Friday fever in the Alley

Friday fever in the Alley

Other traders on the street decided they wanted in on the action and the notion of a street fair was born

“THANK God, it’s Friday,” just got a Khmer make-over, and has become a retail promotion in Siem Reap.

Starting today, “Thank Buddha, it’s First Friday” is a new monthly street party brought to Siem Reap shoppers by the dynamic and fashionable traders on Alley West.

The First Friday Festival promotion evolved out of the recent successful weekend street market on the strip.

Originally, the First Friday Festival was planned as just two special promotions by two businesses, one old and one new. The new business on the block is Tendance Khmer, which also has outlets in Paris and Phnom Penh.

Tendance Khmer purveys soft furnishings that combine traditional Cambodian materials with stylish modern designs, with a focus on cushion covers, bed throws and quilts. A look through their catalogue reveals designs that rely on vibrant, rich colours, strong lines and contrasts, but which retain a pleasing, natural femininity

The other retail outlet originally keen to take part is well-established social enterprise Smateria, which will unveil a new collection of bags and accessories for the cooler season.

But then other traders on the street decided that they wanted in on the action and the notion of Thank Buddha, it’s First Friday was born. This in turn prompted the decision to make the street party and festivities a monthly feature of Siem Reap life.

The idea is to highlight retail specials and bargains, and activities from the shops, cafés, bars and restaurants threaded along the smart little street.

Every business along Alley West is participating in this street market day, offering everything from discounts, including a 25 percent off deal at Wanderlust, to cookies and special treats.

Also there will be street stalls, and anyone who has something they think they can sell is free to do so as well, but it’s probably best to check for space first.

To ease the rigours of serious shopping, musician Frédéric Johansen will soothe fevered brows from 6:30pm in the evening, playing his live acoustic set to help everyone move sweetly into the weekend.

Subsequent First Friday promotions will vary the festivities, and organisers are hoping this is something that will take off and make the Alley West a truly happening place.

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