A group that dares to innovate and evolve!
The history of the CTC Group starts in 1927, when the Cyprus Trading Corporation Ltd was founded, the registered company with the number 18 of the then British colonial administration. The company was acquired by the Shacolas Group in 1984. During the same year, as a now public company, it listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. CTC is one of the leading and most diversified business groups in Cyprus. It controls a number of companies, each specializing in a particular industry.
In the retail sector, the CTC’s principal section is Ermes Department Stores Plc. Founded in 1971, the same year that the first department store in Cyprus, known as Woolworth, opened in Nicosia, at the corner of Makarios and Digeni Akrita.
This department store will also become the first of a chain of department stores of our Group. The acquisition agreement was signed in London in 1985 by Mr. Nikos Shiakolas and Mr. N.F.Riley and gave our Group the right to use the name Woolworth for its department stores.
In 1987 Ermes became public, listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange and launched its privately owned Woolworth Apollo in Limassol.
In 1992 it operates the largest department store in Cyprus, privately owned as well, Woolworth Olympia on the Limassol seafront. Its inauguration was an event of immense importance, for the city of Limassol and all of Cyprus.
The department store chain is constantly growing, with the additions of Woolworth Zenon in Larnaca and Woolworth Kinira in the tourist area of Kato Paphos.
1998: Another important moment in the history of the Group.The Maglis Tower, in the heart of the old city of Nicosia, and the tallest building in the inner-city area of the capital, is acquired by the Group and renamed Shiakola Tower. In record time, the tower war renovated and housed on its floors, the Woolworth Ledra, which brings new life to the old town. The inauguration by President Clerides took place with an unprecedented crowd of people.
The Ledra Museum-Observatory operates on the eleventh floor of the Shiakola Tower, from where locals and foreigners for the first time can view Nicosia from above without dividing lines.
In 2000, the company launches the Avenue department store, in the heart of the then heart of shopping, the Makarios Avenue in Nicosia.
In 2003 the Korovos shopping center in Paphos was opened.
2004: Year of restructuring by division of activities, with Ermes taking responsibility of the Group’s department stores and other fashion stores, and Woolworth, which managed the company owned commercial buildings and other real estate. At the same time, all Woolworth department stores are renamed Ermes.
A partnership agreement with Debenhams Plc was signed in 2003 and at the end of 2004 the international company acquired 10% of Ermes’ share capital. By the same agreement, between 2005 and 2006 all Ermes department stores and Avenue were renamed Debenhams.
In 2007, the Shiakolas Group and CTC, once again pioneered by launching the first two Malls in Cyprus: The Mall of Cyprus and The Mall of Engomi. The public welcomed this development with excitements. The two Malls housed two new department stores along with other Ermes Group stores. The total number of department stores amounted to ten, a large number for the size of the Cypriot market. Today, Ermes Group is the largest and most multi-dimensional retail organization in Cyprus with 71 stores, 6 of which in Greece, with more than 75,000 square meters of commercial spaces.
But the market is constantly changing. Consumer habits and needs vary. This affects the retail trade, especially department stores, worldwide. Taking into account the new trends, CTC and Ermes, aiming to maintain their leading position in retail, are entering a new era, where history meets the future. The successful partnership with Debenhams came to an in March 2020, creating a new outlook for department stores.
All department stores are transformed into pioneering place of wonder and discovery, where art, culture, theater, modern architecture and the latest fashion trends merge in a unique experience environment for the visitor.