A branch of the cash and carry supermarket Makro will open in Phnom Penh by the end of the year after construction kicked off at an official groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.
The supermarket is a joint venture between Siam Makro, which operates more than 100 Makro stores in Thailand, and Cambodia’s LYP Group Company Limited, run by Ly Yong Phat.
Makro Cambodia will start out as a cash and carry centre selling food and non-food products primarily to registered members, including small and medium size businesses, retailers, caterers and public institutions.
Suchada Ithijarukul, CEO of Siam Makro, said the company has 27 years of experience building a network in Thailand. “The economy and population of Phnom Penh is growing, which is an opportunity for Makro to do the same,” she said, adding that all products available in Makro must pass strict standards on food safety throughout the production chain, from farmers, to factories and the supermarket.
With five hectares of land and space for more than 500 vehicles, Suchada said Makro Cambodia will sell a wide range of high quality products at prices that enable buyers to keep their costs down and make profits. She added that Makro will keep large stocks of fresh goods for customers, so they do not need to store produce on their own premises.
Heng Sengly, general manager of local restaurant chain Park Cafe, told Khmer Times that Makro will help increase purchasing options for food and beverage business owners. He said wholesale centres offer competitive prices, quality and service to restaurants.
“The majority of their goods are imported from neighbouring countries, so I am certain we will cooperate with Makro,” said Sengly.
He also argued the presence of Makro will encourage other local wholesalers to up their game. “Makro has well-equipped air-conditioned storage as the standard, so it will push local wholesalers to improve their quality, service and price,” he said.
However, he added that local wholesalers are still likely to supply families and small businesses, while Makro is aimed at larger organisations, such as restaurants and hotels.
Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatevong said Makro will help boost the economy of the city. “The population of the capital is 3 million and more than 1,000 enterprises are operating in Phnom Penh, so there is large demand. This supermarket will contribute to improving urban living standards,” he said.
Phnom Penh currently has 32 private markets and 25 of 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, said Socheatevong.