Sainsbury’s has recorded a 1.9% fall in like-for-like sales for the 10 weeks to March 14.

Total retail sales for the fourth quarter, excluding fuel, were down 0.3% on the back of a “challenging trading environment”, said chief executive Mike Coupe.

However, its convenience sector grew at 14% in the last quarter as it opened another 23 convenience stores.

The multiple has lowered the prices of over 1,100 products since its strategic review in November, with those products averaging an uplift of over 3% during the quarter.

In November, Sainsbury’s also promised to improve the quality of over 3,000 products. “We are making good progress with this programme. We have recently rolled out improvements to our fresh salmon and Taste the Difference crisp ranges,” Coupe said.

He added that food deflation was likely to persist for the rest of this calendar year, and competitive pressures on price would continue.

“However, we believe that the great value and quality of our products, combined with a strong focus on developing our multi-channel offer, will enable us to outperform our supermarket peers,” said Coupe.