First large-scale wholesale outlet opens doors

Shopping lovers in Cambodia will experience the Thai-shopping style thanks to the opening of Makro, the first branded wholesale hypermarket in Cambodia.

Thai-based Makro, the first large-scale wholesale supermarket in Cambodia, formally opened for its business on 17 December 2017.  

Siam Makro, which operates the super mart in Thailand, is now seeking further business opportunities to expand in Cambodia. Makro Cambodia, the local arm of the international cash-and-carry wholesale, is located in the capital northwest Pong Peay City in Phnom Penh’s Thmey commune. The giant shopping facility is located in the same vicinity as the soon- to-open Aeon Mall II Supermarket and the Korean-based E-Mart which is yet to break ground.

The urban township facility has 10,000 square metres of retail space over two storeys built on a 5-hectare land mass. The market, according to the press release issued before the inauguration,  is able to accommodate parking for more than 500 vehicles.

The Makro brand has entered the Cambodian market as Makro Cambodia via a joint venture between Thai-based Siam Makro and Cambodian conglomerated LYP Group Company Limited. 

According to the Ministry of Commerce, Siam Makro has invested USD2m, representing 70 percent of the costs of the project, and LYP Group, owned by Cambodian tycoon Ly Yong Phat who is also a ruling party Senator, holds the remaining share. The group is also developing Beong Pung Peay City, where the outlet is located, into a future satellite city.

Built by a construction team of over 200, this wholesale outlet aims to be the largest warehouse shop in the kingdom and provides a wide variety of foodstuffs and non-food products from all over the world for hotels, restaurants and catering service operators to easily restock their businesses. 

The market is introducing the concept of cash-and-carry stores to the nation for the first time. It is similar to those of US wholesale retailer Costco and German-based Metro, although their membership is more restricted. 

Speaking at the Makro Cambodia ground breaking ceremony, Ms. Suchada Ithijarukul, CEO of Siam Makro, said all products available in Makro must pass strict standards on food safety throughout the production chain from farmers to factories and to the supermarket. “That is our high commitment to serve to all customers by taking care of their safety,” she emphasised. 

The warehouse chain has set itself ambitious intentions to expand to nine branches after the initial market is given a green light by its customers. 

Phnom Penh currently has 32 private markets and 25 state-owned markets, but only two big supermarkets. “The new Makro will play a crucial role in creating work for farmers and the food production industry, while boosting food safety standards, former Phnom Penh municipal governor Pa Socheatvong said at the Market’s ground breaking ceremony in May 2017.  

This first large-scale retail warehouse is located in area where potential is fast-growing and where real estate prices are rapidly increasing. “By developing this market, it shows the potential to develop the country,” Sen Sok deputy district governor Ho Vesna, told the Phnom Penh Post. 

He also pointed out that besides the large number of Boreys being built, Sen Sok is also strong potential destination for big international brands.

CP All Pcl, Thailand largest convenience store chain, is the parent firm of Thai cash-and-carry chain Siam Makro. The Thai firm was incepted in 1998 with an investment capital of 750 million baht (USD23 million), to operate the member-based wholesale centres, under the name “Makro”, according to the Siam Makro website. 

In early 2016, Siam Makro chief financial officer Ms. Saowaluck Thitaphant told the Bangkok that Siam Makro intended to spend 6 billion baht (USD172 million) in 2016 to open 20 stores in Thailand, and 3 billion baht ($86 million) to expand elsewhere in Southeast Asia, possibly in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. 

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