Spain’s Largest Department Store Chain Believes in Expansion by Absorption

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El Corte Inglés: Europe’s largest department store chain Credit: Raúl Hernández González flickr

THE largest department store chain in Europe, Spain’s El Corte Inglés traditionally holds its annual shareholders meeting at the end of August but brought the date forward to Sunday July 26 with the majority of shareholders attending digitally.

Two major matters to be raised will be a reduction in the dividend to be paid to a total of €37.5 million and a decision to incorporate its subsidiary, clothing brand Sfera into the main company for strategic reasons.

There is little likelihood of job losses for the brand which operates 71 stores in Spain and Portugal and has a number of franchises around the world.

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Unlike many other European stores, El Corte Inglés follows a policy of running merged companies both within its department stores as well as leaving them as standalone retail units which include Bricor, Hipercor, Supercor plus the new Sfera in order to take advantage of smaller outlets.

Overall profits for the financial year (March 2019 to February 2020) are up by just over 20 per cent and represent the most successful year of trading since 2010.


Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.

Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.

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