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An artist’s rendition of the new Aeon mall planned for Phnom Penh’s north side. Photo supplied

Aeon doubles down: Plan for second mall unveiled

Japanese retail giant Aeon yesterday unveiled plans for its second mall in Phnom Penh.

To be completed by the middle of 2018, the new mall will be located inside Pong Peay City, a residential and shopping project being developed by prominent tycoon and CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat in the north of the capital.

With about 151,000 square metres of floor space, it will be larger than Aeon’s first mall, which weighs in at 108,000 square metres.

The original Aeon recently celebrated its one-year anniversary and boasts international clothing brands such as Levis, Mango, Clarks and Puma.

The new complex will target Cambodia’s higher-end consumer, but will also continue to cater to everyday shoppers, with a variety of international clothing and food and beverage brands, Aeon representatives said.

Pointing to the IMF’s 7 per cent GDP growth forecast for the year, Aeon Asia managing director Washizawa Shinobu said his firm was confident Cambodia’s emerging middle class would make their newest mall a success. He said the aim was to attract 10 million visitors in its first year.

“I am sure Cambodian people will be richer [next year] with economic growth like that, which means they will buy more products,” Shinobu said.

Hiroshi Suzuki, senior economist at the Business Research Institute of Cambodia, said given the Kingdom’s economic progress, both high and middle income groups will fuel demand in the retail sector.

He added that Malaysian retail chain Parkson’s entry into the market – the company announced plans to build a department store later this year – would only help the sector by encouraging competition.

“The decision of Aeon, also the decision of Parkson’s, shows their strong confidence of a growing market and their competitiveness,” Suzuki added.

Aeon’s existing $205 million mall received close to 15 million visitors in its first year of operation, although officials yesterday declined to reveal sales figures.

They also declined to disclose the investment amount slated for the new project.



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