El Corte Inglés

El Corte Inglés S.A. (Spanish pronunciation: [el ˈkoɾte iŋˈɡles]),[a] headquartered in Madrid,[4] is the biggest department store group in Europe and ranks third worldwide.[5][6] El Corte Inglés is Spain's only remaining department store chain. El Corte Inglés has been a member of the International Association of department stores since 1998.[7][8]

El Corte Inglés, S.A.
TypeSociedad Anónima
Founded(June 28, 1940 (1940-06-28)) in Madrid, Spain
FounderRamón Areces
César Rodríguez [es]
Number of locations
Europe and Africa
Area served
Spain, United Kingdom, Andorra, France and Portugal
Key people
Victor del Pozo (chairman) Marta Álvarez Guil (President)
ProductsClothing, footwear, accessories, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares
RevenueIncrease €15.783 billion (2018)[1]
Increase €258 million (2018)[2]
Number of employees
Increase 90,004 (2018)[3]
  • Hipercor
  • Bricor
  • Supercor
  • Opencor
  • Viajes El Corte Inglés
  • Informática El Corte Inglés


In 1934, the founders Ramón Areces Rodriguez and Cesar Rodriguez Gonzalez bought a tailor’s shop (which had opened in 1890) located on one of Madrid's most central streets, calle Preciados, and made it into a limited company. Around 1920, aged 15, Areces had gone to Havana, Cuba, and worked at the famous retail chain Almacenes El Encanto, where he learned the basics of department store business. In 1940, he turned the tailor’s shop into the current corporation El Corte Inglés, S.A.. On the death of Areces in 1989, his nephew Isidoro Álvarez became his successor. In 1995, El Corte Inglés bought out its only serious competitor, Galerías Preciados, which had entered bankruptcy.[9]

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

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 was planned. In that same year of 2006 just as it opened its second store outside of Spain (in Vila Nova de Gaia) the company announced expansion outside the Iberian Peninsula: Italy was to be the first country to host a store but, owing to the ongoing Eurozone crisis, the plan was suspended, as well as the opening of the third store in Portugal.[10] Various food products bearing the El Corte Inglés brand are marketed in Latin American stores.

In October 2013, the firm sold a 51% stake in the financing department to the Spanish banking group Grupo Santander for around €140 million.[11] From 2014 to 2018 the CEO of the company was Dimas Gimeno.

Flagship storeEdit

El Corte Inglés' flagship store in Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid

El Corte Inglés' flagship store is located in Madrid at 79 Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde. The complex 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, Armani Jeans, Armani Collezioni, Gucci, Loewe, Dockers, Ralph Lauren, Bulgari, Dior, Dior Homme, Georges Rech, Versace, Hugo Boss, Boss Woman, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce&Gabbana, 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, Calvin Klein, 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.


El Corte Inglés is the largest company in terms of the number of its customers in Spain, with 3.7 million customers in 2011. In 2013, 3.5 million customers and 137 million visits were registered. In December 2016 they reached their monthly peak, with more than 14 million unique users and more than 30 million visits to www.elcorteingles.es, increasing to 32 million in January 2017, becoming the most visited Spanish commercial website in Spain . Since 1999 its General Director of Electronic Commerce and Distance Sales Division is Ricardo Goizueta Sagues and the Digital Director or Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is, since 2012, José María Fernández Ortega.

Activity AreasEdit

El Corte Inglés store in Porto, Portugal

The business group is divided into the following areas of activity, which are usually commercially configured as companies whose shareholding belongs in its entirety or overwhelmingly majority to El Corte Inglés S.A .:

  • El Corte Inglés S.A. The parent company, dedicated to distribution through department stores. In 2010 it still reached 59% of total revenues and about 63.7% of net profit. As of 28 February 2013, El Corte Inglés has 86 centres, 84 in Spain and 2 in Portugal.
  • Hipercor. Chain of hypermarkets dedicated to the distribution of food and household appliances. As of 28 February 2013, Hipercor has 42 centres in Spain.
  • Bricor. Home improvement retailer. As of 28 February 2013, Bricor has 16 stores: 14 in Spain and 2 in Portugal.
  • Supercor / Supercor Exprés. Supermarket an convenience store chain.
  • Sfera. Fashion retailer stores group. It has 68 centres located in Spain and 3 in Portugal, plus franchises in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Kuwait and Mexico.

In the IT and communications fields, El Corte Inglés has three subsidiaries, which are listed in order of establishment:

El Corte Inglés store in Aranda de Duero, Spain

In the service sector, the El Corte Inglés group owns:


  1. ^ Spanish for "the English Cut" (as in "the English style of dressmaking")[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Corporate Information". Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Corporate Information". Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Corporate Information". Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Home." El Corte Inglés Corporate. Retrieved on December 17, 2010. "El Corte Inglés, S.A. Hermosilla, 112. 28009 Madrid."
  5. ^ "El Corte Inglés rises to the world podium of department stores". Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  6. ^ "DGAP-Media: JAXX subsidiary Serviapuestas signs exclusive deal with Europe's largest retail group El Corte Inglés". Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  7. ^ "El Corte Inglés". www.iads.org. Retrieved 2021-04-22.
  8. ^ "News releases - www.stockmanngroup.com". www.stockmanngroup.com. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  9. ^ País, Ediciones El (2 August 1989). "Isidoro Álvarez asume la presidencia de El Corte Inglés y de la Fundación Ramón Areces". Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  10. ^ "El Corte Inglés - información corporativa". www.elcorteingles.es. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  11. ^ Carlos Ruano (8 October 2013). "Spain's Santander to buy 51 percent of El Corte Inglés finance arm". Reuters.

External linksEdit