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7-Eleven gears up for Cambodian debut

Jason Boken / Khmer Times Share:
7-eleven to expand to Cambodia in 2021. Bangkok Post

One of the world’s most widely known and recognized 24 hours’ convenience store, 7-Eleven, will make its debut into Cambodia soon, courtesy of Thailand’s CP Group which hold the franchise agreement for Cambodia.

CP Group will be in charge of the Cambodian debut of 7-Eleven convenience stores next year under a franchise agreement with 7-Eleven Inc., the US subdivision of 7-Eleven Japan Co.

CP All Plc, has finalised a deal with the US Company to operate 7-Eleven stores through CP All, beginning 2021. The first outlet will be opened in Phnom Penh, a spokeswoman for the Japanese retail group Seven & I Holdings Co said.

Cambodia is one of several overseas markets where the Japanese retail group is opening its flagship convenience store chain, the spokeswoman said. Stores in Cambodia will offer products such as beverages and food found around the world as well as locally suited, ready-to-eat fresh snacks.

CP All began operating 7-Eleven stores in Thailand in 1989 and today operates a network of around 12,000 outlets, the second largest in the world after the 20,000 stores in Japan, according to 7-Eleven Japan.

CP All will initially invest in around 700 to 1,000 outlets by itself before then offering out sub franchises to local business owners and foreign investors who are interested in running their own branches. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, in 2019, 100 international brands were franchised to partners in Cambodia.

Although convenience stores have been popping up all over Southeast Asia, Cambodia has been slow in adopting a more modern retail setup. The country has been described as having the most unsaturated convenience store market in Southeast Asia.

This is mainly because Cambodians are used to small, family-owned stores. These traditional “mom-and-pop shops” sell everyday items at low prices and have forever met the needs of Cambodia’s lower-to-middle-income consumer base.

Things took a change of path in 2018, when the American owned mini-mart chain Circle K opened its first branch in Phnom Penh. Currently, the chain has 25 stores nationwide and aims to open 300 more stores over the next ten years. They are followed by Kiwi Mart with 22 stores, Aeon Max Value Express with nine stores, Smile Mini Mart with 11 stores and Lucky Express with five stores.

One key component to these stores being successful is positioning and how much footfall each mini-mart receives. You will see these shops here there and everywhere, mainly down streets with offices and schools close by for the convenience of staff and students. But recently, an increasing number of mini-marts are now popping up within a number of multi-purpose developments.

These multi-purpose developments comprising condominiums, offices, hotel rooms, gymnasiums and swimming pools are now seeing more and more retail outlets taking advantage of the large number of people working or living within them.

The multi-purpose developments within Phnom Penh such as The Bridge make it convenient for anybody who either decides to stay the night in one of their rooms, live in one of their luxurious condos, or any business that decides to start trading in one of their retail or office spaces.

The Bridge has everything you need under one roof. It will be exciting to see a 7-Eleven store take advantage of this like some of their competitors have in other similar developments.

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