Cambodians flock to new mall

PHNOM PENH - Cambodians have flocked to a giant Japanese shopping mall in Phnom Penh, the first of its kind in the country, even before the complex is fully furnished and yet to be officially inaugurated.

Aeon Mall has attracted about 50,000 Cambodians every day since it opened partially for business last Friday.

Soth Pheavy, 23, a clothes sales clerk in the mall, said she is happy to see so many people milling around in the mall every day.

Meng Bopharath, 45, a shopper, said she was impressed with the decoration and the design of the four-story mall, which has about 100,000 square meters of floor space.

Long Molina, 48, who has visited the mall twice with her 10 children, nephews and nieces, said the price tags at Aeon Mall are not that much different from local shopping malls and shoppers do not need to bargain, a practice seen at most Cambodian retail shops.

Mrs Molina said she spent several hours on each of the two days she visited there, walking around, shopping and eating in the giant food court.

Built at a cost of US$200 million (6.5 billion baht), Aeon Mall houses the largest cinema complex in Cambodia plus a skating rink and the biggest food court in the country with a seating capacity for 1,200.

The mall will be officially inaugurated next week.

Among the dignitaries to attend the event will be Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

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