Stories

A real recipe for success

Over a period of just five years, our pharmacy brand BENU has become successfully established in ten European countries. This is because our customers are our top priority.

The first BENU pharmacy opened in the Netherlands in April 2012 when the Escura branches were renamed. They were followed by 700 pharmacies across Europe, which were brought together under the new corporate brand BENU five years ago. Since then, BENU has become one of the leading pharmacy brands in Europe. Almost 90 per cent of Latvians and 70 per cent of Hungarians and Czechs recognise it.

With the unified brand image, the aim is to utilise the strong growth potential in the coming years and thus safeguard our market position in retail. Stefan Herfeld Executive Board Member Retail

In the years since then, we have continued to strengthen BENU’s market presence with new branches, purchases, and the acquisition of several pharmacy chains.

Acquisitions and new branches

With the acquisition in summer 2015 of the Slovakian company SUNPHARMA – then number two in the Slovakian market – PHOENIX gained 42 pharmacies in Slovakia and eight in the Czech Republic all in one go. Many of these pharmacies are in particularly good locations, such as in shopping centres.
With the takeover of the Mediq chain in the Netherlands, Brocacef, our subsidiary in this country, grew rapidly in the summer of 2016 and now operates 500 pharmacies. Later in the year, PHOENIX acquired the largest private pharmacy chain in Montenegro. With community pharmacies, as well as pharmacies in shopping centres and on high streets, Apoteka Lijek covered the entire country with 150 employees in 16 towns. Since the first quarter of 2017, all these pharmacies have been trading under the BENU brand.

Awareness of BENU as a brand is steadily increasing. Stefan Herfeld Executive Board Member Retail

With additional acquisitions and the purchase of individual pharmacies, BENU is growing throughout Europe. Today, there are a total of 1,100 BENU pharmacies in ten European countries – this makes us one of the leading pharmacy chains throughout Europe. BENU is even the market leader in the Netherlands, Hungary, Serbia, and Montenegro.

Putting the customer first

The BENU philosophy is based on putting the customer first. We treat our customers in a way that is competent, friendly, lively, innovative, and dedicated – enabling us to address their needs proactively.
This is underpinned by our competent advice. In order to achieve ongoing, professional improvements, the ENGAGE programme, specifically aimed at BENU pharmacy managers and employees, was introduced in 2014. It was initially launched in Switzerland and the Czech Republic and is now also being used in other BENU countries.

Expanding the product range: healthy food

Alnatura products have been on the shelves of BENU pharmacies in the Czech Republic since November 2016 and in Slovakia since the start of the year. As a result, the product category “Healthy food” has been introduced in local BENU pharmacies in both countries for the first time.

There are many other ways in which BENU is working to address the needs of its customers. For example, the new shop concept was tested in summer 2011 at a pharmacy in Budapest before the BENU brand was launched. The concept covers the overall design of the shop and the presentation of the goods. Modern, illuminated wall systems, free-standing elements for the products in the self-service area, open counters, and – last but not least – bright colours and lights have proven to be a recipe for success.
The shop concept is now being steadily rolled out across Europe – always taking local conditions into account. Only in this way do customers feel that they are still visiting their trusted, local BENU pharmacy, albeit with a more modern look.

Social responsibility

In 2016, BENU employees supported a large number of social projects that fit in with the BENU brand and focus on sports and health. Here are just three examples:
The BENU Pink Run in Lithuania supports breast cancer patients. BENU established the international BENU Water Polo Cup in Hungary and the Belgrade marathon in Serbia.

With our loyalty schemes and customer cards, we set ourselves apart from our competition. We optimise our marketing materials and experiment with new marketing concepts (such as TV advertising in Hungary).
Our success proves that this is the right approach. In Hungary, BENU has now received the Superbrand award for the third time in a row, and this year we have been recognised in Serbia with a prize for the best employer.
These are local successes – but this is our strength: wherever we are.

Detailed information is available on our Website at www.benu.eu