Phnom Penh shopping destinations to double by 2025

Big Tree Community Mall, National Road 5, Russey Keo. Soft-Opening July 2021. Supplied.

According to a report by The Mall Company, a retail specialist in Cambodia, retail spaces in Phnom Penh are expected to increase to just short of 1 million sqm NLA by 2025; giving the city a total of 62 retail destinations in 5 years’ time.

Within 2020 to date, 9 modern retail properties (totaling 50,045 sqm) have begun operations. By 2021, another 18 modern retail properties (totaling 217,092 sqm) are expected to open. The Mall Company’s report is tracking 14 other retail properties to begin operations between 2022-2025 (totaling 242,226 sqm)

As for the districts seeing the new retail property, Simon Griffiths, Managing Director of The Mall Company shares that “The districts of Sen Sok, Meanchey, Chamkarmon, Toul Kork, and Chbar Ampov are hotspots for upcoming retail properties,” he noted, however, that, “The larger the mall, the bigger the population needed within the catchment area to supply customers daily to the shopping center”

Community Mall growth accelerating to become the most popular retail property

As of Q3 2020, the total existing retail properties in Phnom Penh number at 30. The Mall Company’s report breaks this down to 5 primary retail classifications: shopping malls, community malls, shopping centers, retail podiums, and retail arcades.

17 (out of 30) retail properties are classified as Community Malls, making it the most numerous type of retail property in Phnom Penh and contributes 93,697 sqm NLA. This is followed by shopping centers numbering at 5 properties contributing around 86,500 sqm NLA.

While only 3 shopping malls are currently operating, these properties contribute the largest amount of retail space at 144,400 sqm NLA. The Mall Company’s report further indicates that retail space supply by 2025 will largely be dominated by these modern purpose-built shopping malls.

The Mall Company’s report additionally mentions retail podiums (4 properties) and retail arcades (1 property) in their report; these properties currently contribute 36,984 sqm NLA and 9,200 sqm NLA, respectively. Retail podiums and retail arcades are expected to significantly increase in property count and retail space NLA by 2025 due to the development of large mixed-use properties.

New shopping experience for a new generation

According to Simon, there are several factors driving Cambodia’s retail supply growth. One is the popularity and significant growth and expansion of the Borey market particularly within the suburban districts of Phnom Penh.

“Borey developers have witnessed the increasingly competitive nature of their sector, so, to gain competitive advantage have been turning to modern retail as one selling point to attract buyers. This has led to shopping malls, retail plazas, and community malls being incorporated with larger Borey and township projects” said Simon.

Simon also noted, the increasing engagement of Cambodians, particularly the younger generation, in modern shopping options. Simon observes that “Millennials and Generation Z have grown up in a vastly different world to their parents and they demand and desire modern retail formats.” he emphasized, “They seek new environments, entertainment, and experiences. This provides developers with an opportunity to fulfill the demand with modern retail properties.”

“The Mall Company is currently working with multiple developers to bring new community malls to life from concept design and financial feasibility all the way through to leasing and mall management.” shared Simon.

“We [The Mall Company] are planning and working with developers to plan community malls in many different Sangkats and expect this trend to continue with community malls leading the way in terms of retail expansion to serve the growth and expansion of new residential areas.”