Following hot on the heals of Marks and Spencer's exit from France sources within US retailer Gap Inc have revealed that the company is planning a mass shake-up of its 56 store French operation.

A source within Gap told reporters on the Wall Street Journal that the shake up could see Gap pulling out of 11 of its 56 stores.

A spokesman for Gap told the newspaper that a shake-up was planned and that some stores would be closing. However, the spokesman also added that the stores would be immediately relocated as part of a routine real estate shuffle, but would not confirm whether the total number of stores was to be reduced.

Many would not be surprised to see Gap slimlining some of its operations after the company reported a drop in fourth quarter net income of 34 per cent. The company will be looking to maximise its sales to recover from the slump which it blamed on slow consumer spending, unappealing fashions, dull marketing and over expansion.