23 March 2009 | Jake Kanter
Asda has entered a round of "firm" negotiations with its suppliers in a bid to cut costs and pass savings onto customers.
Senior buyers at the supermarket giant are in discussions with large multinational suppliers, including Unilever, to secure the "best possible prices".
An Asda spokeswoman would not give any indication of the scale of the savings it aimed to get but said the company wanted to see lower vendor prices this year.
"We are always negotiating with our manufacturers to get the best possible prices on behalf of our customers," she said. "We are firm but fair in our dealings."
It followed similar moves from other supermarkets.
Earlier this month Waitrose asked 1,000 of its vendors to drop their prices by 2 per cent to reflect recent falls in commodity costs (Web news, 13 March 2009).
Last month, Marks & Spencer was also said to have demanded lower prices from their suppliers as a result of the recession (Web news, 18 February) but the company would not comment.
Asda became one of the first companies to sign up the government's Prompt Payment Code last year.