Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local markets still favourite

Local markets still favourite

Local markets still favourite


Markets like Olympic and O’Russey in Phnom Penh and the traditional fresh food markets in cities and towns across Cambodia are where the overwhelming majority of Cambodians get not only the food they eat, but also the basic household products they use.

The shopping behaviour data, provided by Indochina Research, is the result of a survey conducted by 27 people with questionnaires who interviewed 1,100 respondents from July 11 to July 24 this year.

“Despite the development of modern shopping channels, people in the main urban and sub-urban areas of Cambodia still predominantly use traditional markets for their shopping needs,” said Laurent Notin, Indochina Research’s general manager.

He says supermarkets will continue to grow, but strategies for selling new products should bear in mind the dominating importance of the traditional market.

“We believe modern shopping channels will play an increasingly important role but traditional markets will remain an essential shopping place for Cambodian people,” Notin said. “By building knowledge of Cambodian people’s shopping behaviours and monitoring them over time, businesses can quickly respond to changes and increase the efficiency of their retail strategy.”

The survey, which was conducted in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, Kampong Cham and Sihanoukville, to a radius of 25 kilometres around each city, found that most people also bought most of their electronic appliances and clothing from the traditional markets.

The survey found that in Phnom Penh, 30 per cent of respondents, all of whom also regularly shopped at traditional markets, said they purchased food at supermarkets.

“This is specific to Phnom Penh,” Notin said. The survey also found that 89 per cent of the urban and semi-urban population purchased fresh food every day. For non-food purchases, such as health and beauty care and drugs, the traditional markets still rank number one, while number two is the pharmacy and number three is the neighbourhood store.

This is true everywhere except Phnom Penh, where the supermarket comes in as number three for purchasing non-food.

Most Cambodians purchase clothing at traditional markets. In Phnom Penh, the second most popular places to buy clothing are clothing shops outside the traditional market, followed by supermarkets in third place.

“People who go to the supermarket in general are people with the highest income, which tells me that supermarkets are more expensive than other places,” Notin said. “Understanding shopping behaviours is very important to companies selling to consumers. If you know where people buy products then you can be there and sell your product.

“This data tells me you are more likely to succeed if you are putting in a shop selling clothes, shoes, fragrances or phones. We need to do further research to understand why,” Notin said.

The survey also interestingly revealed that 85 per cent of Cambodians would rather buy products they see are already popular, that other people have already purchased.

“One of the most important influences in behaviour is the behaviour of others. Social acceptance is what you need to fulfill,” Notin said.

Only 15 per cent of Cambodians surveyed said they were brave enough to buy new products.

“Fifteen per cent are the ones who buy new products and if they are convinced, the other 85 per cent will follow them,” he said.

As for media, television remains the number one purchasing influencer followed by radio, except in clothing and accessories where magazines are number two, according to the results of the survey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Alan Becker at [email protected]


  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh