Sales at U.K. supermarket J. Sainsbury fell in the last three months, the company said on Wednesday, after a tough Christmas for Britain's leading grocers.
Same-store sales, excluding fuel, for the 14 weeks to January 3 fell 1.7 percent, it said, and slipped 3.9 percent when fuel sales were included. The figures come after Sainsbury's cut around 1,000 prices over the period, in an effort to maintain its market share in the competitive supermarket space.
Shares of the retailer were trading up around 3 percent after markets opened Wednesday but pared gains in mid-morning trade, briefly turning negative at one point.
John Rogers, chief financial officer of Sainsbury's, told CNBC that price was very important for customers, and that the supermarket had worked closely with suppliers to ensure it was competitive on price.