South Korea’s largest retailer, E-Mart, will set up its first flagship store in the kingdom by the first quarter of 2019 after the department store and hypermarket signed an agreement with the conglomerate Royal Group on Friday.
E-Mart was established in 1993 and has expanded to 160 branches in South Korea, selling clothes, food and beverage and carrying other retail lines. E-Mart also has outlets in China, Mongolia and Vietnam.
The agreement represents a new milestone in economic relations between South Korea and Cambodia and is only the beginning of the greater level of economic cooperation between the two countries, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said. “I am confident that the cooperation will benefit the Cambodian market by bringing in expertise from the hypermarket chain and in turn create new jobs for Cambodians.”
Mr Sorasak said E-Mart would be built on three hectares of land in Khan Sen Sok near the Commerce Ministry on Russia Boulevard and it was hoped that the ground-breaking ceremony would be by the first quarter of 2019. “E-Mart is like Aeon Mall,” Sorasak said. “This is a good thing for Cambodia that we can show potential on trade, investment, and stability. We can bring high standards to Cambodian consumers and they will have a variety of choices to choose products at competitive prices,” he added.
Rami Sharaf, senior vice president international business of the Royal Group, said the group had a portfolio of many businesses and that the retail industry was the next business that the Royal Group was exploring, commenting that it was strategic to have a retail business, keeping in mind the steady growth of Cambodia with its large youth population.
He said the reason for choosing E-Mart was that it had very diverse options – malls, department stores, hypermarkets and convenience stores.“We are exploring these options and we believe Cambodia is ready for it. For E-Mart, we are not talking about a franchisee or franchiser but we are talking of a joint venture between Royal Group and E-Mart. We are very ambitious and hope that in the first quarter of 2019 we will have our very first flagship hypermarket up and running in Cambodia.” Sharaf said.
Kim Weon Jin, South Korea’s ambassador to Cambodia, said this is the first time that a major South Korean company has collaborated with a Cambodian group in the Kingdom’s retail sector.
“I believe that E-Mart’s expertise and skill in the retail business, together with Royal Group’s strong experience, would create a great synergy and contribute to the success of the collaboration,” Kim said.
This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.