Marks & Spencer suffered its worst non-food sales for more than three years as a failure to buy the right stock compounded grim high street trends.
The retailer, which has more than 700 stores in the UK, blamed stock problems for a 6.8% decline in clothing and general merchandise sales in the 13 weeks to June 30 - its worst performance since the quarter to December 2008.
With womenswear hit by high levels of promotions and the wet weather hitting sales of casual tops, non-food boss Kate Bostock will step down as the firm parachutes in former Debenhams chief Belinda Earl as style director to hone its range.
Despite high profile adverts featuring celebrities such as Gary Barlow, overall UK like-for-like sales fell 2.8% - also the worst performance for M&S for more than three years - even though food sales rose 0.6%.
The dire sales will ramp up pressure on chief executive Marc Bolland at M&S's annual meeting today amid expectations that many shareholders will vote against a pay package that could earn him as much as £6 million.