covid-19 Tests and Vaccines (7:30 a.m. NY)Johnson & Johnson rose in pre-market trading after saying it had selected a lead Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The company expects to initiate human clinical studies latest by September and anticipates the first batches of a vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.Earlier, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he expects data about remdesivir “in month or so” that will indicate whether the drug works for coronavirus and whether it’s safe to use.Meanwhile, Abbott Laboratories shares rose 18% in U.S. pre-market trading after the company introduced a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.And Israel has developed a 3D-printed sticker to attach to a standard surgical mask to increase its protective capabilities. The sticker is composed of nanoscale fibers coated with disinfectants, the Defense Ministry said.(A previous version was corrected to fix the number of cases in the U.K.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Gap Outlines Action Plan to Deal With Coronavirus Crisis

    Gap Outlines Action Plan to Deal With Coronavirus Crisis

    Gap (GPS) suspends the quarterly dividend and draws its entire revolving credit facility among the various efforts to stay financially sound in the coronavirus-led crisis.

  • Gap pulls forecast, suspends dividend, taps $500 million credit as coronavirus bites

    Gap pulls forecast, suspends dividend, taps $500 million credit as coronavirus bites

    The disruptions caused by the health crisis mark the latest headache for newly named Chief Executive Officer Sonia Syngal as she tries to revive demand for its apparel in a competitive market plagued by slowing footfall in malls. Syngal said in a statement that the company was taking the steps to further strengthen its financial liquidity and flexibility "in this time of unprecedented disruption to the retail sector."

  • Nike’s Workout App Beats the Coronavirus Blues

    Nike’s Workout App Beats the Coronavirus Blues

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- As consumer groups grapple with how to cope with the unprecedented impact of Covid-19, Nike Inc., one of the world’s most successful brands, has given a useful road map.Unlike Britain’s Next Plc last week, Nike didn’t quantify the financial hit as the pandemic spreads. But it did give some helpful operational pointers, using its experience in China to identify four phases of the outbreak’s impact that retailers can expect to see on both sides of the Atlantic: The first is containment, characterized by large scale stores closures. The second is recovery, when brick and mortar outlets gradually begin to reopen. That is then followed by a return to normal conditions, and finally, sales growth.Nike estimates that China has now progressed through its recovery phase and is returning to normal, with the maker of  the Air Jordan and Flyknit sneakers expecting sales growth to come roaring back in early 2021. Clearly, Europe and much of the U.S. is still in the containment phase. Based on the experiences in China, Japan and South Korea, this could last five to six weeks, Nike said.The retailer weathered the China store closures far better than expected — with sales in China down 4% excluding currency movements in the third quarter —  and its strategy in the face of the coronavirus offers some interesting lessons for other retail brands in how to cope with an extended shutdown.While stores were closed, Nike fired up online operations effectively. It also activated other digital ways of connecting with customers, such as home fitness apps offered for free. It worked. Weekly active users rose 80% in China over the course of the third quarter, as people were confined to their homes. That in turn drove them to purchase new workout gear, boosting digital sales by more than 30%.It also helps that fitness equipment is still in demand when people are stuck at home. The same can’t be said for many products, such as glam dresses.As the number of Covid-19 cases spreads in other markets, it’s of course not a given that every company can soldier on as seemingly seamlessly as Nike, which has been doing well for a long time. The company generated a better-than-expected $10.1 billion of revenue in the third quarter, even with the impact from China. Nike has a strong balance sheet and is highly cash generative. Even so, inventories rose 7% in the third quarter to $5.8 billion, partially reflecting the drop-off in demand from China. Retailers across the board will be scrambling with how to deal with a surfeit of stock.Nike’s success has enabled it to invest heavily in its digital offering. Its fitness apps, which have come into their own in this crisis, are a case in point. Not all groups have been — or have the resources to be — so proactive. So it’s fair to expect that the companies with strong balance sheets, well-known brands and developed digital offerings should be able to navigate the crisis. Spain’s Inditex SA, owner of the Zara chain, fits the bill here.By contrast, those companies that were already struggling, or burdened with large borrowings, will be particularly challenged by the first phase of containment.As I have noted, the U.S. department stores look particularly susceptible to shuttered stores and shell-shocked shoppers. On Monday, Bloomberg News reported that Neiman Marcus Group Inc., the luxury retailer that has been struggling to ease its $4.3 billion debt load, was mulling options that could include a bankruptcy filing. And another Bloomberg report said J. Crew Group Inc. is suspending the initial public offering of Madewell, its most popular brand, a move necessary to cut its borrowings.Elsewhere, taking into account store leases, as well as other forms of financial obligations and upcoming debt maturities, analysts at Morgan Stanley have identified companies including L Brands Inc., Macy’s Inc., The Gap Inc. and Michael Kors owner Capri Holdings Ltd. as having particularly high levels of leverage, making them potentially less resilient in the current downturn.So while Nike can just do it, some laggards may truly struggle to get through this crisis.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Do Options Traders Know Something About Gap (GPS) Stock We Don't?

