El Corte Inglés posts record annual losses through February, 2021 — net loss of €2.9 billion due to government Covid restrictions

Photo Raúl Hernández González — Creative Commons license

El Corte Inglés, Europe’s biggest department store, posts record losses

Anyone who has watched the catastrophic handling of Covid-19 by the Spanish government of Pedro Sanchez has known from the beginning how bad the Spanish economy would be in 2021 and beyond as a result.

From panicked national and regional lockdowns to mandatory face masks outdoors, bans on dancing and drinking, and mandatory closures of bars and restaurants — Spain’s restrictions due to Covid-19 have been some of the strictest (and craziest) in the world.

Due to these restrictions, Spain now has one of the worst economies in the world, with millions of Spaniards unemployed and tens of thousands of Spanish business either recording record losses or already bankrupt and closed.

One of the Spanish businesses reporting enormous losses in 2020-2021 is Europe’s biggest department store chain — the Spanish department store El Corte Inglés, who just reported record annual loses of more than €2.9 billion.

Those losses are primarily due to the collapse of the Spanish tourist industry because of government lockdowns and other restrictions, and especially due to a massive loss in the number of British tourists arriving in Spain in through February, 2021.

The El Corte Inglés losses are in comparison to a net profit of €310 million just the year before.

Sadly for Spain, El Corte Inglés has generally been an accurate barometer of Spain’s economic performance as a whole.

El Corte Inglés does well, so does much of Spain. El Corte Inglés’ profits are poor, the rest of Spain is also likely to be experiencing a similar performance.

With Spain’s economy contracting by 10.2% in 2020, and with little recovery in sight, it is easy to see how difficult it will be for the country to recover quickly, and for companies like El Corte Inglés to get back on track.

Especially as many of the mandatory restrictions (masks, Covid tests, social distancing, dancing bans etc) are still in place.

All things that will  likely deter most tourists from returning to Spain while those restrictions apply.