Cambodia’s second Adidas outlet opened Saturday in Siem Reap, part of an aggressive wave of three new Adidas shops company officials said will open by July.
“For me, it’s never aggressive enough,” Adidas Ltd’s CEO for Asia Pacific, Christophe Bezu, said Saturday during a press conference at Cambodia’s first Adidas shop on Norodom Boulevard in Phnom Penh.
In the 11 months since Cambodia’s first Adidas store opened, sales have increased 15 to 20 percent every month, said Charles Benchetrit, general manager of Hong Kong-based Bonnie Blair Ltd, the exclusive retailer of Adidas in Cambodia.
Based on this success and signs of growing wealth in Cambodia, Benchetrit told reporters Saturday that Bonnie Blair will follow up on the Siem Reap store by opening another shop in Phnom Penh in April and a shop in Sihanoukville in July.
“I’ve been following the evolution of Cambodia over the past two years, and what we’ve seen is incredible,” Benchetrit said.
Benchetrit said Bonnie Blair invested $75,000 to open the 280-square-meter retail shop in Siem Reap in a remodeled home, which will employ a staff of 15. By contrast, Benchetrit added, the 360-square-meter Phnom Penh shop, built from scratch, cost $120,000 to build and employs 14.
“It’s really part of our development process,” Benchetrit said. “We’re really trying to establish a network in the country.”
The customer base at the Phnom Penh shop—where collared shirts go for $69 and T-shirts go for $26—is 70 percent foreign and 30 percent local, Benchetrit said. While he admitted that knock-off Adidas wear costs a fraction of that in the local markets, he argued that the quality is bad enough to send people to his stores.
“The counterfeit market is not really competitive,” he said.
Some of the shops’ products are made in the three Cambodian factories that manufacture Adidas apparel, said Bezu, who is based out of Adidas’ regional headquarters in Hong Kong. He said Adidas is looking to increase its production here and in other emerging markets, but he declined to speculate when Adidas might partner with another Cambodian factory.
While factories in Cambodia are attractive for low labor costs and liberal export quotas, Bezu said the garment industry here also faces an electricity shortage, poor roads for transportation, and outdated equipment.
“We need to enlarge our production, and we need to see more countries in the future continue to produce our products,” he said.