Grupo Cortefiel began in 1880 as a small haberdasher´s firm managed by the Garcia-Quirós brothers in the Calle Romanones in Madrid. Later it evolved towards textile production (mainly the 1950s and 1960s) and has finally centred itself on retail. Today, Grupo Cortefiel is one of the largest fashion retailers in Spain which, through its four brands – Cortefiel, Pedro del Hierro, Springfield and Women´s Secret –is present in 57 countries with 1593 points of sale across the World. Over 9000 professionals throughout the world, work to achieve excellence in the Group’s products and services. Mr Juan Carlos Escribano is the CEO of Grupo Cortefiel. Prior to joining the Group, Mr Escribano has been Director for region Spain & Portugal, at Clemens & August (C&A) - a fashion retail company in Europe, from 1998 to 2003. He joined Springfield in 2003 as Commercial Director. He was Managing Director of Springfield during February 2005 to May 2009. In May 2009 he was appointed CEO of Grupo Cortefiel. Mr Escribano holds a degree in Business and Economics and an MBA from London School of Economics. In a tête-à-tête with Ms Madhu Soni - Sr Editor & Correspondent- Face2Face, Mr JC Escribano presents his views on Retail industry today.
1,593 points of sale in 57 countries, huge presence indeed! What all values have worked success for Grupo Cortefiel?
c) Passion & Fashion
In this span of over one century’s existence, where do you see RMG industry transforming at, besides changing fashions?
Retailers have to go more to a “total buying experience” instead of selling only garments. In the buying experience all parts have a place, on-line, physical shops, social networks, etc.
What would be your summation on Retail world these days?
Most importantly: “have your own voice or point of view” as there are too many similar concepts around.
Conventional belief prevails that a great retail brand must present one face to the world. How about the importance of tailoring a product’s image to each national market?
If you need to express a “unique voice” you need to tailor fit a bit as there has to be a frame but you can have different intensity of colours.
Is Lingerie at Grupo Cortefiel a business exclusively attended and not a part of just a garment making?
For sure, it is very complicated, it is really a science more than a business it is even more than “total shopping experience”.
Lean Management, Fast Fashion, and Sustainable business- these concepts have become integral part of fashion clothing business today. What is your say?
Yes, yes, yes!
Lean Management: as for yourself, in Lean Management you have to maintain yourself fit.
Fast Fashion: always needed it if you want to meet the market.
Sustainable business: As a big group we have a responsibility and we need to accomplish it.
Grupo Cortefiel has been a pioneer of online shopping in Spain. What level of significance this e-commerce strategy counts in your strategic agendas?
Very strategic, it is already a new change in the way customers approach their needs, I foresee a big growth in the coming years.#######
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.