Price cuts of 2 per cent demanded
Debenhams has written to a number of suppliers demanding a 2 per cent cut in the price the department store pays for goods.

Bhs, Arcadia and Marks & Spencer have all made similar moves to get better terms from suppliers.

Unlike rivals, Debenhams is believed to have only sent letters to selected suppliers, rather than demanding the same terms from all suppliers, according to The Times.

It is understood that Debenhams will spend the savings on increased marketing and advertising.

In related news, Margaret Hodge, the Minister For small firms, has intervened in a row between Matalan and its suppliers, according to Namnews. Last November the retailer reduced suppliers' invoices for goods ordered in the second half of 2005.

The Minister is believed to have written to Matalan urging it to reopen discussions with suppliers, following requests from The Forum of Private Business.