Retail news round-up on February 17, 2014: to float within two weeks, Arcadia inks Oracle deal, Ocado considers range extension and high street footfall falls. likely to enter stock market listing within next fortnight

Online fashion retailer is gearing up for a £500m stock exchange flotation within the next fortnight, The Telegraph reported. The company is to begin selling shares to the public in March this year. It recorded a £3.2m profit on £67m turnover for the year ending February 2013.

Meanwhile, when Pets At Home triggers its £1.5bn float, a windfall of up to £120m is expected to be shared by the retailer’s staff. If staff members held an equal number of shares, employees would be in line for a £240,000 payout. However, it is likely that management will hold more shares than a store manager, the paper reported.

Arcadia signs £50m deal with Oracle for software supply

Arcadia has inked a £50m contract with US technology firm Oracle to supply the software for its fashion chains, the Express reported. The deal forms part of a drive to target both online customers and its flagship outlets after revealing plans for new Topshop and Topman shops in New York.

Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green is expanding the retailer’s operations beyond the UK and plans to open a distribution centre in the US. He said: “We intend to continue to drive overseas expansion through both owned, concession and franchise stores and through our online business.”

Ocado mulls branching out into kitchen and barbecue equipment

Ocado is looking to branch out into kitchen and barbecue equipment, The Sunday Times reported. The etailer has registered the ‘Sizzle’ trademark for an assortment of outdoor goods, including barbecues, outdoor heaters, knives, cutlery and cooking utensils. It is believed that Ocado, which declined to comment on its future plans, may launch the new range later this year.

UK high street footfall down by 0.6% during wet January

Heavy discounting among retailers was not enough to entice high street shoppers as numbers declined during the wettest January on record, The Times reported.

Customers instead chose for the drier shopping centres, where footfall grew by 2.4%, compared with a fall of 0.6% on the high streets. Shopper numbers visiting out-of-town retail parks climbed by 5.7% as big-ticket items such as furniture proved popular in the January Sales. According to the BRC-Springboard monitor, overall UK footfall increased by 1.6% higher on last January, the best performance since December 2011.