    Do Options Traders Know Something About Gap (GPS) Stock We Don't?

    Investors need to pay close attention to Gap (GPS) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.

  • Gap Joins Retailers' Fight Against Coronavirus, Shuts Stores

    Gap Joins Retailers' Fight Against Coronavirus, Shuts Stores

    Gap (GPS) announces temporary shutdown of all Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap, Athleta, Janie and Jack, and Intermix stores in North America.

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  • Retailers May Have to Strike a Grand Bargain

    Retailers May Have to Strike a Grand Bargain

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Closeageddon is how analysts at Jefferies are describing the retail store shutterings in the U.S.With chains run by big names such as Nike Inc, Apple Inc and Hennes & Mauritz AB closing doors, and icons including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s joining them, the challenge facing the sector is worsening.Adidas AG warned last week that the suspension of store trading in China would cost it about $1 billion in lost sales. Add in closures across the U.S. and Europe, and multiply that by the number of household names retreating, and the bill to the retail industry may be astronomical.Stacey Widlitz of SW Retail Advisors estimates first quarter revenue will be down by 50-70% on average for global retailers.While sales are evaporating, overheads still need to be paid. This brings into focus the financial strength of parts of the global sector. Those that have been doing well for a long time, including Nike Inc. in the U.S. and Industria de Diseno Textil SA (Inditex) in Europe should have the resources to cope. H&M has little borrowing.But many retailers were already struggling going into this crisis – think of some of the U.S. department stores. Those trying to implement turnarounds, such as Victoria’s Secret, which parent L Brands Inc. has agreed to partially sell, and Under Armour Inc. now face additional hurdles.Gap Inc. has been trying to revive its namesake brand. At least its balance sheet is in decent shape. The same can’t be said for the likes of JC Penney Co Inc. and J Crew Group Inc., the private-equity owned clothing retailer that plans to spin off its Madewell unit to cut debts. With markets experiencing unprecedented volatility, there must be a question mark over this transaction, and maybe even the Victoria’s Secret deal.Retailers would ideally want to stand by staff for as long as they can. It may be hard to imagine at present, but when the virus eventually recedes and activity picks up stores will need their workforces. Yet the pressures to cut back will be immense. The likely first move will be to reduce the temporary workforce.Self-help measures are limited. Stock can in theory be moved from shuttered markets to those where there is still demand. The trouble is, with large swathes of Europe and increasing numbers of U.S. cities in lock-down, the regions where non-essential shopping is even permissible are dwindling.Speaking to suppliers about delaying orders, or even cancelling them, particularly if Asian manufacturers are experiencing backlogs, may provide some respite.Where businesses operate from leased sites, landlords will have a role to play. Struggling tenants and mall owners need to have a grown-up conversation about whether payments can be deferred or rents reduced. With demand shifting from physical stores to online for the past decade, landlords are already bruised. But they are in this crisis together with retailers. The mall owners can ill afford more vacant lets. It would be wise to take steps to prevent that now.Such measures will only go so far. The case for targeted government support is pretty clear. One possibility is cheap state-backed loans, as the U.K. announced on Tuesday. In practice, such support may end up helping firms that were already uncompetitive. That may be the price to pay.Tax breaks are another. Again, British retailers have long sought a reduction on property-based “business rates”, which they argue unfairly punishes chains with large bricks and mortar estates. They just got a 12-month holiday from the tax.On both sides of the Atlantic, arrangements are needed so that suppliers can still insure themselves against retailers going bust before they have settled for ordered goods. That risk is elevated right now. If insurance companies pull cover, retailers may be forced to pay for stock up front, putting even more pressure on already strained cash flows. Government can help.Retailers, landlords and lenders will have to come to some accord with each other. Even then, they will struggle to get through this on their own.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • New York Cases Climb; South by Southwest Canceled: Virus Update

