Delivery problems over the Christmas period have been blamed for poor quarterly results at Marks and Spencers, which sent shares tumbling by more than 3.5 per cent yesterday.
The firm reported that sales of general merchandise, which included clothing and homewares, fell 5.4 per cent in the three months to 27 December, while international sales fell by 5.8 per cent.
The retailer said disruption at its Castle Donington distribution centre affected performance in December, while clothing was impacted by unseasonal conditions in October and November.
Marc Bolland, the M&S chief executive, said: “We had a difficult quarter in general merchandise, dominated by unseasonal conditions and an unsatisfactory performance in our e-commerce distribution centre. We maintained our focus on general merchandise gross margin."