The head of German discounter Aldi's Irish operations has called on suppliers to refuse to be "bullied" by major supermarket groups into not supplying their goods to discount retailers.

Aldi UK and Ireland managing director Paul Foley told the British Retail Consortium's annual conference last week that "suppliers who are bullied into believing that low-cost-base businesses can be stopped are going to ruin their own businesses".

He added that "the price charged for an item needs to make sense for everyone involved. There are decisions being made in the grocery supply chain that aren't making anyone any money."

As revealed in the Sunday Tribune last week, Aldi is looking to break into the convenience sector in Ireland and also wants to be allowed to open bigger shops to take on the supermarkets.

It is also stocking more branded goods in Ireland than the international norm for the group, as it seeks to broaden its customer appeal. For example, its crisps are made by Largo which owns Tayto and King, its teas and coffees are from Bewleys and Robert Roberts, its mineral water is from Gleesons (Tipperary) and its yoghurts are from Irish Yogurts in Clonakilty.

Foley also said quality played a role in Aldi's success. "Price is only 50% of the equation – the holy grail is value," he said, according to Retail Week.

Meanwhile, Philip Green, who owns brands including TopShop and Dorothy Perkins, said last week that the main people shopping at the moment are those on tracker mortgages, because the low interest-rate environment had given them more disposable income.

He said people in that category were willing to spend €25-€35 on an item of clothing because it was "not a considered purchase".

Green also pointed out how the belated arrival of summer had boosted sales. He said between Saturday and Monday two weeks ago there was a 30% upswing in sales that was solely related to the weather.

He also said there is price inflation in food at present, and he expects upward price pressures to emerge in the clothing sector.