The Austrian company SIGNA, founded in 1999 by René Benko , is a privately held industrial group that is active in both the retail and real estate sectors.
SIGNA Real Estate
SIGNA Real Estate develops and manages a comprehensive portfolio of exceptional real estate projects in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and in Italy. SIGNA Real Estate is one of the leading real estate development companies in Europe.
SIGNA Retail manages several holdings in brick-and-mortar retail companies and online retailers (including The KaDeWe Group, Karstadt, internetstores, MyBestBrands, etc.). Consistent further development of its omni-channel strategy and the digital transformation of its individual retail platforms, with 320 locations in the best city centres and more than 100 online stores in 20 countries, contribute to SIGNA Retail’s steady growth.
SIGNA Real Estate currently owns and manages a comprehensive property portfolio of extraordinary real estate properties and is perceived to be a competent partner in fund management and real estate services. This sector has more than 350 employees who work in four independent business units.
Some 320 stores in the finest inner-city locations and more than 100 web shops in 20 countries contribute to SIGNA Retail Group’s strong growth in Europe. The focus is on the consistent further development of the omni-channel strategies of the individual commercial platforms. The SIGNA Retail Group presently employs some 45,000 people, and achieves a Group-wide turnover of more than 7 billion EUR annually.
What SIGNA stands for
Many years of experience, professional management, a solid capital structure, an extensive network, motivated employees, and the search for visionary concepts are at the heart of SIGNA.
“I try to be successful with a
great deal of dedication, a motivated team
and reliable partners. Apparently, I also have
a knack for trends and
René Benko, founder of SIGNA
Another characteristic of the company is the establishment of partnerships with long-term, sustainability-focused people who, in addition to having remarkable biographies, are also endowed with a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit. Prominent supporters include Alfred Gusenbauer, Roland Berger, Susanne Riess, Ernst Tanner, Karl Saturday and Karl Stoss.
Since 1999, René Benko has built up one of the largest real estate companies in Europe and one of the largest retail companies in Germany. SIGNA started as a small real estate development company in a small penthouse in Innsbruck. When it started, the company’s focus was on building lofts. René Benko already recognised the potential of these unused and undervalued properties back then.
“We created high-quality residential spaces from unused loft areas. That was how I developed my passion for entrepreneurship developed,”
says René Benko, founder of SIGNA.
After completing many loft expansions, he quickly developed the idea of constructing medical centres in capital cities of Austrian provinces. SIGNA quickly became the largest operator of medical centres in Austria. During that time, a Company Advisory Board was created whose task is to promote the company’s strategy, development and new business. The Board now includes 13 people and it is managed by René Benko.
The development of the architectural wonder, the Kaufhaus Tyrol into one of the most popular shopping centres in Austria is regarded as an “apprentice’s master work” of the company. One of the company’s masterpieces is found in the new city centre district of Vienna – the Golden District (Goldenes Quartier) – with the establishment of flagship stores by the most important international luxury brands, as well as the Park Hyatt Vienna in the middle of a new pedestrian zone. At the same time, additional offices were opened in Munich, Zurich, Luxembourg and Düsseldorf. Further milestones included the acquisition of the three KaDeWe locations, Alsterhaus and Oberpollinger in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.
SIGNA Real Estate currently owns and manages a comprehensive property portfolio of extraordinary real estate properties and is perceived to be a competent partner in fund management and real estate services. This sector has some 250 employees who work in four independent business units. They include SIGNA Development Selection, SIGNA Funds, SIGNA Luxury Hotels and SIGNA Prime Selection, which focuses on investment and long-term real estate holdings in prime city centre locations in Europe.
In addition to its real estate activities, SIGNA has successfully completed exciting acquisitions in the retail sector, including Karstadt and the KaDeWe Group. The SIGNA Retail Group now combines five independent retail platforms under one roof: SIGNA Premium, SIGNA Department Store Group, SIGNA Sports United, SIGNA Home & Lifestyle, and SIGNA Food & Restaurant. Each of these platforms has a leading market position in its German and European retail market. In the German sport and luxury goods sector, as well as in the department store sector, SIGNA Retail already counts by a long way as one of the largest commercial concerns in Germany, and one of the “Top Five” in Europe.
Some 320 stores in the finest inner-city locations and 80 web shops in 20 countries contribute to SIGNA Retail Group’s strong growth in Europe. The focus is on the consistent further development of the omni-channel strategies of the individual commercial platforms. The SIGNA Retail Group presently employs some 45,000 people, and achieves a Group-wide turnover of more than 7 billion EUR annually.