Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, was once the envy of its UK rivals but has been hurt by falling sales, costly failures in US and Japanese markets, and an expensive folding of its unprofitable Chinese arm into a state-run firm.
Weak central European markets and revelations that horsemeat had been found in meat products sold by it and other retailers have also taken their toll.
Tesco said sales -excluding fuel and VAT sales tax - at British stores open for more than a year, were flat in the 13 weeks to August 24, its fiscal second quarter.
But Sainsbury's, the third biggest UK supermarket group, said its like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 2% in its 16-week second quarter to September 28. The group more than doubled the rate of growth achieved in the previous quarter, helped by strong performances online and at convenience stores.
Sainsbury has 78 stores in Scotland including more than 30 convenience outlets.
In Britain Tesco was hit hard by the economic downturn because compared to rivals it offers a higher proportion of non-food items, an area where consumers have cut back the most, and also because of years of under-investment.
At Tesco's general meeting in June former chairman Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth lamented the "sad legacy" of former chief executive Sir Terry Leahy and said his successor, Philip Clarke, needed to be given time to turn it around.
Lord MacLaurin was Tesco's chairman from 1985 to 1997, departing just months after Sir Terry became chief executive.
"I think we are all very sad in this hall to see the legacy that Terry Leahy left," he told the meeting.
With around 180 stores in Scotland, Tesco has been affected by the growth of discounters Aldi and Lidl.
The company's recovery plan has seen heavy investment in store upgrades, product ranges, more staff and its online offer. The UK market contributes more than two-thirds of group revenue.
However, its share of the market is still showing a year-on-year decline, monthly industry data showed last week.
But Mr Clarke said Tesco's UK performance strengthened through its first half.
"We're feeling very positive about the changes that we've made and consumers are reacting very well," he said, noting second quarter like-for-like sales growth in food of 1%, clothing sales growth of 8.6% and online grocery sales growth of 13%.
Tesco's group trading profit fell to £1.59billion in the six months to August 24 from £1.718bn in the first half last year.
Sainsbury's grocery market share is at a near-decade high of 16.6%, just behind number two ranked Asda.It has benefited from growing sales of own-brand goods and non-food ranges such as kitchen electricals.