As Cambodia’s educational system develops rapidly, both public and private institutions of learning have seen notable improvements. Study materials are no longer produced exclusively in Cambodia, but are also imported from abroad to support students. Meanwhile, many new bookshops where students can buy all the necessary school supplies have opened their doors throughout the city.
Surprisingly, there are 20 bookshops surrounding Bak Touk high school and its environs. Bak Touk is considered the central school in Phnom Penh. There are various special private classes that operate in the school, and lots of bookshops have opened to meet this new demand.
This week, “What’s New” discusses five bookshops that have opened next to one another near the high school. As their owners realise that Bak Touk is the best block on which to do business, they are running their businesses non-traditionally, facing risk as well as reward.
From my point of view, opening up five shops right next to one another is a bad idea for everyone involved. First, all the sellers will compete to have the lowest prices and the latest products.
For instance, a new bookshop that opened just a week ago had not been properly prepared. It has no decorations and offers a poor selection of office and school supplies. It has few customers, and in my opinion it may be forced to close.
This trend may give buyers a chance to explore more products, but shoppers’ decisions will be complicated by having too many options.
I have been a customer at these stores, and my problem was the need to keep moving my motorbike from one to the next if I didn’t purchase anything. Frankly, because the stores are so close together, I didn’t have a good shopping experience. But if you go shopping on foot, you may enjoy the shops’ proximity.