Great Universal Stores yesterday said an internal inquiry was under way at its home shopping division, the Financial Times reported. The company declined to say whether any legal action was being considered.

It is understood that material has been seized at the print buying department of the home shopping division, which includes the GUS, Kays, and Innovations brands. One senior member of staff is thought to have been suspended.

The Manchester-based company, which also owns the Argos catalogue shopping operation and the exclusive Burberry brand, said it was acting on "information received" and expected the inquiry to last until January.