The city has been desperately trying to attract the chain for a decade now (it’s one of only a couple of capital cities not to have an El Corte Inglés) but in the past things have always fallen through as no suitable location could ever be found.
A smallish one opened in El Ejido a few years ago, which just added insult to injury for Almería city.
Now that a suitable location has been found (the old railway space that has been knocked down) the firm confirmed in writing to the city this week that it wouldn’t be seeking planning permission “in the foreseeable future” due to the economic downturn.
El Corte Inglés has been suffering during the crisis and has seen profits almost vanish. The firm employs 86,500 people across Spain, but is essentially a vast giant dinosaur from a by-gone age, which stagnated under the old Chairman (in charge for God knows how long) who dropped down dead of old age last month. His nephew, who has taken over the firm, seems to be concentrating on quietly reforming the finances of the company.