Cambodia set for mall glut as foreign and local projects pile up

Doubts grow over whether fragile middle class can support rapid boom in retail space.

Five, sometimes six, days a week Mao Sophorn brings her 1-year-old daughter to Aeon Mall 2.

“People come here to hang out, relax and to feel fancy,” said Sophorn on a recent Thursday afternoon, as her daughter sat on her knee and her two young nephews, clad in Spiderman t-shirts, played in a trolley.

The kids, she says, demand to come. The mall, Japanese developer Aeon’s second in Cambodia, offers more than just its 100-plus shops, restaurants and cafes. Spread over 86,000 sq. meters, its attractions include carnival rides, an aquarium, a TV studio, and an indoor soccer field.

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