DFS and B&M Bargains have stepped up their plans to float this year by hiring advisors as a cluster of retailers eye a public listing.

B&M Retail, which trades as B&M Bargains and counts former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy as its chairman, has stepped up plans for a £2bn float.

US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which owns 60% of B&M and is advised by Leahy, has hired investment bank Lazard to prepare a share offering, The Sunday Times reported.

CDR is understood to be interviewing more bankers this week to aid a float.

Advent International, the private equity firm which owns DFS, has appointed UBS to study the furniture retailer’s options with a £1bn float most likely, Sky News reported.

DFS’ flotation is unlikely to take place until at least the third quarter of this year as its financial year ends in July.

In addition, online fashion retailer Zalando is understood to be seeking a float on the stock exchange and has selected banks Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to advise it but is yet to formally appoint them.

The retailer could be valued at more than £4bn, making it Europe’s biggest float within online businesses.

Last week McColls became the first retailer to confirm plans to list in 2014, with a float scheduled this month, as a raft of retailers including Poundland, Pets at Home and House of Fraser seek a public listing.