Alexander Talpe becomes the majority shareholder and new CEO of e5 mode and ECG

e5 mode and ECG remain in Belgian hands, with continuity ensured for over 500 staff

Sint-Niklaas, Poperinge, 6 September 2017 – Alexander Talpe (35) is the new CEO and majority shareholder of the e5 mode chain of stores. He also takes the majority shareholding in the design and in the purchasing office ECG SA (European Clothing Group), of which he was already CEO. Alexander Talpe takes over from Shopinvest the major shareholding in e5 mode and in ECG. Etienne Kaesteker thus passes the ownership of e5 mode and ECG to the younger generation, in this case his nephew Alexander Talpe. Both companies therefore stay in Belgian hands and remain family companies. This ensures continuity for over 500 staff members. The two companies are fashion leaders – and offer advice – for everyone, men and women, whatever their size or the design. E5 mode is among the top three Belgian chain stores in Belgium.

Etienne Kaesteker, with his wife (now deceased) Griet Talpe, founded the e5 mode chain of stores in 1979. Today he is passing the majority shareholding of e5 to the younger generation. Alexander Talpe takes half of the shares + 1 (50.01%) of e5 and ECG. The transaction amount has not been disclosed. Shopinvest keeps the rest of the shares (49.99%). Etienne Kaesteker remains Chairman of the Board of Shopinvest and the majority shareholder in Shopinvest.

Alexander Talpe has been CEO of ECG since 2012. ECG is a sister-company of e5 mode, which designs and produces the brands for the chain stores. ECG also sells the clothing it has developed to third parties. Both companies now come under the same management.

It’s a great honour for me to be in a position to pursue what my uncle and aunt have built up over the last 38 years,” says Alexander Talpe. “The values and mission of e5 will remain unchanged. I aim to continue updating the stores and our digital transformation. Once I’ve become more familiar with every aspect of e5 mode, I will set out the strategy to follow and decide whether we need to adapt our future path. At ECG, I will continue on the path taken so far. My goal is to go on working actively with the diversification of our customer portfolio.

The change of ownership is in line with Shopinvest’s new strategy,” notes Hans Van Rijckeghem, CEO of Shopinvest. “Shopinvest has already built up a good portfolio of holdings. The change of ownership enables Shopinvest to become more of an investment company, by supporting promising entrepreneurs like Alexander Talpe through minority shareholdings. Our goal is also to bring together dynamic entrepreneurs. We want to give Alexander all the space required to chart his own path at e5.

The time has come to pass the torch to a younger generation,” says Etienne Kaesteker. “I believe it’s important that e5 mode should remain a family company. With the staff, we make up one big family, where every customer feels good. I have every confidence in Alexander. I’ll still be happy to offer advice on e5, but I am handing over my responsibility for the company. On the other hand, my role will be expanded within Shopinvest. I’m determined to invest time and energy supporting and bringing together dynamic entrepreneurs, by means of a minority shareholding.

e5 mode and ECG

Alexander Talpe wants to bring product development closer to the end customer by focusing on closer collaboration between e5 mode and ECG. “By gathering information on our customers through sales at e5 mode, we will be able to further harmonise the development of the brands at ECG according to the end customer,” adds Alexander Talpe. "My aim is to create a single vision for e5 and ECG, with a view to concentrating on our strengths. Moreover ECG will continue to sell to third parties, such as the Berden Warenhuizen clothing chain stores in the Netherlands.”

Alexander Talpe's career

Alexander Talpe has a degree in commercial sciences from EHSAL Management School in Brussels. During his studies, he completed a traineeship in the marketing department at e5 mode. He then worked for 18 months as an SME consultant at Deloitte. In January 2008, Alexander Talpe started working at Shopinvest as a secretary, where he coordinated several retail projects. Between 2009 and 2011, he spent three years working in China, where he opened the purchasing office in Shanghai: this has become one of the ECG subsidiaries. He moved on in his career and ultimately became CEO of ECG SA in Poperinge, a subsidiary of Shopinvest. Alexander Talpe was already a member of the Board of Directors and the Management Committee of e5 mode. He is married with two children and does triathlons in his leisure time.

 Alexander Talpe Hans Van Rijckeghem Etienne Kaesteker 

Alexander Talpe,
CEO and majority shareholder
e5 mode and ECG

Hans Van Rijckeghem,
CEO Shopinvest

Etienne Kaesteker,
founder e5 mode

For further information or an interview with Alexander Talpe, please contact Anne-Camille Bettens at Luna: 
anne-camille@luna.be, 02 658 02 96 of 0495 59 38 02 or Elsie Van Linhout from Luna (elsie@luna.be, 0475 26 01 03)

About e5 mode

A family company and fashion chain, e5 is a solid asset in the world of Belgian fashion. Under the motto ‘Hello Goodlooking’, e5 mode retails quality clothes at an affordable price. The fashion chain sells clothes for women and men from its own 10 brands, and via its webshop. e5 mode is aimed at people over 40 years of age and has 500,000 customers annually.

Founded in 1979, the company boasts 71 sales points across Belgium, including two Experience Stores. e5 mode employs around 470 people. The company’s annual turnover exceeds €80 million. The headquarters of e5 mode is in Sint-Niklaas. On several occasions e5 has already been voted “Best chain in Belgium” in various categories and in 2016 was voted “Best webshop” in the men’s fashion category.

For further information: http://www.e5mode.be

About ECG

The European Clothing Group is part of the Shopinvest holding (West Flanders) via a minority shareholding. ECG developed out of the former Inbelco, a company making women’s clothes, founded in 1956. In 2009, ECG expanded its activities with the purchasing for e5 mode. At that time, ECG started developing its own design department as well as its existing purchasing activities. This resulted in the retailing of different brands for women and men. ECG also sells the clothes it has developed to third parties, retailer partners in Belgium and abroad.

For its own brands, ECG produces on average 5,800 models annually, with a total production of 3.1 million pieces a year. In addition to its own brands, ECG produces for around 20 national and international fashion houses, the annual equivalent of some 207,000 articles. In 2016, ECG had a consolidated global turnover of €44 million. Based in Poperinge, the company today employs some 20 staff at this site. Around 40 people are also employed in branches in China (Shanghai) and Lithuania (Kaunas) in order to keep pace with local production and to guarantee the quality.

For further information: http://ecgfashion.com

About Shopinvest

Shopinvest is a family holding company with a headquarters in Waasmunster. It has a consolidated turnover of around €90 million, with a very solid balance-sheet structure. Etienne Kaesteker, also co-founder of e5 mode SA, is the majority shareholder and Chairman of the group. Hans Van Rijckeghem is the CEO. The group has diverse interests, mainly in retail and related activities, both in listed and private companies. The group’s vision is based on a strong belief in alliances and creating synergies between diverse companies. Shopinvest is a great believer in entrepreneurship and participates in companies led by a strong entrepreneur. Shopinvest has a major stake in real estate and owns several holdings in Mongolia.

For further information: http://www.shopinvest.be