After a complicated year and with many changes in the business, the El Corte Inglés shareholders’ meeting has given the green light to its strategic plan until 2026. It aims to achieve an EBITDA of 1.7 billion euros, while the debt, which amounted in its latest results to 3,811 million euros. In addition, the established roadmap foresees that online revenues will represent 30% within five years. For this, the company chaired by Marta Álvarez relies on the development of its existing business projects, with a great role in omnichannel.
The El Corte Inglés shareholders’ meeting has’ bypassed ‘the company’s unwritten laws, as it was traditionally held on a Sunday. Last year it stopped being held in August, moving to July, after the first full year of Marta Álvarez in the presidency. Álvarez, in his speech to shareholders, stressed that “the 2020 financial year has been key for the transformation of our business model and has made us stronger and more solid.” It should be remembered that the pandemic produced historic losses in the group of more than 2,900 million euros and caused the company to execute its first ERE in history, which affected almost 3,300 employees.
And it is that the pandemic strongly reduced its sales in 2020, since many of its centers had to be closed for a good part of the year. Despite this, the department store group has continued to diversify its business. «El Corte Inglés is in full evolution and transformation of our businesses, which will allow us to approach the future with modernity; obtain new sources of income, and achieve greater business strength, “said the president, who advanced that they are already in a” recovery phase. ”
The highlight of the shareholders’ meeting was the presentation of the strategic plan, made by the CEO, Víctor del Pozo. This plan is based on some of the changes that the company has been making, especially this last year. Thus, it has the most ‘traditional’ businesses of the group, such as its retail, travel, insurance and financial services divisions.
Two large operations affected some of these areas. On the one hand, Viajes El Corte Inglés merges with Logitravel to create an agency with 3.5 billion euros in revenue. On the other hand, the group bought the Sánchez Romero supermarkets, with which it intends to further penetrate the ‘premium’ segment.
The other part of the plan will be supported by the new businesses that the company has launched. Thus, Víctor del Pozo referred to the logistics operator El Corte Inglés Logistics, with which he intends to underpin its omnichannel strategy. In this sense, it is also carrying out the transformation of some of its department stores as exit points for online orders, such as the center it has in Eibar.
Another business division was the alliance with Masmóvil for the commercialization of telecommunications services, which is done through the Sweno brand. The department store group also entered the world of energy trading with an agreement with EDP, while with Sicor it offers services related to security, alarms and other ancillary services.
For Del Pozo, “the future of El Corte Inglés is based on the construction of a business ecosystem supported by a unique retail activity, which pursues four benefits: maximizing value and profitability for the Group; improve competitiveness in retail; create synergies between the different businesses of the Group; and reduce risks ”. For her part, the president called the plan “realistic, but ambitious.”
Another announcement made at the meeting is that next fall El Corte Inglés will launch a new purchase card by the hand of Master Card, which will allow its use anywhere in the world.