    New York Cases Climb; South by Southwest Canceled: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- New York cases of the coronavirus rose by 11 to 44. Meanwhile, organizers canceled the South by Southwest gathering scheduled for this month in Austin, Texas.Washington state health officials sent 15 nursing home patients to the hospital. The facility, which has the most new coronavirus cases and deaths in the state, will be visited by U.S. officials on Saturday.Worldwide infections topped 100,000. President Donald Trump signed a $7.8 billion emergency coronavirus spending bill. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized China, saying it was frustrating to work with the Communist Party.U.S. stocks staged a furious rally at the end of Friday’s trading that pushed the S&P 500 higher after a tumultuous week dominated by fear the spreading virus will upend global growth. Oil tanked.Key Developments:Cases surpass 100,000 worldwide; deaths top 3,400Virus strains U.S. health system with supply, test shortageSouth Korea retaliates over Japan’s quarantine callAir travel poised for worst year on recordWhite House is working on more economic measuresMinnesota is the latest state to report a caseCredit market endures worst day in decadeClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.New York Infections Jump to 44 (5:06 p.m. NY)New York state reported 11 new cases, bringing the total to 44, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter. Eight of the new cases are in Westchester County, while three are in Nassau.Latin American Nations Report First Cases (4:30 p.m. NY)In Latin America, Colombia, Peru and Costa Rica all reported their first cases of the new coronavirus.The case in Peru is a 25-year-old man who contracted it on vacation in Europe, RPP reports. In Colombia, a test on a 19-year-old female student from Milan was confirmed Friday, Bogota’s mayor said on Twitter. A 49-year-old American tourist to Costa Rica tested positive, the nation’s health minister said.Brazil is reporting 13 cases and Chile 5. No deaths have been reported in the region.Drop in Travel May Cost $50 Billion: UN (2:20 p.m. NY)A drop in global travel this year may cost a loss in business of as much as $50 billion, the United Nations World Tourism Organization said Friday.Asia and the Pacific will be the hardest hit, with a drop in arrivals of 9% to 12%. The agency said estimating effects in other regions is premature, given the spread of the illness. The agency had predicted 3% to 4% growth this year.Italy Clarifies Possible Quarantine Plan (2:15 p.m. NY)Silvio Brusaferro later clarified that Italy is not studying quarantine for the entire Milan region but that health authorities are evaluating some measures for the region and other areas at risk.Italy Studying Quarantine for Milan Region (1:50 p.m. NY)Italy is evaluating new measures to contain the coronavirus contagion in Lombardy, the area around Milan, including extending a quarantine to the entire region.Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s National Institute of Health, said at a press briefing said a larger quarantine is under discussion. Italy, the center of the outbreak in Europe, has 4,636 cases and almost 200 deaths.Fifteen Nursing Home Patients Sent to Hospital (1:23 p.m. NY)Health officials in Washington state’s King County have sent 15 patients from a nursing home to the hospital. Conditions at the facility have “significantly improved” and everybody will have been tested shortly, according to a King County health official.A team of 30 federal officials will arrive on Saturday to help with the situation at the nursing home.U.S. Tests Fewer Than 2,000 for Virus, Atlantic Reports (12:03 p.m. NY)Despite a surge in production of kits to test for the new coronavirus, only 1,895 people have been tested in the U.S, The Atlantic reported. About 10% of those tested positive.States are handling reporting how many tests are being administered and the CDC has stopped publishing the data, complicating efforts to collect complete figures, the magazine says. The information was collected from government websites and interviews. Public health officials can currently administer only thousands of tests a day nationwide, instead of the tens or hundreds of thousands promised by the White House, The Atlantic said.