Bluebell Group – Asia’s leading omnichannel luxury brand distributor and operator – has formally announced the launch of its Cambodian operations. The launch was described as a watershed moment in Cambodia’s timeline of economic development.
According to the company its vision for the project is around ‘harmonized retail’, seamlessly integrating the consumer journey physically, digitally, through nomadic concepts and a fully dedicated customer service to engage at a high level of retail excellence. The company has appointed the ‘The Peak’ in Phnom Penh as its retail manager.
The Bluebell Group has pioneered building successful brands in Asia since 1954. As Asia’s partner of choice, Bluebell Group is present in Japan, South Korea, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, Macau SAR, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Pierre Balsan, who has worked extensively in the Chinese luxury brand market, now appointed Managing Director of Bluebell Cambodia said Cambodia was considered a ‘next market’ destination after 20 years of strong economic performance as well as its growing middle-class appeal towards luxury brands.
“Cambodia has a growing and aspiring middle class which is at the core of our business model. That said, many Cambodian consumers are already travelling overseas to purchase similar products so we are hoping to provide that local experience for them,” Balsan said.
Balsan said that while the first retail store will be located in Phnom Penh the Group will look to expand its operations country wide to Sihanoukville and Siem Reap in the future.
In response to concerns over the current COVID 19 pandemic impact on consumer spending Balsan said that the luxury brand market was not as exposed to general market fluctuations.
“While of course luxury brands are not entirely immune from economic downturns it does revolve around its own economic lifecycle compared to low and mid-tier brands,” Balsan added.
Allen Dodgson Tan, Director of Bluebell Cambodia said the launch is a watershed moment in Cambodia’s timeline of economic development. Adding, the venture is expected to create hundreds of local jobs, tens of millions in Foreign Direct Investment and large tax revenues for the government
“Introducing Bluebell to Cambodia’s retail sector is about more than shopping, it is about increasing choices the level of service and capturing tax revenue here in Cambodia,” Tan said. The Bluebell Group currently has over 4,000 employees, 1,000 points-of-sale, $2.5b in turnover.
Cambodia’s economy has sustained an average real growth rate of 7.7% between 1998 and 2019, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Cambodia is forecast to graduate from its Least Developed Country (LDC) status in either 2027 or 2028, according to report published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).