While British retailers line up to float, overseas groups are also eyeing London listings.

While British retailers line up to float, overseas groups are also eyeing London listings.

This week it emerged that Russian hypermarket group Lenta plans a London IPO, while there is speculation Germany-based fashion etailer Zalando will also come to market - although it is not clear where - with a £4bn valuation. Each is indicative of the changing retail landscape. Lenta symbolises the appeal of emerging markets, but there is a hint of the wild East about it.

As much as any retail prowess Lenta may be admired for, its other claim to fame is the notorious fistfight between rival shareholder factions at the company headquarters back in 2010.

It had all the makings of a movie - and you can still watch footage online - involving a dispute over who should be chief executive, armed bodyguards, and 20 detentions by the police. Potential investors must hope Lenta’s style of retail is more conventional these days.

In a different way, a Zalando listing would also be all about new retail frontiers - this time the disputed territory of the internet, where many retailers are seeking to stage a land grab.

The point about both Lenta and Zalando, should they go ahead with listings, is that they may compete for the same investment pot that UK IPO candidates seek to tap. That brings that little bit more uncertainty about which of the Brit companies will get their floats away.

Sainsbury’s handover

Justin King did his successor Mike Coupe a favour when he updated on Christmas trading last month.

King emphasised how tough grocery market conditions are and finance boss John Rogers said JS would probably miss its full-year like-for-like growth target.

That means Coupe will have a period of grace after taking over and any slowdown should not be attributed to his promotion.