El Palacio de Hierro

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El Palacio de Hierro
Type Department store
Industry Retail
Founded 1850 as Las Fabricas de Francia, 1891 as El Palacio de Hierro
Headquarters Mexico City, Mexico
Key people José María Blanco Alonso, (CEO)
Products clothes, cosmetics, electronics, furniture
Website www.elpalaciodehierro.com.mx

El Palacio de Hierro (El Palacio de Hierro S.A. de C.V.) (English: The Iron Palace) is an upscale chain of department stores in Mexico.

History[edit]

El Palacio de Hierro store in Mexico City
Store in Polanco Mexico City hosting an exhibition of Uriarte Talavera.

In the 1850s, a clothing store opened in Mexico City called "Las Fábricas de Francia" (The Factories of France) which was owned by Victor Gassier, a Frenchman. In 1860, Gassier teamed up with Alexander Reynaud, forming a business called Gassier & Reynaud.

In 1876, José Tron and José Leautaud bought in, forming the association V. Gassier & Reynaud, Sucs. S. en C. In 1879 the business' formal name was changed to J. Tron y Cía.. However, it continued to trade as "Las Fábricas de Francia". From here Tron and Leautaud's endeavor met with considerable success.

In 1879, they began planning to build a department store in Mexico City similar to famous upscale, and high class stores in Paris (Le Bon Marché), New York City (Saks Fifth Avenue), London (Harrods), and Amsterdam (De Bijenkorf).

Inside of an El Palacio de Hierro store

In 1888 they bought land to construct their new department store. They hired the Mexican architect Ignacio de la Hidalga for the project and construction was to last until 1891.

Tron and Leautaud chose to build a five story building. It was, notably the first building in Mexico City made of iron and steel. As the first such structure in Mexico, people who passed by often asked "What iron palace are they building?". In 1891, when construction finished, Tron and Leautaud decided to rename the business "El Palacio de Hierro", taking advantage of the publicity they earned during construction.

Nowadays, El Palacio de Hierro is part of Grupo Bal a diversified conglomerate in Mexico with interests in insurance, mining and retail.

It is a comprehensive department store with product lines ranging from clothing, to houseware, furniture, jewelry, select foods, toys, spa, travel services, and electronics. Especially in the clothing area, it is a high-end retailer, carrying top Mexican domestic brands, as well as hosting many in-store boutiques from exclusive lines such as Emilio Pucci, Tiffany's, Tommy Hilfiger, Cartier, Esprit, Max Mara, BCBG Max Azria, Emporio Armani, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tory Burch, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Versace, Swarovski, Michael Kors, Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Co., Escada, Juicy Couture, Gap, Carolina Herrera, Mango, Bvlgari, United Colors of Benetton, Bottega Veneta, and Hermès.

Currently, El Palacio de Hierro has locations in Mexico City (8 Palacios de Hierro stores, 1 Boutique Palacio, 2 Casas Palacio and 2 Outlets), Monterrey (1 Palacio de Hierro store), Puebla (1 Palacio de Hierro store), Guadalajara (1 Palacio de Hierro store), Acapulco (1 Casa Palacio and 1 Boutique Palacio), Cancún (1 Casa Palacio and 1 Boutique Palacio) and Villahermosa (1 Palacio de Hierro store), and one store under construction in Santiago de Queretaro.

External links[edit]