Retail news round-up on April 23, 2015: eBay posts $626m quarterly profits, Holland and Barrett opens ‘free from’ store, Amazon to trial delivery to Audi cars and more

eBay posts quarterly profit of $626m

Online retailer eBay reported quarterly profits of $626m (£416m), posting better-than-expected results, according to the BBC. Revenues rose 4% to $4.45bn in the first three months, helped by a surge in its payments business that includes PayPal. The company said ‘strengthening dollar’ substantially hampered its first quarter results.

Holland & Barrett opens first ‘free from’ concept store

Health retailer Holland & Barrett launched the UK’s first ‘free from’ concept store in Chester, northwest England, in a move to lure shoppers looking to buy allergy free products away from supermarkets. Reuters reported that the new outlet is the first of 50 Holland & Barrett shops planned for the next two years, stocking 700-plus products free of ingredients such as gluten, nuts and eggs among others.

The company’s website will initially offer 1,000 products for food allergy and intolerance sufferers as well as vegetarians and vegans, with the aim of expanding to more than 3,000 by the end of the year.

Amazon to deliver parcels to Audi boots in Germany

Amazon in conjunction with carmaker Audi has launched a pilot scheme under which Prime service customers will be able to order parcels delivered directly to the boot of their car in Germany. A select group of Audi customers in the Munich area will be able to trial the scheme from next month, the FT has reported.

It is not clear when the service might become more widely available but Amazon said the pilot was a ‘first step’ towards allowing all Prime customers to order goods to their vehicles, regardless of the vehicle brand.

Carphone Warehouse launches own mobile network

Carphone Warehouse is to launch its own mobile network - iD – in May, which will offer free roaming in 22 countries including the US, Australia and across Europe. The mobile phone retailer’s boss told Mail Online the aim is to offer features that customers want, including 12-month contracts and affordable 4G handsets. Carphone Warehouse’s iD will use Three’s existing infrastructure to offer these networks and plans.