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By
Reuters
Published
Sep 17, 2014
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El Corte Ingles appoints Dimas Gimeno as chairman

By
Reuters
Published
Sep 17, 2014

MADRID, Spain - Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles said on Tuesday its board of directors had appointed as chairman Dimas Gimeno, the nephew of long-standing head Isidoro Alvarez who died on Sunday.

Dimas Gimeno


The 39-year-old law graduate was until now an executive director at the group and was widely seen as a likely successor to Alvarez, who was in turn the nephew of the founder of the privately-owned group, Ramon Areces.

The appointment of Gimeno comes days after Ana Botin was named chairwoman of Santander bank to replace her father Emilio Botin, who died of a heart attack last week.

El Corte Ingles began in 1890 as a tiny tailoring business selling suits with "the English cut" in Calle Preciados, a street in the heart of Madrid. Areces bought the tailor in the 1930s, with the help of his uncle, and built the retail empire.

Surviving the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship that lasted until the 1970s, it blossomed in the early years of restored democracy to become the darling of shoppers with its then groundbreaking money-back guarantee.

However, the retailer, which had sales of 14.2 billion euros ($18.4 billion) last year, has been hit by Spain's economic crisis and in 2013 turned to financial markets for funding for the first time.

El Corte Ingles is considered a benchmark for Spain's economy, both as a big employer and a food, clothing and household goods retailer.

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