A man is testing Sumsong smart phone in phone shop. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
Samsung plans to more than quadruple its number of stores – currently seven – in the Kingdom, aiming to have 30 branches by the end of this year.
The move will extend its lead as the electronic brand with the most stores here, and comes as the South Korean giant gears up for wealthier consumers in the future. More Cambodians are entering the upper-middle class, which is Samsung’s target market, said Gwihan Lee, director of Thai Samsung Electronics’ office in Phnom Penh.
Thai Samsung Electronics, a subsidiary of Samsung, is funding the expansion. It also expects sales revenue in the Kingdom this year – from its branches and third-party retailers combined – to reach about $100 million, double last year’s revenue, said Lee.
Ten Samsung branches, located in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang, are currently being constructed, and are expected to open in June. The rest were planned to be ready by the end of the year, including the first ever branches in Sihanoukville and Poipet, said Lee.
While its products, such as home appliances and mobile phones, are also distributed with other electronic brands through third-party retail shops, these shops “are not modernised and are very small,” he said. “Some products are also in cabinets, and you cannot test them to decide if you need it.”
Conversely, Samsung’s sales branches offer “a new shopping experience”, including product demonstrations and a wider range of products, he added. The biggest among the branches being constructed is a 300-square-metre outlet at Parkway Square in Phnom Penh.
Samsung’s first branch in Cambodia was launched by Thai Samsung Electronics last year. LG’s Cambodia representative, Hor Hap, said that he is not worried LG’s market share will decrease with Samsung’s rapid expansion. Each brand has its niche in different segments, he said. “When we talk about air-con, we think of LG and Panasonic, but not Samsung at all.”