El Palacio de Hierro
|Founded||1850 as Las Fábricas de Francia, 1891 as El Palacio de Hierro|
|Headquarters||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Juan Carlos Escribano, (CEO)|
|Products||clothes, cosmetics, electronics, furniture|
|Slogan||Soy Totalmente Palacio|
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 (not to be confused with the currently existing stores Fábricas de Francia, operated by El Puerto de Liverpool). 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).
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.
On April 15, 1914 a fire destroyed the building. Other buildings were then used. With the end of the Mexican Revolution, construction began on a new building designed by French architect Paul Dubois. The Art Nouveau building opened in 1920 with dual stained-glass ceilings by Jacques Grüber (1870-1936) of Nancy, France.
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, Escada, Juicy Couture, Carolina Herrera, Mango, Bvlgari, 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), Santiago de Queretaro (1 Palacio de Hierro store), and one store under construction in Veracruz.
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