The way of buying has changed in a world where with a single click you can access an infinite catalog of products and services. These new habits are not alien to the traditional physical stores, which are betting on adapting and seducing the 21st century consumer, who seeks new sensations and experiences. This is the ambitious bet of El Corte Inglés, which presented this week the transformation that its 94 shopping centers are experiencing in Spain and Portugal.
For the sales director of the distributor group, Arsenio de la Vega, we are facing "a new era", in which "the purchase is emotional". But what exactly is that transformation? From the Spanish company are clear that their growth will come from the experiences they offer their customers, along with the union between the physical store and the online store; through services such as «Click & Express», which allows the delivery of any online purchase in two hours at home or at the time indicated. In this chapter, the 94 shopping centers are seen as a strength.
In any case, the bet of the Spanish multinational goes much further: it began with the introduction of the "personal shopper" service, which is free and is present in 34 centers with fifty advisors, evolving to the virtual reality spaces. For example, such is the case of the four installed next to the Football League in the centers of Castellana (Madrid), Nervión (Seville), Pintor de Sorolla (Valencia) and Cornellá (Barcelona), where you can be a player of professional football or put yourself in the shoes of a referee in the VAR (video arbitration). Installed in December, more than 87,000 people have already visited it.
More than 200 operators
The English Court also welcomes the largest Samsung store in Spain (1,200 square meters) and the second in Europe in its shopping center in Callao (Madrid), with robotic chairs or physical exercise simulators. Precisely, for sports lovers, the group also has a lot to offer: this is the case first gym opened inside one of its stores, in Valencia, and that it plans to install in other centers. In addition to the service of footprint analysis with the advice of a podiatrist titled and directed to the legion of Spanish runners (2,000 annual analyzes) or the corners «Sneakers Cleaning», that allow to set up our sneakers.
There is also no lack of experiences related to the health and beauty of those who participate More than 200 operators as «Hedonai», whose aesthetic centers (massages, mesotherapy, etc …) have a presence in up to 40 stores. There are also dental clinics with longer hours, spa or own hairdressers that in 2018 were commissioned to comb the actors and actresses during the Goya or Forqué Awards, among other services.
The restoration is another important bet through the Gourmet Experience, with a staff of 15 Michelin stars and more than 160 hospitality businesses installed. In addition to the known ones «Gourmet Experience» with more than 4,200 products and which are already present in a dozen stores, such as the Goya or Serrano centers (Madrid), as well as those in Alicante, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria or Lisbon. In addition to the gastronomic weeks dedicated to different types of cuisine and "new concepts" as the Bistro (French cuisine9 and La Taberna (tapas).
Apart from all the above, the most important ones also stand out 2,500 cultural actions developed in the facilities of El Corte Inglés (rooms "Cultural Area") and linked the offer of each center (presentation of books, fashion, movies …) or the 23 spaces «Pitiflú», aimed in this case to the smallest .