Retailer Marks and Spencer has reportedly suffered a slowdown in clothing sales during the start of its new financial year.

According to information from the Financial Times, during the seven weeks ended 19 May, the retailer saw like-for-like women's wear sales fall 19% year-on-year.

Last week, Marks and Spencer revealed its first fall in full-year profits in three years as Marc Bolland defended the retailer's clothing sales climbing just 0.2% over the year.

"I think we've done well in a difficult environment," Bolland said.

The Financial Times revealed like-for-like men's wear sales dropped 7%, lingerie sales fell 4% and home furnishing like-for-like sales declined 3%.

The newspaper added that this suggests like-for-like general merchandise sales were down 11% and questioned whether M&S is losing market share.

The newspaper said the week trading will put more pressure on Bolland. The performance during the seven weeks compares to sales last year being boosted by Easter, the royal wedding and hot weather.

Meanwhile, Kate Bostock, executive director of general merchandise for M&S, unveiled the retailer's clothing strategy last week, which includes changes to its design and merchandise teams and increasing the amount of clothing it sources on a fast-fashion basis.