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Marks & Spencer Clothing Sales Fall for 8th Straight Quarter

Tuesday, 9 Jul 2013 | 3:00 AM ET
Carl Court | AFP | Getty Images

British retailer Marks & Spencer on Tuesday posted an eighth consecutive quarterly fall in underlying sales of general merchandise, though the outcome did represent a slowing in the rate of decline.

The performance will ratchet up the pressure on management to deliver a swift turnaround when new season ranges start hitting the shops later this month.

The 129-year-old group, which serves 21 million customers a week from 766 British stores, said sales of non-food products, spanning clothing, footwear and homewares, at stores open over a year fell 1.6 percent in the 13 weeks to June 29, its fiscal first quarter.

(Read More: H&M Earnings Drop More Than Expected in Second Quarter)

Marks & Spencer: A Brand That's Dying?
Rahul Sharma, founder of NEEVCAPITAL and CNBC's UK Business Editor, Helia Ebrahimi, discuss the dismal outlook for UK retailer Marks and Spencer after clothing sales fell by three percent.

That compared with analyst forecasts of a fall of 0.2 percent to 3.0 percent, according to a company poll of 10, and a decline of 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of the group's 2012-13 financial year.

M&S's food business, which contributes over half of group sales, is performing much better.

Its sales on the same basis rose 1.8 percent versus analyst forecasts of a rise of 1.0 percent to 2.0 percent and an increase of 4.0 percent in the previous quarter.

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