Total retail sales at Sainsbury’s were down -1.2% and LFLs down -1.6% (both excluding fuel) in Q1 (the 16 weeks to 29th June 2019). General merchandise sales declined by -3.1%.

Chief executive Mike Coupe says the retailer gained market share in categories including furniture. “We continue to adapt our business to changing shopping habits, and made good progress in a challenging market," he says.

“We will invest in 400 supermarkets this year, including adding an enhanced beauty offer in 100 stores. We are accelerating investment in technology – 148 supermarkets now have SmartShop self-scan, 206 Argos stores offer Pay@Browse and we upgraded 29 more Argos stores to digital formats, all helping to make shopping with us quicker and easier."

Twenty-nine Argos stores were upgraded to digital formats in the quarter, and 206 stores now offer Pay@Browse technology so customers do not need to queue to pay. Argos Fast Track collection has grown by +20% and Fast Track delivery by 13% YoY.

Sainsbury’s states that the market remains challenging, while poor weather conditions impacted demand in some seasonal categories during the quarter.