Shares in Sainsbury's fell 2.97 per cent to £2.44 this morning, following an announcement by the supermarket its sales have fallen for the third quarter in a row.
In its second-quarter trading statement for the three months to the end of September, it reported like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, were down 2.8 per cent during the period.
That's a sharp turn for the worse compared with the last financial year – during the equivalent period in 2013, like-for-like sales rose by 2.1 per cent.
New chief executive Mike Coupe, who took over from Justin King in July, blamed the disappointing performance on a “deflationary environment”.
The market remains dynamic and fiercely competitive. The long-running trend of more frequent, convenient shopping has accelerated, resulting in smaller basket sizes.An increase in price investment and short-term competitor promotional activity, combined with favourable commodity markets, has resulted in deflation in many areas of our food business.