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UKTI and El Corte Inglés team up for British showcase

Iberian department store chain El Corte Inglés has teamed up with UK Trade & Investment to run a three-week pop-up event aimed at introducing and promoting British brands to Spanish and Portuguese shoppers.

The campaign, called Shopping is Great Britain, will launch on October 16, offering fashion brands as well as books, food and drink and cultural events.

Six fashion and accessories brands – Jigsaw, Phase Eight, Victoria Beckham Denim, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, The Cambridge Satchel Company and Aspinal of London – will use the event to trade in Spain and Portugal for the first time.

Their products will be displayed within Great Britain-branded pop-up areas of around 4,300 sq ft in six flagship El Corte Inglés stores: Raimundo Fernández Villaverde in Madrid, Avinguda Diagonal in Barcelona, Ercilla Kalea in Bilbao, Carrer del Pintor Sorolla in Valencia, Calle de Ramón Areces in Marbella and Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar in Lisbon.

Brands that already have El Corte Inglés concessions – such as Ted Baker, Paul Smith, Barbour and Karen Millen – will feature the campaign’s branding across their existing space.

Phase Eight head of international development Rosie Stringer said Spain has been “a target market” and the brand will sell up to 30 options through the pop-ups: “Pop-ups are a nice way to test a market from a risk perspective as you can trial it for a few weeks and learn quickly whether your product works. El Corte Inglés is the most premium and largest department store, so it’s the right group to be doing pop-ups with as it has a large and loyal customer base.”

She added: “If it works we hope to get permanent space in its stores.”

Peter Ruis, chief executive of Jigsaw, added: “Spain is a market that has always interested us and the economy is showing strong signs of recovery. The UKTI campaign gives us a chance to move at pace, and create a pop-up that will have high visibility.”

Marianne Carlin, UKTI’s senior trade and investment adviser in Madrid, said: “We might have struggled to get British brands to come here a couple of years ago, but now people are more optimistic and see more potential for developing the Spanish market. Brands want to increase their presence here and new ones are keen to enter.”

El Corte Inglés – which translates as The English Cut – has about 90 stores.

The fashion campaign will run as part of a wider UKTI promotion in Spain called ‘The Britain is GREAT Festival’.

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