Marks & Spencer is understood to have asked suppliers to cut costs as the retailer tries to stem the impact of the slump in the value of the pound and offset the fall in consumer spending.
M&S is trying to renegotiate terms with suppliers as the cost of sourcing from Europe, South America and the Far East soars because of the weak sterling against the dollar and the euro.
It is understood that M&S wants to renegotiate terms of some contracts which were agreed before the economic downturn.
M&S has already passed on rising costs in its supply chain by increasing the price of some of its core underwear ranges by more than 40%.
In May last year M&S said that it would be monitoring its supply base.
An M&S spokesman said: “We’re always looking at our supply base to ensure it best meets our needs going forward. This is in line with the strategy we discussed at our prelim results in May.”