Women's fashion retailer New Look has reported an 0.8 per cent year-on-year fall in same-store sales for the eight weeks to November 22.

The London-based company, which posted a profit rise of 7.3 per cent year-on-year for the first half of 2003, attributed the slight decline to a drop in winter clothing sales.

According to CEO Stephen Sunnucks, sales of knitwear, coats and jackets in particular have slowed since the first week of November.

However, he added, "It's too soon to be thinking of it as a trend."

The eight-week period also saw gross margin fall 1.9 per cent year-on-year, due in part to a mid-season sale which the group did not have last year.

New Look, ranked third in the UK women's apparel market, recently integrated footwear into its product offering and plans to begin selling menswear in the new year.