The Spanish department store El Corte Inglés is in talks with 100 brands to become their e-commerce partner, according to the Spanish daily Cinco Dias. But, no deals have been struck yet, it added, citing the company.
The retailer would rely on its logistics platform to guarantee all the services related to e-commerce, the daily said, citing documentation El Corte Inglés released with its latest bond issue. “We are currently negotiating with these firms to provide them with a complete and end-to-end logistics service on our platform,” the prospectus states.
During the company’s shareholder meeting this summer, chairwoman Marta Álvarez had indicated that the company was developing new areas of activity in logistics whose results were expected to be presented soon.
Based on the prospectus distributed to investors, the retailer estimates that 84 percent of the Spanish population lives within 40 minutes by car from one of its stores and that it can guarantee same day deliveries to all areas where it currently has a home delivery service. El Cortes Inglés claims to have “strategically located stores, which we use as warehouses for deliveries, and which allow us to reach customers faster than our competitors.”
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the retailer indicated that its logistics platform was working at half of its capacity and it is now being opened up to third parties “to help brands become more efficient.” It pointed that Nike and the denim and casual wear brand Pepe Jeans are already using its logistics services to cut costs.
El Corte Inglés believes that its e-commerce offering will be enhanced by its recently released mobile application, which has exceeded 150,000 downloads, and its El Corte Inglés Plus service, a flat rate of €19.90 per year to receive orders in two hours without shipping costs, the daily added.
The retailer is also extending partnerships in its physical stores by offering areas or corners dedicated to third-party brands. The American apparel group Gap has decided to maintain its corners located in El Corte Inglés stores despite closing down its European stores. “For many brands, El Corte Inglés is a preferable alternative to maintaining their own stores at street level,” according to the prospectus.
It stressed that Pepe Jeans has maintained, and even expanded, its presence in El Corte Inglés while reducing its network in Spain. The retailer claims that brands sell 30 percent more in the corners located in its stores than in their own shops. “Sales productivity is also higher than the industry average” with an average conversion rate of 68 percent, rising to 72 percent for customers holding an El Corte Inglés payment card, it added.
At the end of September, El Corte Inglés issued €600 million worth of bonds maturing in March 2024 and bearing an annual interest rate of 3.625 percent.