Web issues hit M&S clothing sales

Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland
Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland
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MARKS & Spencer boss Marc Bolland blamed website teething problems today as the chain’s homeware and clothing division registered its 12th quarter in a row of declining sales.

The general merchandise arm posted a 1.5 per cent fall in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to June 28 - making it three straight years of quarterly declines for the division - while food grew like-for-like sales by 1.7 per cent.

Chief executive Marc Bolland

Chief executive Marc Bolland

The group’s total revenues for the period grew 2.3 per cent, though the business said sales were hampered by teething problems after the introduction of a new website earlier this year.

Chief executive Mr 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.”

The figures were announced hours before Mr Bolland and the rest of the board are due to face concerned shareholders at M&S’s AGM at Wembley Stadium.