Kwik Save may have improved its availability, but judging by sales figures leaked to The Grocer it is still very much in the midst of a crisis.

Last week we reported that the beleaguered soft discounter, which is still believed to be trying to re-finance the business, had improved availability levels.

But it appears the group is still facing falling sales. According figures for 25 stores in the Greater Manchester area, 20 suffered a downturn for the week commencing 19 November.

Sales at two of the stores were static while only three had experienced any growth.

The best-performing store at Hyde had a sales increase of 5%, while three of the stores had suffered double-digit dips. Kwik Save's Churchgate store was the worst performer with sales down 13%.

The poor performance will come as a blow to the retailer, which would have hoped recent improvements with its availability would translate into increased sales.

One Kwik Save store manager told The Grocer that it might have been too little too late. "Yes, our availability has improved, albeit with a much reduced range," he said. "However our customers are still voting with their feet."

He also suggested the availability problems had not been fully sorted out, claiming he had not been able to sell baked beans for three weeks. The problems appear to be impacting on staff morale. One source close to Kwik Save said that although staff were told in October that £30m was being invested in the business, they had not been told how the money was to be spent.

Rumours from Kwik Save suggest that the initial investment was actually less than £30m. This, it is believed, is why the company still needs further investment.

A Kwik Save spokeswoman refused to discuss the sales declines or the rumours that the company was talking to a group of private investors.

One analyst said that the downturn in sales was not surprising. "Kwik Save's availability issues were far worse than anything experienced by Sainsbury's, so it's clear why they have been haemorrhaging sales."