US supermarket chain Spartan Stores has posted a quarterly net loss, citing a fall in sales in the slow economy.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company reported a net loss of US$57.1m for the fiscal third quarter to 4 January, compared to breaking even in the same period a year earlier.

The company, which operates Ashcraft’s, Family Fare and Food Town stores, said its net loss from continuing operations for the third quarter was $67m.

Net sales fell to $995.4m from $1.06bn a year earlier, reported Reuters.