Marks and Spencer has promised more effective ads, a clearer promotional programme and better price communication for its food business after posting disappointing fourth quarter sales.
Like-for-like sales of food were down 1.4% for the last quarter, but were up 1.6% for the full year ended March 11.
Chief executive Roger Holmes said it had maintained its market share in an increasingly competitive food sector as its 60 Simply Food stores and 36 standalone Food stores had made its offering more accessible to more customers.
As well as improvements to advertising, promotions and price communication across the food business, Holmes almost promised improvements in availability, particularly in the smaller stores, and the development of more distinctive new products, especially those centred around special events.
Holmes added that Marks and Spencer remained on track to add another 500,000 sq ft of new food space by 2005/06.
Total like-for-like sales were down 3.4% for the last quarter, and down 0.4% for the full year ended March 11.