Ignacio R. Sierra is responsible for the Group’s corporate area, which includes among others, institutional and development activities and social responsibility and corporate communication projects. He is also an Executive for the Cortefiel Group Companies and Subsidiaries.
He is currently the Chairman and spokesman before the European Commission and the European Parliament for the European Branded Clothing Alliance, an association that includes the major global textile distribution brands (Nike, H&M, Inditex, Uneven, Levi’s, Ralph Lauren, V F Corporation and Grupo Cortefiel among others) present or based in continental Europe, with headquarters in Brussels. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the CSR Committee for ANGED, the trade associate for large distribution companies, which includes companies such as El Corte Inglés, Carrefour, Alcampo, Apple Stores, Eroski, Leroy Merlin, Ikea and Grupo Cortefiel, among others. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, a public-private partnership for the development and internationalisation of Leading Brands of Spain, and on its Strategy Committee.
Ignacio Sierra is a Law Graduate, Executive MBA from IE Business School and Financial Analyst. He began his professional career in business at Mapfre Group in 1993, before joining Grupo Cortefiel in the year 2000. He is a UPM PhD candidate, and teaches and tutors at Universities and Business Schools in the areas of strategy, internationalisation, M&A, financial communication and fashion, and CSR.
Grupo Cortefiel is one of the leading brands in fashion distribution in Europe. What do you think are the major milestones along the way?
Being a group that consolidates the management and distribution of its own brands from an industry with vertical integration.
What are the competitive advantages of the Group over its rivals? And what is your strategy for differentiating yourselves from the competition?
Our strategy of self-management of our brands in multi-format, with common core services with a model of operational efficiency and advanced logistics.
You are present in more than 90 countries with over 2,000 points of sale around the world. What export model do you follow and why?
Basically, we distribute to our own stores in Europe and large strategic markets such as Russia and Mexico, where we partner with regional master franchisees. In the rest of the world we use professional master franchisees.
What criteria does the company use to select its export markets?
Positioning of our brands, market opportunity and the right partner or profitability for our own stores.
The Group has five brands. What strategy is followed by each of them? Are they based on common or differentiated strategies?
The brand strategy and everything related to fashion and customers for Cortefiel, Springfield, Pedro del Hierro, Women’s Secret or Fifty Factory are fully independent. But operational business management and the value chain are supported in the Group, which is the supplier of the central services and the management of purchases, people and investment.
How important is the online sales channel for the Group? What percentage does it contribute to the total sales of the brands?
It is vital in order to have a single channel competitive supply, which completely closes our customer connection. All of our brands are operating digitally both in Spain and overseas, with double-digit growth and an average market share for the sector.