Beginning in 1987 with a small store selling men’s t-shirts, Bench has grown to include a ladies’ line, underwear, fragrances, house wares, snacks, and a wide array of other lifestyle products, with the distinction of being present in virtually every retail space in the Philippines, and with a worldwide network of stores and outlets, reaching as far as the United States, the Middle East, and China. There are a total of 678 stores nationwide. Spreading out its wings has been continuous owning to the viable franchise partners they choose – people who really understand business and are knowledgeable about the same industry. “It was Francorp,” according to Mr. Chan, “who legitimized and gave credibility to the business concept of the Bench franchise. Francorp & its team of franchise consultants also helped professionalize the franchising industry.”
To boost Bench’s growth, it pioneered in the use of celebrity endorsers, television and giant billboards to create awareness for a fashion brand that offers premium quality products at affordable prices.
Ben Chan is the man behind the Bench brand, founder of what is now the Philippines’ largest clothing chain, under Suyen Corporation. His style is world class fashion and his work ethics impeccable, after learning the definition of “hardworking” from his Chinese forebears.
Because of his vision and aggressive but strategic moves, he has expanded the Philippine clothing chain into international markets. Bench is in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xian, China; Kuwait; Bahrain; and Los Angeles, California.