Marks & Spencer’s general merchandise sales decline accelerated in the three months to October 27 as it pulled forward its mid-season Sale.

Nomura analyst Fraser Ramzan said in a note citing Kantar Worldpanel data, which is not publicly available, that general merchandise sales fell 2% in the 12 weeks to October 27, up from a 0.1% drop in the 12 weeks to the end of September.

The retailer brought forward its mid-season Sale to September to make room for its key autumn/winter collection, which it is counting on to reverse nine quarters of falling like-for-like general merchandise sales.

Nomura said it will reduce its third-quarter like-for-like forecast by a “precautionary” one percentage point.

In its last update to the City M&S said general merchandise like-for-likes slipped 1.5% over the 26 weeks to September 28.