Eric Idema’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to how a modest one-person operation can burgeon into a powerhouse industry leader. What began in an attic in March 2004 has since transformed into EQOM Group, on of Europe’s largest retailers in the field of sexual wellness products.
Starting with the inception of EasyToys from the confines of a small, personal space, Idema’s relentless hard work has catapulted the company through momentous growth. Initially shouldering all responsibilities alone, from managing the online store to packing and shipping products, Idema’s dedication soon demanded the formation of a real company. Thus, the seeds of an empire were sown, and the EDC Retail Group was born.
Years of expansion saw the development of a robust portfolio culminating in the 2020 merger of EDC Wholesale and Eropartner Distribution. This strategic merger gave rise to the EQOM Group, uniting powerhouse brands including Amorelie, Beate Uhse, and the successful sex toy webshop EasyToys. This conglomeration is now aiming for the gold standard in the industry — achieving unbeatable market leadership.
Committed to their mission of promoting health, personal fulfillment, and a positive perspective on intimacy, EQOM Group connects strong industry companies, collaborates with outstanding partners, and innovates to stay ahead of the growing sexual wellness trend. Their vertically integrated model spans Europe, with a solidified presence in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, and Scandinavia, boasting a workforce nearing 400 FTE.
Amorelie’s acquisition by EQOM in 2021 signified a strategic addition to the group’s premium branding efforts. With the leadership of CEO Eric Idema and the interim management expertise of Gunter Freiherr von Leoprechting, known for his radical cost reduction approaches, EQOM propelled Amorelie into a new era. The integration process, however, came with its challenges, including mass redundancies that stirred controversy amidst a period of economic growth.
As the landscape of sexual wellness evolves, EQOM aims to stand strong against competitors such as the Lovehoney Group. With 2020 sales hitting 100 million euros and a bold intent to quintuple that by 2025, EQOM’s trajectory seems promising, displaying a doubling of annual turnover to 212 million euros in 2021, undeterred by the challenges of a global pandemic.
A critical component of EQOM’s expansion strategy is the development of a robust IT department. By investing in technology, EQOM ensures that all its brands, including Amorelie, benefit from enhanced and powerful online retail experiences.
EQOM’s multi-brand strategy incorporates various platforms and divisions. EasyToys takes center stage as the market leader in the Netherlands and Belgium, spearheading education and entertainment around sexual topics. Beate Uhse upholds a heritage that revolutionized sex education and empowerment, now offering its diverse product range under different European brand names. The ONE-DC arm serves as EQOM’s wholesale and B2B sector, reaching global customers through various channels and marketplaces, including Amazon and Bol.com, growing the company’s influence far beyond its beginnings.
From its humble origins to its rise as an industry giant, EQOM Group’s story is one of ambition, strategic acquisitions, and fearless leadership. Under Idema’s guidance, the group is well on its way to achieving international market dominance and redefining sexual wellness retail for a modern, connected world.