Sales at Japanese supermarket chains fell 4.4% in April to ¥1.167trn (US$10.4bn) compared to the year-ago period, according to the Japan Chain Stores Association.

The result, which was adjusted for changes in the number of stores, marked the second consecutive month of declining sales. Supermarket sales were down 4.2% in March, despite rising 1.2% in February. Food sales slid 2.9% in April to ¥664.07bn, reported Dow Jones International News.

The association has 98 member companies, which operate 8,207 stores in total in Japan.