Retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a decrease in like-for-like decrease in general merchandise sales of 1.6% during the 13 weeks to the end of June.
Its general merchandise division, which includes clothing, footwear and homeware, has seen a drop in sales for the eight consecutive quarter.
Strong food sales have offset the company’s struggling clothing results, increasing 1.8% in like-for-like sales, whilst total company like-for-like sales increased 0.3%.
Marc Bolland, chief executive, said the company’s general merchandise had “seen some improvement this quarter.”
He explained: “Our general merchandise business showed some improvement this quarter and the food business delivered another excellent performance, continuing the strong underlying trend.
“We continue to make good progress with our plans to transform M&S into an international, multi-channel retailer.”
Marks & Spencer made a pre-tax annual profit of £665.2m for 2012/13, down 6% on a reported profit for 2011/12 of £705.9m.
In 2012 the company overhauled its retail team, hiring Belinda Earl, former chief executive of Jaeger and Debenhams, as its head of style. It unveiled a new clothing range and strategy in May this year.
The company is today (9 July) holding its annual general meeting.