David Jones’ sales for the second quarter of the 2013 financial year have fallen.

The company reported total sales revenue for the period was down 1.4 per cent to $590.1 million from $598.5 million in the same period last year. Similarly, on a like-for-like basis total sales revenue was also down 1.4 per cent. As a result total and LFL sales revenue for the first half of the year was down 0.7 per cent to $1,005.7 million.

The sales results were adversely affected by the performance of the Home categories, in particular Electronics, which has been subject to ongoing deflationary pressure. As a result DVDs, Music and Games – classified as low productivity categories – are being exited and are the first three categories the department store has exited.

But this was offset by the fashion and beauty categories, which continue to deliver positive sales growth and will therefore continue on category mix to increase the allocation of space to higher margin categories.

“Fashion and beauty is doing well and are dragged down by electronics including TV,” David Jones CEO and managing director, Paul Zahra, said.

“Our ratio of fashion and beauty to home category previously was 55 and 45 and that’s now change to a 60 to 35 split. Our new Highpoint store has a ratio of 75 to 25 split. So we’re reducing our exposure to low performing categories as part of our refurbishment and new store opening program.”

An ongoing focus for the company will be reducing its depth and breadth of promotional discounting events.

“We’re focused on improving our price margin and that requires us to reduce discounts and the duration of discounting. It will translate to a better market outcome because we’re not chasing unprofitable sales,” Zahra said.