“The net effect of these choices is that the country’s true capacity for testing has not been made clear to its residents. This level of obfuscation is unexpected in the United States, which has long been a global leader in public-health transparency,” the magazine wrote.Moderna’s Vaccine Trial Set to Begin This Month (11:50 a.m. NY)Human studies of an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. are set to begin this month, as a host of companies race to make shots to fight the rapidly spreading illness.WHO Says Virus Won’t Just Disappear in Warm Months (11:30 a.m. NY)“It’s a false hope to say it will just disappear in the summer like influenza,” said Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s emergency programs.The coronavirus is spreading into more low-income countries, which is concerning because they might not be prepared, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the group’s daily briefing.Trump to Visit CDC After Concern Disrupted Trip (11:26 a.m. NY)U.S. President Donald Trump will visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday, a trip that initially was canceled because of concern that someone at the agency may have contracted the coronavirus.Lufthansa Slices Schedule in Half on Hit to Sales (10:35 a.m. NY)Lufthansa has slashed capacity by up to 50% in the most aggressive move yet by a major European airline to cope with the severe fall-off in travel triggered by the coronavirus.Gap Closes New York Office After Worker Infected (10:47 a.m. NY)Preppy apparel retailer Gap Inc. has closed its New York City headquarters after a worker tested positive for the coronavirus.The building is located at 55 Thomas St. in Lower Manhattan. The person isn’t in the office and is recovering at home, according to a memo sent to Gap workers at the location.Trump Adviser Kudlow Says to Avoid Seattle Area (10:45 a.m. NY)Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Americans should avoid traveling to Seattle, Washington, which has been the hardest hit region in the U.S. with at least 11 people dying of the virus.Kudlow said the U.S. should consider a targeted approach to providing financial assistance related to the virus.London Heathrow Baggage Handlers Test Positive (10:32 a.m. NY)Coronavirus has reached Europe’s busiest airport, after two British Airways baggage handlers at London Heathrow tested positive for the disease.The affected workers are recovering in isolation at home, British Airways parent IAG SA said Friday in an email. A small number of the luggage handlers’ colleagues are also being tested, a person familiar with the matter said.The outbreak’s presence at such a heavily taraversed junction is likely to escalate concerns about air travel after the virus’s spread from Asia caused consumers in Europe and the U.S. to pull back. The International Air Transport Association warned this week that carriers may lose $113 billion in sales this year, almost four times greater than its estimate of the epidemic’s impact from just two weeks earlier.Hong Kong Expands Health Declarations at Airport (9:44 a.m. NY)Hong Kong’s government is expanding health declarations at the airport to cover all flights. The city’s health authorities have urged residents to consider delaying all non-essential foreign travel.U.K. Reports 48 New Cases (9:15 a.m. NY)The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.K. jumped to 163 from 115. The rise in infections follows the nation’s first coronavirus death on Thursday. The elderly patient, who had underlying medical conditions, is believed to have contracted the virus in the country. Health officials have said they’re bracing for a potential period of mounting cases.Half of German Firms Expecting Sales Hit (9:05 a.m. NY)Half of German companies expect sales to suffer this year due to the virus, according to a survey of about 10,000 firms by the DIHK industry group published Friday. More than a quarter expect revenue to decline by more than 10%, with the travel and hospitality sectors among those suffering the most, preliminary survey results showed.Trump Signs $7.8 Billion Virus Bill (9:01 a.m. NY)The amount of money provided in the legislation far exceeds Trump’s original request -- $1.25 billion in new funds and another $1.25 billion from other government social and health programs. Lawmakers said they expect Congress will have to provide more emergency funding before the virus outbreak subsides.British Airways Says Two Staff Test Positive (8:50 a.m. NY)Affected employees work in baggage handling at London Heathrow airport, according to a person familiar with the matter. They have been isolated and are recovering at home, the airline said.Pompeo Criticizes China’s Initial Response (8:25 a.m. NY)“The information that we got at the front end of this thing wasn’t perfect and has led us now to a place where much of the challenge we face today has put us behind the curve,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, according to CNBC.