El Corte Inglés, Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid. | Europa Press


El Corte Inglés is closing its stores in Madrid and the Basque Country from Saturday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The shut down will not affect the company's supermarkets, hypermarkets, Sfera stores or Supercor supermarkets, they will remain open.

"In response to the health alert and the company's commitment to its customers, employees and society at large, the group has made an effort to intensify the services that connect the digital world with the real environment," said a company spokesperson.

Customers will have the choice of picking up online and telephone orders from car parks at the shopping centres or having their orders delivered to their homes, depending on the location.

“El Corte Inglés is confident that these measures will help improve the situation and make it easier for customers to cope with what is currently happening in our country," said a company spokesperson.

The company says it’s already notified some 73,000 employees about the temporary closures which could translate to a Temporary Employment Regulation File, or ERTE for about 5,000 employees in the Madrid stores.

Union representatives have confirmed the El Corte Inglés closures in Madrid and the Basque Country, which are likely to be extended to the rest of Spain in the coming days.