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Global retailer to launch

SOVEREIGN Retail Group is to bring a fourth international fashion brand to Phnom Penh’s Sihanouk Boulevard – an area that a representative said yesterday was set to become Cambodia’s equivalent of Singapore shopping destination Orchid Road.

Marketing manager Ly Souden said yesterday that the Cambodian-owned company planned to open a branch of Mango, a world-famous women’s clothing franchise, on Sihanouk Boulevard in November.

It plans to open next to an Axara Paris, an upmarket women’s clothing store that originated in France, which the Sovereign Retail Group also owns.

Along the boulevard are two more Sovereign-owned shops, shoe retailer VNC and womens' clothing shop E.pse.

Both those labels originated in Malaysia, and Sovereign has also opened a branch of VNC in Siem Reap.

Despite Cambodia’s status as a hub of the global garment industry, its first branch of Mango – a Spanish brand with franchises operating across the world – would not sell any domestically manufactured clothes.

Ly Souden said he thought the brand used to have a clothing factory in the Kingdom, but that it no longer operated.

However, he said that Sihanouk Boulevard could soon become a draw for shoppers seeking retail paradise.

It would not be long before more well-known brands set up on the street, he said.

“I’m sure [other brands] will be doing that. Currently we’re the largest fashion retail company in Cambodia. We own most of the famous brands,” he said.

The company, established in 2003, also plans to bring more stores to the Kingdom, but he would not yet reveal which ones.

Ninety percent of customers at Sovereign’s Phnom Penh shops were Cambodian, he said.

Another to compare Sihanouk Boulevard with well-known shopping destinations was Gloria Jean’s coffee shop Managing Director Michael Albert.

He said yesterday that the area of the boulevard around streets 51 and 57, was becoming a retail high street, a trend that had “accelerated” during the past year.

“It’s looking like more high-end brands are starting to set up in that area,” he said.

Phnom Penh’s Gloria Jean’s, a franchise of the Australian-based company, opened on Street 51 three months ago.

Mango’s public relations team, based in Spain, did not respond to questions yesterday regarding the company’s regional presence.

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