The clothing chain said this was partly because it reported in weeks, and the decline would have been only 2% if the previous 53-week financial year had not shifted the comparative periods by a week.
Truworths said half of its total sales were “account” and half were cash. Both declined by 3%.
The group’s trade receivables book decreased by 4% relative to the previous period to R5.6bn. The percentage of active account holders able to purchase improved to 85% compared with 83% in the prior period.
At its flagship Truworths chain, account sales comprised 69% of total sales. Sales at Truworths stores declined 2% to R4bn despite its trading space growing 3% from the matching period.
Clothes on average were 1% cheaper than in the matching period in 2016, according to the update.
The group’s UK chain Office kept sales level at £89m, but contributed a decline measured in rand. Its trading space increased by 1% on the prior period and is expected to increase by 2% for the full fiscal period.
Competitor TFG is scheduled to release its results for the six months to end-September at about 1.30pm on Thursday.