Retail shares sank at the open Friday, with the Retail SPDR down 1.6% and most major components under heavy pressure.
Gap led the declines on a weak same-store sales report that led at least one analyst to downgrade the stock.
Gap said Thursday that same-store sales in the most recent period fell 6 percent, with the biggest declines at its namesake chain and at Old Navy.
Gap stores saw sales fall 7 percent in the five weeks ended April 5, as did Old Navy. Banana Republic did slightly better, with sales down 4 percent.
"While March performance has been challenging, we remain confident in the opportunities ahead," Gap CEO Glenn Murphy said in a statement.
Gap also warned that gross margins for the fiscal first quarter would decline, with a bigger rate of decline than they posted in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.
But the company affirmed its earnings-per-share targets for the year.
To look at some recent economic data, one would think the consumer is in great shape. But corporate America has another opinion.
Julie Sygiel, the founder and CEO of underwear start-up Dear Kate, didn't expect the backlash over her latest ad campaign.
Wal-Mart has opened several in-store branded clinics offering primary care at a price competitors may find hard to match.
Shares in Tesco closed nearly 7 percent lower, after the supermarket slashed profit expectations and cut its dividend.
Get the best of CNBC in your inbox