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Marks and Sparks website fails to ignite shoppers’ interest as sales slump

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Marks & Spencer has reported its 12th consecutive quarter of declining clothing sales, putting chief executive Mark Bolland in the hot seat at the company’s annual meeting today.

Clothing sales slumped by 0.6% over the second quarter of 2014, and other non-food sales fell by 1.4% over the same period.

Bolland blamed the “settling in” of its new website as part of the problem. M&S.com saw sales fall by 8.1%.

However, the success of M&S’s food business was up by 1.7% year on year, and saw the company record an overall rise of 0.3% since last year.

Bolland said: “We have seen a continued improvement in clothing, although as anticipated the settling in of the new M&S.com site has had an impact on sales. We are pleased that the womenswear business was in growth, driven by full price sales, in line with our increased focus on margin. Our food business had another great quarter, continuing to outperform the market, through our focus on differentiation through quality and innovation.”

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