Beate Uhse aims to personalize the online sex shop

Once Germany’s largest erotic products retailer, Beate Uhse hopes to make a come-back with a privacy-sensitive approach to e-commerce personalization.

Beate Uhse aims to personalize the online sex shop

When Craig Wheeler joined Beate Uhse Group, a German retailer of sex toys and erotic lingerie, to become its chief digital officer, the company was already in the throes of change.

Six months later Wheeler became its CEO, and now finds himself dealing with a restructuring, a rebranding and a rebuilding of key IT systems in a bid to make online sales of intimate products even more personal.

Beate Uhse, the company’s late founder and a former stunt pilot, is credited with opening one of the world’s first sex shops in 1962, building on her earlier mail-order business focused on contraception and advice on sexual health.

That first shop turned into a nationwide chain of stores — 150 at the peak — with others under the brands Pabo and Adam et Eve in Belgium and France. In 2017, though, after a decade of intense competition from online rivals, the company became insolvent, and has since restructured to focus on 29 stores in Germany, Belgium and France, as well as its web properties, which sell online to customers in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the U.K. as well.

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