“The company continues to grow and so is the team.”

EDC Wholesale are more than happy with the way 2019 went for the company. The acquisition of the online division of Beate Uhse is certainly one of the main reasons for this satisfaction, but there is much, much more for EDC Wholesale CEO Eric Idema and his team to be proud of, as we learn in this EAN interview. And since resting on the laurels of past successes has never been part of the EDC DNA, the Dutch distribution company is already busy at work to make the new year just as much of a success as the previous one. 

When you look back on 2019, what is the first thing that comes to mind on a business level?
Eric Idema: The first thing that comes to mind is what a tremendous year it’s been for EDC Wholesale. I remember you asking me last year what our plans were for 2019 and at that moment, I thought I knew what to expect for the following year, but little did I know. Every year, I look back and every time I think to myself: I wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me a year ago what the future would bring us. Looking back on 2019, I have discovered that there is still room for growth in our market and that there are so many ways to reach out to our customers and support them.

There have been many significant developments at EDC Wholesale in 2019. Which were the most notable?
There have been many developments in 2019 indeed. Too many to mention them all in this interview. But the most significant developments would be the acquisition of the Beate Uhse e-commerce activities. With this takeover, we invested in structures that are going to allow for international expansion going forward. Another significant development was the new packing machine in our warehouse, with a capacity of 12.000 packages per day. We had our first test run during the Black Friday madness – with great success.

Are you satisfied with the results of these changes?
Yes, I couldn’t be more excited about these developments and the opportunities they have created for EDC Wholesale. The company continues to grow and so does the team. Each month, we welcome new members to the EDC family and it is amazing to see how dedicated everyone is to their work and how everyone strives to serve our customers in the best way possible. This is the only way to grow the way we do.

EDC has been on a path of growth for years. Do you expect this development to continue in the coming years?
It’s funny because you asked me the same question last year and I remember very well saying that I expected that we wouldn’t be growing in the next years as fast as we did in previous years. But apparently, I was wrong; there’s still enough room for growth and I’m always looking for new opportunities and new challenges. We pave the road as we go, so we’ll see what awaits us along the journey in the coming years. I have ideas and plans and goals, but recent years have taught me that you need to be flexible and open to new ideas so you can change your course when necessary.

“I have ideas and plans and goals, but recent years have taught me that you need to be flexible and open to new ideas so you can change your course when necessary. “

Why do you think EDC is so well prepared for the future challenges of our market?
We listen to our customers and we try to learn from others. Why invent the wheel when someone else already did it? When I see something that works, I’m not afraid to implement it at EDC Wholesale. We’re constantly changing and developing our processes, which allows us to adjust quickly to changes in the market and offer the best-possible service to our customers.

What is EDC planning for 2020? Can you tell us your plans and ideas?
We’re planning to open a new showroom and showcase our ever-expanding house brands and our key partner brands. It’s a major project and with these plans, we are going to fill the last free space left in our office and warehouse. After the last move in 2016, I expected this location to be big enough for the next 10 years. But we have yet again exceeded every expectation and grew bigger than anyone could have predicted. Luckily, these premises allow us to be flexible and create other options for expansion without having to move again.

We are also investing in international growth and seeking new partners to help us launch our brands. Our design team is currently in the process of creating new brands to be launched in 2020 and we are investing in modern logistic processes that will help us improve our service and further expand our logistical capacities.

Will there be a change of strategy for EDC Wholesale concerning the balance between your own brands and third-party brands?
We’re always looking for ways to improve our strategy and we’ll do this together with our partners. But the balance between our house brands and third-party brands will remain stable, as third-party products are equally important for us to offer our customers a one-stop-shop wholesaling experience.

What are your wishes for 2020 (apart from driving faster than 100 km/h on the motorways in the Netherlands)?
Haha, good one! Well, I wish everyone great success with their business in 2020, and I hope that EDC Wholesale has a positive influence on that success, and I would also like to wish everyone a happy and healthy year. Live the life you dream of, do it now and don’t wait till tomorrow.