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% 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%.
The group's total revenues for the period grew 2.3%, 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.