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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Knife maker Victorinox comes to Phnom Penh

Knife maker Victorinox comes to Phnom Penh

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Swiss Army Knife maker Victorinox this week launched a Phnom Penh retail store on Monivong Boulevard, catering to what experts said was a growing domestic interest in luxury goods.

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Cambodian-owned HGB Trading Co Ltd partnered with the brand for its debut in the country.

Some Victroinox watches on display at the store yesterday cost up to US$2,000.

HGB also introduced the Vertu mobile phone brand to Cambodia earlier this year.

Some of the phones at the boutique shop in the Phokeethra Sofitel Hotel were priced at more than $35,000.

Economists have noted the increasing number of luxury goods shop in a country with per capita annual income of slightly more than $900.

“I think luxury products will increase in popularity and demand in Cambodia, but they will do so slowly,” said Chheang Vannarith, an economist and executive director of the Cambodia Institute for Cooperation and peace.

“The growing middle and high classes can now afford these products and many Cambodians are now seeking quality after having a large amount of inferior quality products in circulation.”

Chheang Vannarith called the incoming high-end consumer products a “positive development”, but said markets for the goods would remain small for up to another 10 years.

Cosmetic goods in particular would find traction in Cambodia, he said.

A clothing retailer concentrated on Sihanouk Boulevard near Independence Monument told the Post earlier this year that well-known, international brands were becoming increasingly willing to be represented in Cambodia.

Cambodian-owned Sovereign Retail began representing regional brands in 2005, a company representative told the Post earlier this year.

The company has paved the way for bigger brands such as Mango to enter the Kingdom, a development that wasn’t possible only a few years earlier.

Cambodian customers may find products at Victorinox’s retail shop more affordable than a diamond-studded phone.

Knifes with built-in gadgets such as can openers, laser pointers, scissors, saws, nail-files, magnifying glasses and even clocks start at about $30, but can be as pricy as $1,500.

HGB also plans to launch the American phone brand Luminox in the near future, and possibly other luxury brands at Vattanac tower, which is now under construction, an unofficial spokesperson said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abe Becker at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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