Home shopping group N Brown has reported an improving sales trend but has sacrificed some margin to prompt shoppers to spend.

N Brown chairman Lord Alliance said: “As we anticipated, and in line with the sector, we are having to be more aggressive with targeted promotional discounts to help drive revenue and this has led to a 0.2% decline in the rate of gross margin.”

He said that menswear and footwear are growing strongly but ladieswear is slightly down.  Women’s clothing at higher price points is outperforming against the retailer’s other ranges, “where the inflationary price increases are subduing demand”.

Two locations in the North West of England have been secured for pilot multichannel stores and are expected to be open by early October.

Online sales now account for 47% of N Brown’s total, up from 41% last year.