Iceland's advertising portrays it as such a friendly and caring place. It's where mums go, isn't it?

That may be so, but suppliers felt anything but benign towards the retailer in December when the chain's holding company Icebox Holdings wrote to them informing them it was changing its payment terms.

As of 1 January, it would double its payment period to 90 days and introduce a 2.75% settlement discount, it said in the letter. The move was part of a "harmonisation of supplier payment terms across the business", it added in a delightful euphemism.

What made the move rankle all the more was the fact that Iceland chief executive Malcolm Walker had netted a share of a £60m windfall for his role in turning the business around. When suppliers questioned the company or refused to comply, Icebox responded that the new deal was "non-negotiable".

Despite the tough talking, news began filtering out this week that Iceland had caved in, to some suppliers at least, and agreed to withdraw its demand for a settlement discount. It was still insisting on the extended payment terms, though, which means this row looks set to continue.

Meanwhile, some have argued that the move has strengthened the case that the Competition Commission would be acting correctly in extending the Supermarkets Code of Practice beyond the big four.