SALES at Marks & Spencer have slumped for all departments except food.

The retailer said it was rapidly pushing ahead with a turnaround plan which will mean 110 branch closures after a “challenging” period for clothing and homeware.

Sales slid 2.1 per cent to £4.86million for the six months to September 28.

Like-for-like food sales rose 0.9 per cent following an acceleration in the year’s second quarter.

But like-for-like clothing and homeware sales dropped 5.5 per cent.

M&S said it had "poor availability on the most popular sizes and too much stock and markdown" on its clothing lines.

It added that it saw a sales uplift in October after taking action to improve availability and has had an "encouraging" relaunch of its Per Una brand.

M&S also reported weaker-than-expected online sales, as digital revenues rose just 0.2 per cent despite an eight per cent increase in website traffic.

The company said it has benefited from price reductions on a range of core food products and almost halved its number of promotions.

Trading profits slid 17 per cent to £176.5million during the half-year.

M&S said it has closed 17 stores as part of its turnaround plan which it said will see the closure of 100 stores across the UK.

It said it made £75m in cost savings during the period as a result.

M&S closed its Bournemouth town centre store in 2018 after 88 years of trading, although it later introduced an M&S food line inside WHSmith.

Local M&S stores include branches at Bournemouth’s Castlepoint and Poole’s Dolphin Centre, as well as Simply Food outlets in Westbourne, Christchurch and Lymington, and Foodhalls in Blandford, Ferndown and Broadstone.

When the closure 110 stores was announced this year, Bournemouth University retail expert Jeff Bray predicted that the Castlepoint branch was “absolutely safe” because “the landlords will be keen to keep those anchor stores in place”.