Department store group Debenhams wrote to some of its suppliers last month, demanding that they meet its “minimum standard payment terms” by August 4.

The new terms moved the payment timetable from 60 days to 65 days, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Debenhams declined to confirm the terms it demanded, but said it only requested the changes from a “minority” of suppliers so that they could be bought in to line with its other suppliers.

A spokesman said: “A letter has gone to a minority of our suppliers who do not comply with the company’s minimum standard payment terms. Payment terms remain unchanged for the majority of suppliers.”

Retailers extend payment terms to enable them to improve cash flow.. Payment terms have been moved from around 30 days to up to 90 days over the last decade.

Like-for-like sales at Debenhams fell by 0.8% over the 12 weeks to May 23, while it improved its gross margin by 90 basis points.