Retail news round-up November 14, 2013: Asda signs distribution deal; Bonmarché to float next week and Ikea installs rapid electric vehicle chargers.

Asda awards £2m distribution centres maintenance contract to SDI

Asda has awarded a £2m, three-year contract to SDI Group to maintain all three of its George at Asda’s UK automated distribution centres, in Lymedale, Brackmills, and Washington. The move follows a ten-year relationship between the two companies.

Under the deal, SDI Group will take responsibility of the 24/7 maintenance of all materials handling equipment at the three sites, including the maintenance of systems installed by other automated systems providers.

Bonmarché to float next week as retail IPOs gather pace

Bonmarché is poised to list on the AIM stock exchange next week as a flurry of retailers seek to take advantage of the City’s growing appetite for offerings from the sector.

The fashion retailer is understood to have been valued at £110m to £130m.

It comes amid a frenzy of activity over the past week as Card Factory, House of Fraser and Pets at Home have all appointed advisers to tap into the strong investor appetite.

Ikea installs rapid chargers for electric vehicles at all UK stores

Ikea has become the first retailer to install electric vehicle rapid chargers at all of its 18 stores in the UK by next month. Ikea is teaming up with auto giant Nissan and green energy provider Ecotricity to install fast charge points in the car parks of all UK stores.

Ikea took the decision to install the charging stations after its own research revealed that one in six Britons would be encouraged to switch to an electric car if more charging points were available across the UK, EVFleetWorld reported.

Developed by Nissan, the rapid charging units at Ikea store will recharge an electric car to 80% battery capacity in as little as 30 minutes.