Aeon Mall opened its doors on Friday for an invite-only preview to its four-story shopping center in Phnom Penh, which cost an estimated $205 million.
Located on Sothearos Boulevard, the mall’s grand opening is scheduled for June 30.
At the mall Friday, hundreds of people previewed some of the 190 shops that will open at the end of the month, including Philippine-based clothing store Penshoppe and British-owned shoe store Clarks.
At Penshoppe, dozens of people streamed in and out, some purchasing items while others perused the offerings.
“I feel so strange and it is much bigger than other malls I used to go to,” said Tep Ratha, 27, outside Penshoppe.
When opened, the mall will include outlets for clothing brands such as Levis, Mango and Puma. It also will include high-end shops such as the British salon chain Toni & Guy. There will also be a 1,000-square-meter ice rink, a Hang Meas TV studio that will broadcast live shows, food courts and a seven-screen Cineplex complete with bowling lanes.
On Friday, there were still signs that the mall required some finishing touches. The walkways smelled of paint and were strewn with scaffolding, dozens of shops remained boarded up and workers in construction hats dotted the crowd, hanging signs and welding metal.
“We open officially June 30,” said one Aeon Mall representative who declined to give his name because media were not invited to Friday’s event.
The representative said, however, that the mall would open for customers June 28 for a three-day sale, which Aeon has advertised for the past two weeks in local newspapers and at universities.
Oum Roath Kema, 43, attended Friday’s preview with her relatives. She said the mall is a step up from other shopping centers in the country.
“It is very nice and more modern than others in the city; even its [restrooms] are like ones in other countries,” she said.
“I see that our country has developed a lot and this mall creates a lot of jobs for our young people, especially the educated. I also have a relative now working here too,” she said.
© 2014, Kang Sothear. All rights reserved.