MFI has launched its first five-year interest-free credit promotion, as its customers are squeezed by the credit crunch.

The retailer is offering the deal on selected kitchens, with nothing to pay for the first year. MFI chief executive Gary Favell said: “If our customers are sitting at home stressed about rising costs, we need to offer them something that gives them fantastic breathing space to improve their homes.”

Among its rivals, DFS offers four years’ interest free credit, while ScS offers three years.

Last week, MFI launched the promotion with a national TV campaign. Favell said “the initial signs are very encouraging”.

MFI will also introduce a new German kitchen brand to 50 of its stores from next week. Favell said: “We have some brands that are more high-ticket value and this will sit with those. We want to be able to offer our customers kitchens in a wide price range.”