Mariano Que (Mercury Drug) has always believed in the concept of total customer service. This can be summed up in its corporate philosophy: "To serve you, to have what you want, when you want it." It has been its commitment since it started.
It all began in 1945 just after the liberation of Manila. Mariano Que, realizing the need for medicines, started a very humble business venture with his hard earned P100. He bought a bottle of "Sulfathiazole" and street-peddled this in the sidewalk of Bambang, Sta. Cruz, Manila. From pushcart selling and with his previous working experience in a drugstore before the war, he eventually opened a drugstore on March 1, 1945. He named it after "Mercury", in Roman mythology the messenger of gods, the god of commerce and manual skill. Mercury’s winged feet symbolize speed and the caduceus he carries the medical profession. These qualities sum up Mercury Drug’s quest of delivering fresh and reliable medicines to the public through prompt service.
In 1945, Mercury Drug introduced a better way to make medicines more affordable to more Filipinos: "Tingi-tingi" or by piece method of selling. From then on it introduced many "firsts" in the Philippine drugstore: In 1948, its first motorized customer delivery service; In 1952, the 17-hour, 7 days a week drugstore service; In 1963, the country’s first self-service drugstore; In 1965, the 24-hour, 7 days a week service; In 1967, the first computerized temperature-controlled central warehouse: In 1969, the first drugstore chain to use biological refrigerators to preserve life-saving medicines: In 1976, the first drugstore chain to expand throughout Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Upon the invitation of Ayala Corporation, Mercury Drug opened its second branch in May 1963 at a developing commercial center (now known as the Ayala Center) in Makati. This move opened the door to the establishment of the landmark branch in Quiapo, Manila in 1965 and the opening of more branches thus bringing Mercury Drug’s service closer to many Filipinos.
The company is considered as the leading drug store chain in the country with a network of more than 500 company-owned and franchised stores serving the public at the most convenient places in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It has a workforce of over 7,000 employees totally committed to professional excellence and dedicated service. It coordinates this vast network of stores at its head office in Bagumbayan, Quezon City which also houses its modern distribution center operating on the concept of centralized buying and warehousing. It belongs to the top 20 companies in sales performance for the past several years.
As it was then and now, Mercury Drug’s main concern is customer service, more especially if it would mean saving a life. It continues to make available despite of high carrying costs, life-saving drugs like serum, blood plasma, albumin, and the like. For the shopping convenience of its customers, it carries, aside from pharmaceutical items, basic daily household needs, health care products, personal care products, cosmetics, toiletries and other convenience products. It has also incorporated value added facilities and services in selected stores.
To maintain its present leadership in the drug retailing business, the company continues to innovate. It keeps up with modern technology and upgrades its computer facilities in the head office, stores and distribution center to support its services.
These qualities of Mercury Drug earned for the company various recognition from different sectors. To name a few: "Retailer of the Year" award in 1964 from the Business Writers Association of the Philippines for its innovative service concepts; "Quezon City’s Best in Business" in 1994 from the Government of Quezon City and the Rotary International District 3780; Consumers Union of the Philippines’ "Hall of Fame" Awardee in 1996 for having been awarded as Most Outstanding Pharmaceutical Retailer for 5 consecutive times; "1996 PMAP Award for Outstanding Employer of the Year" from the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines; "Most Outstanding Drug Store Chain" in 1999 from the New Millennium Excellence Award Committee and the Parangal ng Bayan Awards Foundation jointly with the National Consumers Council in recognition of its products/services beneficial to the consuming public. In the 1999 7th Annual Review 200: Asia’s Leading Companies survey done by Far Eastern Economic Review, Mercury Drug ranks number 8 among the top 10 Philippines-based companies and number 3 among the top 5 Philippines-based companies in terms of high quality services/products.