A business can handle negative top-line comps if gross margin dollars are increasing. Here's the comp segment table for our business.
Gross margin comps look better than top-line sales/demand comps look ... but the last five months demonstrate a 4% - 5% drop in gross margin comps. This business is struggling due to merchandising strategy changes (and marketing problems with new + reactivated buyers - problems independent of merchandising strategy changes).
You are running these simple diagnostics on your business, right?