El Corte Ingles (Spain)

El Corte Ingles is one of Spain's largest private companies, but was finally unseated as the country's biggest retailer in 2012 by Zara parent Inditex. It is principally a department store operator, selling a wide range of fashion, soft furnishings, household goods and appliances. However, the group has extended its footprint into numerous other sectors ranging from supermarkets (Hipercor and Supercor) and travel agencies to computer manufacturing. It has been described as probably the single greatest influence on Spanish culture after Real Madrid football club. Yet despite its substantial operations in its domestic market, the group has only a minimal presence beyond the Iberian peninsula. As a result, financial performance has dipped significantly since the late 2000s as a result of Spain's economic problems, with revenues slipping steadily since 2007 to E14.3bn in 2013. The business was established by Ramon Areces, who acquired a small Madrid tailoring business owned by his uncle (El Corte Ingles translates as "The English Cut") in the 1930s and built it into Spain's biggest retailer. His nephew Isidoro Alvarez was the architect of the group's continuing expansion in the latter half of the century and was chairman and controlling shareholder of El Corte Ingles until his death in 2014. Alvarez' own nephew Dimas Gimeno Alvarez was appointed as general manager in 2013. Adbrands no longer offers a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Who are the competitors of El Corte Ingles? See also Clothing Sector and Retailing Sector index

Capsule checked 15th September 2014

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Sep 2014: Two of Spain's most respected business leaders died this month, both aged 79. Isidoro Alvarez was responsible for establishing his uncle's department store group El Corte Ingles as the country's single most important retailer and its presiding cultural force over the second half of the 20th century (though its influence has been curbed since 2000 by more internationally focused rival Inditex). He remained chairman and controlling shareholder until his death this week. His successor as chairman has yet to be named. That followed the death a week earlier of Santander chairman Emilio Botin, who transformed a small regional lender into one of the world's biggest banks. He is succeeded as chairman by his daughter Ana Patricia Botin. 

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