If you want a health check on Britains retail trade -take the temperature of M&S. Things are bad, with the the worst profits for years reported today and the main problem being in clothing...especially women's.
Not since the start of the credit crunch in 2008 have things looked this grim for M&S. Yet many of it's rivals continue to report sales rises. Today the British Retail Consortium said there has been overall sales growth of 0.1% up to June.
To compound its problems, last month M&S lost its crown as the most highly valued clothing retailer, to Next. All of which suggests here is a particular problem at the chain.
Look out for our reports on ITV News as we pinpoint what is wrong.
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%.
Marks & Spencer suffered its worst non-food sales for more than three years.
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.
Marks & Spencer suffered a 0.7% fall in group sales figures in the 13 weeks to June 30. Like-for-like UK sales fell 2.8%, with general merchandise dropping 6.8%. Multi-channel sales (including the mobile website) were up 14.9%.
– Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer
Our food business has again performed strongly. General merchandise underperformedin a difficult trading season. We are confident we are taking the necessarysteps to address this.
Weare pleased with the performance in multi-channel and our key internationalbusinesses, which are continuing to make good progress.
Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland will come under pressure today from frustrated shareholders over "excessive" pay and disappointing sales figures.
Despite efforts to pull in customers with celebrity-laden adverts, featuring the likes of actresses Joanna Lumley and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and popstar Gary Barlow, the group is expected to reveal its worst quarterly trading performance in three years.