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A golden toilet for ‘Lexus drivers’: bathroom fixtures on display at CAMBUILD’15. Hong Menea

Cambodians embrace quality fixtures

As Cambodia enters a new era of real estate development, paving the streets of Cambodia with high-end condominiums and apartments, the market for imported brand name home fixtures has increased. For middle and upper class Cambodians, quality products like deluxe toilets and kitchen faucet fixtures provide for a sustainable home.

Taing MuyEng, the general managing director of Sinh Hakhout, which imports Delta bathroom equipment - a name-brand American company - said that Cambodians have changed their purchasing habits when deciding to renovate. In the long run, quality products save money because they don’t need to be replaced so often, she said.

“I think [the new buying trend happens] because people are starting to understand the importance of using high-end equipment, since they now have a higher financial status,” she said. According to her, the sale of imported products has increased by 20 per cent annually for the last three years. She expects this trend to continue.

Besides Delta fixtures, Sinh Hakhuot has also imported ROCA brand bathroom fixtures, TEKA kitchen supplies and MML and Rolendo brand ceramic tiles from Malaysia and Spain.

Ung Monika, general managing director of E.C. ASERAL, explained that luxury products are emblematic of the rising wealth.

“Cars, such as Rolls-Royce, Lexus, Land Cruiser, Jaguar and Camry fill the streets of Phnom Penh,” she said. “This means that there are many people in this city with a high living standard, so I think bringing in modern household equipment and bathroom fixtures will suit the demands of the market here.”

At the CAMBUILD’15 expo that wrapped up last Saturday, lamp-integrated toilets with golden coloured lids were on display.

By focusing on families with an average to above average living standards, Ung explained that “consumers and investors in the city choose high-end products because they are too busy at work and [do not have] have enough time to [continually] replace low quality fixtures.”

The chairman of COTTO, a company that has imported household products and bathroom fixtures into Cambodia’s market for the last 25 years, said that with higher demand, competition has stiffened. Nevertheless, he is not concerned of the company’s future.

“We are not worried about the arrival of brand new products because currently, middle class families’ understandings [of household equipment] are increasing,” he said.

“This makes us experts within the market. COTTO products will cover at least 20 per cent of the country’s market in three years.”

Sear Rithy, CEO of WorldBridge and developer of The Bridge, acknowledged that as modern buildings bring modern amenities, consumer demand will follow.

“The household and bathroom equipment market always runs parallel with the development of the country,” he said. “Those who sell both modern and non-modern equipment need to focus on making prices affordable and competitive.”



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