Amid rising competition in the food mart and supermarket sectors, US convenience store chain Circle K officially opened its first outlet in the kingdom yesterday.
The store, which opened in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district, will soon be followed by two more outlets from the US retail company.
The stores will be operated by Circle K’s Cambodian partner TH CSV.
“Circle K will supply the market with quality products,” said Norm Tong, the president of TH CSV, who announced that 40 more Circle K stores will open in Cambodia by the end of 2018.
In the next decade, the company plans to open 300 stores nationwide with a total investment of $20 million, Mr Tong said.
“We anticipate that the TH CSV Group will continue to change the retail landscape in Cambodia bringing new products and innovation to customers,” Robert Southwick, Circle K’s international director, said, noting that Cambodia is the ninth market in Southeast Asia where the franchise is present.
Kem Sithan, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, hoped other international brands will follow Circle K’s example.
“I hope other famous brands will come to Cambodia following Circle K’s entrance into the market,” he said, adding that, with a 7 percent GDP growth, the local economy is ripe for this type of investment.
US ambassador to Cambodia William A. Heidt said the entrance of Circle K into the local economy is an important event for US-Cambodia relations.
“Today, Cambodia has convenience stores, modern supermarkets, even organic markets. The country’s economy is strong and attracts more investment, even from some of the world’s leading brands, including Circle K,” Mr Heidt said.
“Giving the very high standards of Circle K, I expect the company will contribute to the development of Cambodia’s retail sector.
“More and more customers are demanding high quality products and top-notch customer service.”
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, in 2017, 100 international brands were franchised to partners in Cambodia.