Sainsbury’s total retail sales in the 16 weeks to September 27 were down 0.8%, with like-for-likes falling 2.8%.
Chief executive Mike Coupe said the “dynamic and fiercely competitive” market had led to deflation in many areas of the food business.
However, he said clothing arm Tu enjoyed double-digit sales growth in the second quarter. Sainsbury’s would not disclose the figures.
“Our general merchandise and clothing businesses continue to deliver strong growth,” said Coupe. “Tu celebrated its 10th anniversary during the quarter with the launch of our largest-ever collection, which helped to drive double-digit sales growth. We also successfully launched an online clothing trial to selected customers in the Midlands.”
Total retail sales for the first half excluding fuel were flat and like-for-likes down 2.1%.
Coupe said current conditions were “likely to persist for the foreseeable future” and predicted like-for-like sales in the second half would be similar to the first.
Sainsbury’s interim results are expected on November 12.