About two years after entering the Cambodian market, global sports brand Nike is repositioning itself by introducing a five-year campaign beginning 2019 to corner more market share.
Extensive digital marketing, promoting limited edition Nike shoes and opening more outlets across the Kingdom are some plans lined-up by Empyrean, Nike official distributor in Cambodia.
“Now we have about one third of the market segment that includes sports accessories, footwear and apparels."
“We sold about 5,000 pairs of running shoes this year and we are confident to double the numbers next year,” Empyrean Alliance General Manager Clemence Tan told The Post last Saturday.
The American company, involved in design, manufacture and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, opened its first outlet in Phnom Penh in July 2016, but yet to make a significant impact in the local market.
Major sporting goods heavyweights like German-owned Adidas, which is Nike’s closest rival, French sports equipment and apparel producer Decathlon, another German giant Puma and Thai-owned FBT are already competing for the growing domestic sporting goods market.
The Kingdom’s socioeconomic indicators favour Nike and its competitors.
Cambodia’s demographic make-up, where 65 percent of its population is 30 years of age or younger, the growing brand consciousness among young buyers, more disposable income in the hands of consumers and rapid changing lifestyle – are key factors that could fuel the market for sports goods in coming years.
Another interesting aspect is Cambodia is increasingly becoming a sports-loving nation and its athletes – for instance in skiing and martial art – are creating headlines at international level.
In addition to this, the 24x7 news channels that beam international soccer games and sporting events remain a strong influence in promoting sports and also global brands.
And, the social media continues to shape consumer behaviour, especially among the IT-savvy youth population.
Besides, the entry of global brand, not only in sports arena, but in other consumer-related goods, such as food and beverage, hospitality industry and education, to name a few, due to investor-friendly policies, competitive tax regime and economic stability continue to create euphoria among consumers.
“We want to create a ‘sports culture’. Cambodia is an interesting market and there are lot of potential to grow.
“Cambodians are health conscious, people walk and cycle in the evenings, they like their lifestyle.
“We will target running shoes, lifestyle and training shoes, and target those between 18 and 45 years of age,” said Tan.
Currently, two Nike stores, in Aeon 2 and Preah Monivong Blvd, are promoting a range of the company’s products, and next year Empyrean plans to add another four stores in Phnom Penh.
Under its five-year strategy, at least 13 retail outlets will be opened, said Tan.
An independent study conducted by leading marketing and advertising agency, Mango Tango Asia in 2016 titled “Opportunities for Consumer Goods in Cambodia” painted a rosy climate for overall luxury goods demand.
“Affluent Cambodians are status conscious. Cars and mobile phones are the most important signifiers of status, with jewellery, handbags, clothing, and shoes increasing in importance.
“They look for a known logo and graphic design, so products that are easily recognised have an advantage. International brands are a guarantee of quality. Cambodians are also brand loyal to electronics and other consumer goods. They prefer to purchase brand names that they know.
“The demand for luxury goods and experiences is growing rapidly in Cambodia as affluent Cambodians develop a taste for a new lifestyle, the number of affluent tourists visiting the Kingdom continues to grow, and some expatriates seek out luxury items,” said the study.