Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has reported a second consecutive quarter of falling sales.

Its results in the 12 weeks to 7 June reveal like-for-like sales excluding fuel are 1.1% lower compared with last year, having reported in March this year its first fall in sales for nine years.

However, own-label Taste the Difference performed well in the quarter, with sales up almost 10%, while the first Sainsbury’s Easter eggs launched this year and more than doubled the company’s own-brand market share to 40%.

Sales from convenience and online have almost doubled over the past five years to 15% of total sales. Convenience sales grew by more than 18% year-on-year while groceries online grew by more than 10% in the same period, following improved web and mobile platforms launched in April.

Total retail sales for the first quarter were up 1% excluding fuel and down 0.3% including fuel.

Price cuts

Justin King, chief executive, said: “Throughout the quarter we have continued to invest in reducing prices and improving quality, increasing the value of our offer. Lower food price inflation and reduced fuel prices are a welcome respite to customers’ finances, but they continue to spend cautiously, leading to industry growth in the quarter being the slowest in a decade.

“Brand Match continues to reassure our customers that we remain competitive on price for their branded shop. Once again, more than 50% of the vouchers issued confirm to our customers that their branded shop was the same price or cheaper. Recent changes from £20 spend to 10 items makes it even easier for our customers to take advantage of Brand Match.

“We expect customer spending to remain cautious and we will continue to invest to keep our offer competitive to help customers balance their household budgets.”