El Corte Inglés is strongly committed to restoration
The well-known distribution group El Corte Inglés has taken a leap in its business strategy and has diversified. The company led by Dimas Gimeno Álvarez has taken a new leap and has entered the restaurant sector. Proof of this are its future plans, among which it is expected to open between 30 and 45 restaurants over the next two years.
El Corte Inglés is an iconic distribution firm founded in 1940 by businessman Ramón Areces, it has become not only an important chain of department stores. Such has been its evolution, that its landing in electronic commerce in Spain has been spectacular, proof of this is that it ranks second in digital distribution. El Corte Inglés has a large volume of business in electronic commerce that reaches 651 million euros, very close to its main competitor and leader in the sector, Amazon.
But returning to the interest of the distribution group to open a gap in the restaurant sector, its manager in this area, Guillermo Arcenegui has announced that his goal is to reach a total of 400 restaurants in the coming years. The journey of El Corte Inglés will begin with an investment of around 12 million euros.
Among the establishments that plan to open, two stand out: the Gourmet Experience in Lisbon and the Canary Islands. By installing this type of restaurant inside shopping centers, the aim is for customers who pass through El Corte Inglés to have a much more complete experience. The objective of this strategy is to build a beneficial and lasting relationship between the mall and the restaurant.
This idea of the Gourmet Experience has been very attractive, so the Corte Inglés has been offered to open restaurants outside its shopping centers, however, the emblematic company has chosen not to expand the restaurants outside its establishments, at least , for the moment.
Apart from the Gourmet Clubs or Gourmet Experience, the Corte Inglés has implemented other types of restaurants that are also having a very good reception, these are the so-called gastronomic islands. This is the case of the gastronomic islands of La Plaça, one of its shopping centers located in Barcelona. The gastronomic islands consist of a corridor with eleven different points with food from different corners of the world. To these examples of innovative restaurants it will be necessary to add other measures such as the reform of 40 cafeterias, the opening of two taverns and three bistros.
It is estimated that the opening of these new catering establishments will allow the creation of some 600 jobs by 2018. If we continue with what the restaurant area means for the group, we would be talking about a business volume that represents around the 5% of its total turnover and that employs 7,500 people. It is clear that restoration is gaining more weight among the activities of the English Court.
To give its restaurants a higher quality and prestigious image, El Corte Inglés has signed agreements with chefs such as Jordi Roca, Alberto Chicote and David Muñoz. Thus, there is an important bet and an interesting journey for the well-known Spanish distribution group.