Sales for the 14-week period to 7 July declined by 2.6 per cent, with strong progress in Food (+5.9 per cent) offset by the performance of Clothing, Footwear and Gifts (-9.1 per cent). However, the result of more cost-effective clothing buying is delivering the planned benefit of some three percentage points to the primary margin, and together with better control of stock commitment has delivered a much-improved net achieved clothing margin percentage for the period.