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El Corte Inglés SA
Type Private
Founded 1940
Headquarters Spain Madrid, Spain
Key people Isidoro Álvarez, CEO
Industry Department store
Revenue €15.9 billion (2006)

El Corte Inglés (lit. The English Cut, implying in Spanish The English Dress Style) is Spain's largest department store chain and the owner of several associated businesses, such as supermarket chains Hipercor, Supercor and Opencor.



In 1934, founder Ramón Areces bought a tailor shop (which had opened in 1890) located on one of Madrid's most central streets, calle Preciados, and made it into a limited company. In 1940 he turned the shop into the current corporation El Corte Inglés, S.A. Upon Areces' death in 1989, his nephew Isidoro Álvarez was named his successor and quickly became one of the most powerful men in Spain. In 1995 El Corte Inglés bought out its only serious competitor, Galerías Preciados, which had entered bankruptcy.

El Corte Inglés Portuguese flagship store in Lisbon.

Stores tend to be very large in size and offer a wide range of products: stores may sell music, movies, portable & household electronics, furniture, hardware, books, clothes and groceries.

International expansion began in 2001 in Portugal, with a store in Lisbon, followed in 2006 with a store in Vila Nova de Gaia, opposite the city of Porto, and a third store is planned. In the same year the company announced expansion outside the Iberian Peninsula: Italy will be the first country to host a store.

Offshoot companies

Offshoots of El Corte Inglés include Viajes El Corte Inglés (travel agency), Hipercor (a chain of hypermarkets), Opencor (upmarket convenience stores), Supercor (supermarkets), Informática El Corte Inglés (IT services), Sfera (competitor of the clothing chain Zara), and Bricor, a chain of DIY stores.

Madrid flagship store

El Corte Inglés in Vigo

The primary flagship store for the chain is located in Madrid at 79, Raimundo Fernández Villaverde Street. It encompasses several buildings and carries the most comprehensive collection of designers of any large store in Spain. Designer boutiques in this store include: Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Armani, Gucci, Loewe, Bulgari, Dior, Dior Homme, Georges Rech, Hugo Boss, Boss Woman, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry (men/women), Façonnable, Pal Zileri, Paul & Shark, Lacoste, Pavillon Christofle, CH by Carolina Herrera, Escada Sport, James Purdey and Sons, Lloyd's, Purificación Garcia, Caroll Paris, Amitie, Episode, store brands (Emidio Tucci, Dustin) and many others. Also included is a branch of the Madrid based Aldeo jewelers, carrying such jewellery designers as Boucheron, Blancpain, and Hamilton.

2007 Results

For the fiscal year ending February 28, 2008, group revenue grew 5.1% to 17.8 billion. Net profit was up 5.1%, to €747.6 million.

See also

External links




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