British supermarket chain J Sainsbury has said that its like-for-like retail sales fell 1.1% , excluding fuel, for the first quarter ended 7 June 2014.

However, the group’s total quaterly sales rose 1%, excluding fuel.

The general merchandise and clothing businesses continued to grow strongly in the quarter with clothing in particular performing well delivering double-digit like-for-like sales growth, the company said in a statement.

During the quarter, convenience sales grew by over 18% year-on-year. Groceries online grew by over 1%.

J Sainsbury opened 27 new convenience stores and refurbished a further 12 convenience stores during the quarter.

"We remain on track to deliver around two new convenience stores per week and around 750,000 square feet of new space this year," the statement added.

Sainsbury’s said it was confident it would outperform supermarket peers through the remainder of the year.

Justin King, outgoing chief executive of the company, said the escalating price war remained a skirmish but one that Sainsbury could not remain aloof from.

Last week rival Tesco reported a 3.8% fall in first-quarter like-for-like sales. Morrisons also posted a 7.1% slump in first-quarter sales, though Asda reported a rise of 0.1%.