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The defining moments in Suyen’s history since its inception in 1987 are pivoted on a key success factor: INNOVATION. These are the moments that are marked not only on the outstanding occasions, but even more so in the day-to-day, product-to-product, store-to-store business of creating, maintaining and evolving Suyen’s brands. The Bench brand – Suyen’s greatest accomplishment – was the result of a series of both simple and complex innovations that made it the number one fashion and lifestyle retail chain in the Philippines. It began when Suyen founder, chairman and marketing maverick Ben Chan decided to innovate the basic white men’s undershirt into fashionable outerwear with a label that bears his name. And so over the years the Bench label was put on not just t-shirts, but jeans, ladies wear, towels, and underwear; Bench moved from a tiny corner in a department store to over 864 stores throughout the Philippines, the Middle East, China and the USA; Bench made the big jump from fashion label to bona fide global lifestyle brand with its foray into cosmetics and scents; Bench evolved from lifestyle products to include services in the beauty and hospitality industry – and thus innovation became the most distinctive work ethic that Ben Chan incorporated into the Suyen company culture, so much so that it has become a Suyen tradition, inseparable from its core identity.
This zeal to innovate has had far-reaching repercussions across the entire Philippine retail industry. The invigoration that the Bench brand has provided for Filipino fashion and lifestyle has raised industry standards for marketing, product quality, advertising, and events. The biggest network of outdoor advertising billboards, the biggest collection of industry awards, the biggest roster of celebrity endorsers and the biggest biennial fashion show all belong to Bench.
Suyen further innovated on the achievements of the Bench brand with a new phase in its business development that began in the late 1990s: the diversification of its brand portfolio. Within only 10 years, Suyen has increased its portfolio to include 18 international brands and 17 local brands. The rapid proliferation of this portfolio is a key factor in the overall strategy of the Suyen Group in the coming years. Furthermore, in the 2000s Suyen intensified its diversification and investment efforts under Suyen Holdings, widening its assets in the fields of mining, construction, and prime real estate. This is culminating in the new 23-storey Bench / Suyen Headquarters building in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
With this, the scope of Suyen’s reach has become virtually unlimited, expanding with every new business, proof of the adage that “Innovation knows no boundaries.”