“That’s not the way infectious disease doctors tell me it should work. It’s not the way America works with transparency and openness and the sharing of the information that needs to take place.”France Reports More Cases, Global Tally Tops 100,000 (8:22 a.m. NY)The French health ministry said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country had risen by 154 to 577. Two more people have died, taking total deaths to nine.Bullard Says Fed Watching Virus Fallout, Willing to Do More (7:59 a.m. NY)“We correctly positioned the policy rate given what we knew,” Bullard said in an interview Friday on Bloomberg Television, referring to the Fed’s emergency 50 basis point cut on Tuesday. “Everything is on the table. We are willing to do more. But we are monitoring the situation. We can meet at any time.”Apple’s 5G IPhone Launch May See Delay, BofA Says (12:50 a.m. NY)Apple Inc.’s highly anticipated 5G iPhone could see a delayed release as a result of the coronavirus, according to BofA, which cited a conversation with an expert on the company’s supply chain. The expert, Elliot Lan, wrote that the “the iPhone 5G launch in the fall could see a month of delay,” and that he expects the launch of the iPhone SE2 will be delayed “by a few months” due to “both supply issues as well as the weaker demand environment from COVID-19.”According to BofA analyst Wamsi Mohan, the launch timing for upcoming models will “depend on how production ramps back up in April and May.”South Korea Hits Back at Japan Over Quarantine Push (12:46 a.m. NY)South Korea retaliated against Japan for what it called an “irrational and excessive” request for its citizens to voluntarily quarantine themselves, as Tokyo’s outbreak-control measures renewed tensions between the neighbors. The country is raising its advisory for all of Japan to Level 2, or “refrain from travel,” and will would halt its visa-waiver program for Japan starting March 9.Singapore Reports 13 New Coronavirus Cases (7:28 a.m. NY)Singapore reported 13 new cases on Friday, the country’s largest number of new cases in a single day since the outbreak began in January. Nine of the new cases were tied to a private dinner function Feb. 15, Ministry of Health officials said. That brings the total to 130 confirmed cases, with 48 patients still being treated in hospitals. The country hasn’t had any fatalities and has been praised for its approach to the outbreak, including for offering to pay the public hospital bills of those infected.Singapore’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong had earlier warned the outbreak looks like it’s becoming a global pandemic. “It is not going to be possible to shut ourselves out,” said Wong, who is co-chair of a multi-ministry task force established to deal with the virus.Top EU Diplomats’ Meeting Called Off (6:54 a.m. NY)A meeting of COREPER -- the powerful body of European Union government envoys in Brussels who run the bloc’s legislative process -- was called off. The Croatian envoy, who holds the rotating presidency of the group, put herself in isolation after coming to contact with a European Council staff member who was confirmed to be infected. The group convened last night and it’s unclear whether all envoys have been exposed and to what extent.The virus is causing serious disruption in the functioning of EU institutions. According to an email circulated to the Council of the EU -- the bloc’s main legislator -- and seen by Bloomberg, an infected member of staff had contacts with several colleagues, including diplomats representing national governments, this week.Vatican Closes Clinic After Patient Tests Positive (6:40 a.m. NY)The Vatican temporarily closed its clinic after one patient tested positive for coronavirus. Vatican City is home to about 600 people, including Pope Francis.The Vatican is studying further measures to prevent contagion, including closing to the public events in St. Peter’s Square that draw large crowds, such as the pope’s Sunday address. Francis himself tested negative for the virus earlier this week.\--With assistance from Adveith Nair, Jihye Lee, Jon Herskovitz, Shiho Takezawa, Max Zimmerman, Shoko Oda, Dina Bass, Edwin Chan, Harry Suhartono, Peter Elstrom, Greg Ritchie, Katharina Rosskopf, Charles Penty, Deana Kjuka, Patrick Winters, Bill Lehane, Gordana Filipovic, Alessandro Speciale, Andrew Davis, Flavia Rotondi, Nikos Chrysoloras, Siddharth Philip, Charlotte Ryan, Scott Soshnick, Jonathan Roeder, Mario Parker, Alexander Pearson, Thomas Mulier, James Paton, Matt Day, Tommaso Ebhardt and Steve Geimann.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Adveith Nair in London at;Li Liu in Beijing at;Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at, ;Drew Armstrong at, Steve Geimann, Kara WetzelFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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