UK supermarket operator J Sainsbury has said it is seeking an end to its business relationship with fashion designer Jeff Banks, as part of a move to overhaul its clothing business.

"We're in terms of having a new range for autumn/winter 2004 so that spring/summer will be the last he does with us," Sainsbury spokeswoman Nikki Martin told Reuters.

The Sunday Times reported that Banks had fallen out with Sainsbury's CEO Peter Davis, but Banks, whose contract with the retailer runs until June 2005, said that this was untrue.

"The fact is there are no grounds for termination and Sainsbury are trying clumsily to manufacture grounds for an early end to the contract," Banks told Reuters.