25 June 2008 | Jake Kanter
Debenhams has denied reports it intends to lengthen its payment terms for suppliers.
Newspaper reports alleged the retail firm would increase payment terms for vendors to 96 days from the current average of 60 days, amid claims market conditions were worsening. Quoting "industry sources", The Sunday Times said suppliers were "bearing the brunt" of a downturn in sales and may even be asked to provide discounts on goods.
But the retailer has hit back at the rumours. Yesterday it published an interim management statement that showed sales were up 1.3 per cent compared with last year. The company said no changes had been made to supplier terms "outside the ordinary course of business", and it had reached its cost savings target of £20 million.
A spokeswoman for the firm told supplymanagement.com: "There is no truth in the reports. We have not changed our relations with suppliers and our policy will remain as always."