Cambodia opens its first Big C supermarket in Phnom Penh
The Thai grocery and general merchandising retailer “Big C”, has opened its first store in Phnom Penh.
The official opening of the Mini Big C Depo Branch was held yesterday with top government officials and business leaders in attendance. Company officials were joined by the Thai Ambassador to Cambodia Panyarak Poolthup, WorldBridge International Group Chairman Sear Rithy, Big C (Cambodia) Vice-President Suwin Somsri and Chhoun Dara, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held, before the attendees went inside the store to look at the products being sold.
Big C stores usually sell cosmetics, toiletries, fresh produce, and other grocery items with the company targeting mid to low-income customers.
The opening of its first store in Phnom Penh is part of Big C’s expansion drive in Southeast Asia, and they have announced they plan to spend close to $250 million on business expansion this year.
Big C has grown to become the second largest hypermarket operator in Thailand with $4.4 billion total in revenue last year. It is owned by Berli Jucker Plc (BJC), one of the largest business conglomerates in the country.
Big C owns and operates 1,572 retail stores in Thailand, including 1,215 Mini Big C, 152 Big C hypermarket and 61 Big C market, according to international media reports. It also has a presence in Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos.
Big C entered the Cambodian market in 2019 with the opening of the Big C Supercenter in the border town of Poipet. The Poipet store was established within a two-hectare shopping mall featuring cinemas and retail outlets.
An Pov, senior human resource manager at Big C, said they expanded into Cambodia because of the country’s growing economy, among other factors.
Cambodia’s economy is growing by an average of seven percent every year, making the Kingdom one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
“Cambodia’s economy is expanding very fast. The number of rich people is also growing,” Pov said.
Pov expressed confidence that they will do well in Cambodia, despite the presence of many stores offering similar products and services. “Our products are high-quality and our prices are reasonable,” he added.
Similar businesses operating in Cambodia include Thai Huot Trading and Supermarket, Makro Cambodia, Lucky Supermarket, Super Duper, Kiwi Mart, Smile Mart, Angkor Mart, Royal Mart, Chip Mong Supermarket, Prince Supermarket and 7-Eleven, which opened its first branch in Cambodia last week.
The majority of Big C’s products are made in Thailand. Twenty percent of products in its Phnom Penh store are made in Cambodia, according to Pov.
“Thank you for supporting us,” Dara said as he browsed through several Cambodian-made products on the shelves.
Pov said they have plans to set up more stores in Phnom Penh and then further expand into other parts of the Kingdom. He noted that Big C has stores in all of Thailand’s 77 provinces. “We will do the same here in Cambodia,” he said.