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Thailand-based Siam Makro has been given approval to invest in a mall in Cambodia. 

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Japanese conglomerate AEON has opened a second mall in Cambodia.

Largest AEON mall in SEA

Just less than a year ago, AEON announced plans to open a second mall in Cambodia. This is now officially open, located in the country's capital Sen Sok district. The new mall is the retailer's largest shopping mall (70,500 sq m) in Southeast Asia (SEA). After attracting 18m people within three years of opening its first branch, AEON has ventured into the northern part of the capital for the second.

A model for the future

The performance of AEON's second mall will be closely followed by retailers and suppliers in the ASEAN region, tracking the development of Cambodia's retail landscape and how the mall attracts customers and brands.   


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South Korea's largest retailer E-Mart will set up its first flagship store in Cambodia by the first quarter of 2019.

JV with local conglomerate

An agreement has just been signed by E-Mart with Cambodian conglomerate Royal Group to set up its first E-Mart flagship store.

Royal Group senior VP Rami Sharaf says the group has a broad portfolio which it is expanding to retail. He says it chose E-Mart as it has diverse options – malls, department stores, hypermarkets and convenience stores.

We are exploring these options and believe Cambodia is ready for it. For E-Mart, we are not talking about a franchisee or franchisor, but a joint venture.”

Established in 1993, E-Mart has expanded to 147 hypermarkets in South Korea and also operates supermarket and convenience formats. The retailer also has a presence in China, Mongolia and Vietnam.

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Aeon, the largest retailing group in Japan, is expanding its presence in emerging markets. The retailer is opening small grocery stores in Vietnam and Cambodia. Both economies have been growing at about 6% in recent years.

Raising brand awareness to pave way for mall development

Aeon is known for developing shopping malls. It currently operates four malls in Vietnam and plans for 20 by 2020. However, it is easier and cheaper to open small stores. By opening 500 small grocery stores, it hopes to raise its brand recognition. The retailer has partnered with local supermarket chains, Fivimart and Citimart since early 2015, with 30% and 49% stake in them respectively. It will have a total of 57 supermarket stores. In addition, the retailer has been working with Japan's Sojitz Corporation to develop Ministop convenience stores. The two companies hope to raise their outlets to 800 in the next eight years.

Pilot outlet in Cambodia ready for roll-out

In Cambodia, Aeon opened its first grocery store in late 2015. The retailer has decided to expand to 30 stores in the next three years. The city-centre stores will be around 150 sq.m., similar to convenience stores. Stores in suburbs and new neighbourhoods will be 500-1,000 sq.m. These larger stores will stock both food and non-food items.

Aeon is developing a second large scale shopping mall in Cambodia, expected to be ready in early 2018. For the moment, the retailer's stores will be located in Phnom Penh and the surrounding areas. Its first mall is also in Phnom Penh.

Dairy Farm, leading multi-format retailer in Asia, reports sound profit growth of 7% in 2016, despite soft consumer sentiment and intense pressure on pricing in most markets. 

Sales, excluding associates and joint ventures, of US$11.2 bn, were 1% ahead of the prior year in US dollar terms and 2% ahead in constant currency terms. The retailer opened 114 net new stores during the year.

Food: large format flat, convenience grew

Sales of US$6.2bn from supermarkets and hypermarkets (excluding Yonghui) were in line with last year in constant currency while operating profit increased by 13% to US$194m. Large formats in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, The Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia saw positive sales growth, while sales in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were down.

Its 7-Eleven convenience stores reported US$2.0bn in sales, an increase of 5% over the previous year in constant currency terms. Operating profit increased by 15% to US$73m. The convenience format reported like-for-like growth in Hong Kong, South China and Singapore , driven by store expansion, Ready-to-eat ranges, new products and promotions.

Health and beauty: sales up in most markets, except for Malaysia and Macau

Health and Beauty achieved US$2.6bn in total sales, an increase of 4% in constant currency, although operating profit declined 5% to US$175m due to margin pressure and higher rents. 

In mainland China, Mannings showed gradual improvement with solid sales growth, particularly in baby care, beauty care and personal care, while the contribution from private label increased. In Singapore, Guardian reported growth in sales, while operating profit also increased with higher gross margins and greater focus on cost and shrinkage management. In Malaysia, Guardian experienced a challenging year with lower sales and operating profit due to subdued consumer sentiment, increased competition and weakness in the ringgit.

Home furnishing and restaurants: strong growth

Home Furnishings again achieved record sales and operating profit during 2016. In constant currency terms, operating profit rose by 12% to US$71m and restaurants business reported US$2.0 billion in total sales, an increase of 7%.

Strategic priorities

Further investments will be made in the coming year to build a consumer-centric business model with stronger private labels, increased direct and consolidated sourcing, strengthened digital presence and higher efficiency in supply chain.

  • Private label: improving local relevance and creating a differentiated assortment
  • Direct and consolidated sourcing: consolidating common ranges across business units and simplifying the supply chain to lower cost and improve replenishment frequency
  • Store opening and rationalisation: expanding its store networks across formats, and rationalisation where necessary
  • Ecommerce: enhancing online shopping experience
  • Capability: building capability in key retail functions of merchandising, operations, supply chain, IT and quality assurance

Shirley Zhu
Programme Director, IGD Singapore

Based in Singapore, Shirley heads up IGD's research on Southeast Asia. Contact Shirley at [email protected] for further insight on the region.

This in-depth guide to Cambodia explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Datacentre the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 


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