With the trend of multiple new shopping mall projects being launched across Phnom Penh as well as some developers targeting other cities such as Sihanoukville, there are increased options for retailers and shoppers in Cambodia.
There does remain the genuine concern of oversupply in the retail space with so many malls entering the market and we have previously heard insights from local experts such as The Mall Company (TMC) on the need for diversification in the shopping experiences.
For franchises and retailers, tenants have increased options and choices in lease terms and even condition negotiations as malls compete to attract tenants within a competitive market.
Community Malls have been a popular retail class with many developers and other smaller affordable retail podiums and arcades are also popping up in new targeted development areas.
The latest TMC report indicated:
- 32 community malls currently contribute nearly 200,000 sq.m (Net Leasable Area) of modern retail space in Phnom Penh.
- More than 200,000 sqm (NLA) is also in the pipeline.
We look at just some of the new retail and mall spaces that are due to open in Phnom Penh and one location in Sihanoukville - the jury will be out on whether the designer and developers fully appreciate retailtainment and the shopper's experience when these are all launched.
Koh Norea Parkway
Koh Norea Parkway is a development from OCIC and essentially is a developed public space with retail units available along the river banks in Koh Norea, which OCIC are developing as part of a massive USD $2.5 billion project.
The Koh Norea Parkway will see Chbar Ampov get a riverside boardwalk which should benefit the community and visitors as open public spaces remain a rarity in Phnom Penh. We also saw the Ground Market open in Koh Norea earlier in 2023.
The OCIC retail project will include 20 outlets (which vary between 40/120/150 sqm) along the Mekong’s river bank which stretches for 4.2 kilometres. OCIC says the retail space is inspired by nature and will blend with the backdrop of the river and artist impressions indicate there will be greenspaces, water features, as well as picturesque photo opportunities.
So what's in store for the shopper and diner? Among the potential outlets will be craft beer & seafood, barbeques, a bakery, drink and cafe outlets, souvenir stores and more with details to be confirmed. The retail shops and landscaping have been completed but they plan to open Koh Norea Parkway to coincide with the official opening of the $40 million bridge.
The soon-to-be-completed bridge linking Koh Pich to Koh Norea is expected to be ready by December 2023 offering easier connectivity for those living in the area and for visitors.
- Due: Q4 2023
- Area: Chbar Ampov - Koh Norea Development, Phnom Penh
Sokha Plaza Mall
Another new commercial retail mall, Sokha Plaza Mall, is situated in Daun Penh and close to the National Museum, The Cambodian Royal Palace, schools, hotels, and within walking distance to popular tourist attractions near the Phnom Penh riverside.
Sokha Plaza Mall aims to offer a community space for families and friends and be a destination for meals, shopping, and entertainment through its 44 shop units covering a total of 2,000 sqm. There will be parking for 149 cars as well as 212 motorbikes.
The area is immediately surrounded by a busy residential neighbourhood and offices near the mall in the heart of central Phnom Penh and opposite the iconic Wat Ounalom.
In addition, the Sokha Group plans to move their businesses which include Sokha Real Estate and Sokimex to the Sokha Plaza which will further increase trade and foot traffic to retailers.
The design of the mall includes a large open space (plaza) which can be used for hosting events.
- Due: Q3/4 2023
- Area: Daun Penh (intersection of Streets 13 and 154), Phnom Penh
Another OCIC project is located in Chroy Changvar - the small lifestyle & community food and beverage Sakura Mall forms part of their Chroy Changvar Satellite City project in the area to the northeast of the capital of Phnom Penh.
The community mall covers 7,947 sqm (gross floor area) and there are car parking spaces for 150 vehicles as well as 200 motorbikes (motos).
The retail space can accommodate just over 30 outlets and includes some popular and well-known franchises such as Starbucks, Park Cafe, Amazon, and Bonchon but the Sakura Avenue is currently only 50 per cent occupied.
The mall’s design is inspired by the Sakura tree and the location was “established to bring together business people who are interested in providing food services together to national and international guests”, says OCIC.
Chroy Changvar has become increasingly popular among both local residents and expatriates and the area boasts a range of amenities, including schools, hospitals, shopping centres, and recreational facilities.
- Due: Currently Open
- Area: Chroy Changvar, Phnom Penh
Mean Chey Avenue Community Mall
Mean Chey Avenue Community Mall is designed as a lifestyle destination and offers retail, leisure, and entertainment. Situated along the popular and competitive Samdech Techo Hun Sen Boulevard (60m Avenue) - it's currently one of the larger community malls in the area.
The mall is around 70 per cent complete, according to the developers, but has confirmed Tube Coffee and Brown Cafe as lessees with more coming to occupy the nearly 13,000 sqm of retail space and 55 retail units available. Entertainment, food and beverage, a supermarket and other service and retail stores are being targeted.
There are more than 1,000 parking spaces for cars and motos available at the community mall but there are also green spaces and a children's playground to cater for customers, families and visitors.
Meanchey is seeing massive changes and is one of the fastest growing areas in the Cambodian capital - over the past year it has seen the opening of AEON Mean Chey (AEON 3) and the new Chip Mong 271 Mega Mall while other malls include the 60 Avenue Shopping Mall & Water Front Community Mall (under development).
AEON Meanchey and Chip Mong 271 together supplied the market with 140,000 sqm NLA in 2022 which represented 57% of the total retail NLA supply!
- Due: Q4 2023
- Area: Samdech Techo Hun Sen Boulevard (60m Avenue)
SIhanoukville - DRF-Mart New Mall
Although currently with no official name, a new mall was approved and announced by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) in June 2023 for DRF-Mart Fa Dao Jia Trading Co., Ltd. to develop a USD $14 million mall in Village 4, Sangkat 4, Sihanoukville.
The project would create 227 job opportunities but little has been announced aside from the inclusion of DRF-MART supermarket and that the developers want the space to “provide world-class shopping experiences and meet the evolving needs of consumers in Sihanoukville and beyond.”
We will have to watch this space for more information but currently there are surprisingly few shopping malls in the Cambodian coastal city which has undergone massive changes over the past decade.
- Due: TBC
- Area: Sihanoukville
The previous TMC Retail Insights report suggested 9 modern retail centres are expected to be completed by 2024, with a further 72 Retail Centres by 2026, even with tourism numbers expected to rebound to pre-COVID levels by then (nearly doubling the current 4 million), it still represents a massive supply of retail space entering the Cambodian market. Now we will have to see if the uptake and demand is there from the consumer and retailers.