Costa Almeria Living: El Corte Ingles an Opportunity?
WITHOUT doubt the most significant news last week across Costa Almeria was the opening of the new El Corte Ingles in El Ejido. The opening and details of the store have been covered in detail elsewhere in this paper over the last couple of weeks, but I make no apologies for writing about it again here.
Open from to Monday to Saturday, covering 90,000 square metres and with free underground parking for 1,600 cars it is truly an impressive set up.
-- Advertisement --
The Spanish press have tended to concentrate on the facts: 723 jobs created, 61 per cent of which are females. An average workforce age of 28, with 34 per cent under the age of 25, the 100€ million investment in the project and the innovative inclusion of four car parking spaces allocated to electric cars.
Many of the new staff have been recruited locally, but many have been been relocated from other stores in the group, which partly explains the lower average age: young and single people are easier and cheaper to relocate and demand lower wages. This is necessary as the store needs to keep prices competitive while offering high quality, and it obviously needs to get a speedy return on its significant investment. This is crucial “for the good of the area” because a failed El Corte Ingles would be a disaster for the region for sure.
Conventional wisdom is that it “will be good for the area and local businesses” but how? What are the local businesses doing to benefit from this investment and opportunity?
El Corte Ingles are keen to attract the expatriates living in Spain and the tourists and second home owners to the region. I wonder what the local businesses are doing about this? Are they Googling ‘El Corte Ingles El Ejido’ on Google.com and Googe.co.uk and looking to advertise with the sites that feature on the first page? Anyone offering and promoting a ‘bring your El Corte Ingles receipt and a get a free …..’, anyone organising day trips down to El Ejido, to include a meal in a local bar or restaurant in Almerimar, Roquetas, Aguadulce etc?
I have no doubts at all that everyone coming to Almerimar will want to visit the store, and they should. The store will no doubt capture some of the existing spend in the area, after all just because El Corte Ingles open a store doesn’t mean that everyone will have more money in their pockets, and indeed El Corte Ingles want you to spend more ……. with them!
What I truly hope is that in years to come businesses don’t look back regretfully thinking that El Corte Ingles in El Ejido should have been good for them, if only they had done something about it!