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Café Amazon on growth course

A customer walks into Café Amazon on Phnom Penh’s Norodom Boulevard yesterday afternoon.
A customer walks into Café Amazon on Phnom Penh’s Norodom Boulevard yesterday afternoon. Hong Menea

Café Amazon on growth course

Café Amazon, a coffee shop chain owned by Thai oil and gas giant PTT Plc, is poised for a major expansion in Cambodia after awarding 19 franchise licences to operate new outlets across the Kingdom.

Suthon Choothian, managing director of PTT (Cambodia) Ltd, told reporters yesterday the brand has established 14 outlets since entering the local market in 2013. The new franchise licences, including five located outside the capital, will bring the total number of Café Amazon shops to 33, with 120 planned for operation by 2021.

“Cambodian youth love drinking coffee more than ever,” he said.

“We have high-quality coffee and we expect that running this business will be a good opportunity for them.”

He said the new Café Amazon branch owners paid $16,000 franchise fee and have the option of opening their outlet in a PTT gas station, or as a stand-alone coffee shop.

PTT currently has 27 service stations in Cambodia and has announced plans to triple this number by 2020.

Operating since 2002, Café Amazon is the largest coffee shop chain in Thailand, with over 1,400 outlets nationwide. The brand also has a presence in Laos and the Philippines.

Tep Kolab, one the 19 new franchisees, said she had already invested over $120,000 into a stand-alone Café Amazon outlet under construction in Phnom Penh International University. She said the 200-square-metre coffee shop would be ready to open in about three months.

“If the new store can sell 1,000 units per day I think we can break even within a year,” she said.

Dong Didayana, who recently secured a franchise license for a Café Amazon outlet in Aeon Mall, which opened to the public earlier this week, said early sales are averaging at least 1,000 units per day.

“It’s a very good business,” she said. “I know some big shops already operating that are selling nearly 2,000 units a day.”

Just three years into its Cambodian operations, Café Amazon has quietly grown to become one of the largest coffee shop chains in the Kingdom, boasting more outlets than local brand Brown Coffee and Bakery.

Other major competitors in the market include American giants Starbucks and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and the UK-based chain Costa Coffee.

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