Isidoro Álvarez has announced that his firm is to actually change direction somewhat, and move away from a typical “department store” format into a new “shopping mall” format.
His plan is to permit third party companies to open up their stores inhouse, thus expanding the range of services and goods on offer at no additional cost to El Corte Inglés. It’s a cunning plan, I’ll give him that.
It hangs in nicely with Burger King España’s plan; they’re on an aggresive expansion plan, and are opening up in new locations such as shopping centres, ports and trainstations. So far this year they’ve opened 26 new Burger Kings (and closed 4).
So Burger King is only the first of the companies to actually sign a deal. Their first inhouse store will open in the Arroyosur Corte Ingles at the end of this month, and will be directly managed by Burger King (ie, not a franchise). More stores will be opened up over the course of the year as their insides are swopped around.
El Corte Inglés has also confirmed that it is about to sign some deals with other firms such as Rodilla, a fast food sandwich chain, and Hedonai, a chain of beauty salons, according to Expansión, and is in talks with several other national chains.