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In Business This Week
THE GAP TRIPS ON ITS UPSCALE STEP
What do women want? Lately, Gap merchandisers don't seem to know. On Sept. 26, the ubiquitous retail chain told analysts it expects same-store sales to be "modest" in September, after a 5% plunge in August. Turns out its bold move into higher-end, higher-margin women's fashion is fizzling. "Last year, they hit a home run on fashion. This year, they've struck out," says NatWest Securities analyst Robert F. Buchanan. Gap shares took a hit on the news but recovered Sept. 28, when analysts raised their rating on the stock.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS