Known for successful formats such as the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Novamedia has acquired the online bookshop ECI. This will breathe fresh life into ECI while preserving the organisation’s activities and approximately 30 jobs.

January saw the bankruptcy of ECI, which is the only company in the Netherlands that is permitted to sell books under the recommended retail price. The company has continued to operate under the authority of liquidator Cees de Jong. Novamedia is taking over the platform of webshops eci.nl and eci.be, as well as cosmox.nl and cosmox.be. Novamedia will also retain approximately 30 out of the 200 employees working for ECI via various subsidiaries.
ECI customers may continue to place orders via the Internet. For them, nothing will change, although deliveries will be slightly delayed in the initial period.

A love of reading
Hubert de Koning, former director of ECI, who is remaining, sees a lot of synergy: “We are delighted that Novamedia shares our love of reading and wants to continue ECI with us. Novamedia’s knowledge of database and subscriber systems, and customer service, combined with ECI’s knowledge of the book market, give me every confidence that we are going to reach a large public together. To do this, we will need the help of the ECI employees who have retained their jobs through this takeover.”

“This acquisition fits Novamedia’s strategy of broadening its activities that contribute to a better world and strong social organisations,” says Boudewijn Poelmann, chairman of Novamedia. “Both traditional and new media are an essential part of this. ECI is an online bookshop that stimulates the reading of books in the Netherlands and makes it accessible at a low price. We see enormous growth potential in ECI and we’re sure that by reducing overheads and outsourcing distribution we can once again make ECI a flourishing book club with webshop.”

About ECI
ECI, also widely known as ‘the book club’, was founded in 1967 to stimulate reading in the Netherlands. In 2010, ECI changed from being a bookshop that was accessible only to members into a retailer focusing on online sales (with the webshops eci.nl and cosmox.nl) where everyone can order books, films, music, toys and games.
Cosmox won the Publieksprijs Thuiswinkelaward 2013 (Public Prize Home Shopping Award) for webshops with a turnover of up to €5 Million in the category Books, Films, Games & Music.