Aeon, a Japanese retail conglomerate, yesterday officially opened its second mall in Phnom Penh, in a bid to capitalise on the Kingdom’s growing middle and upper classes, as well as the increasing number of East Asian and Western residents.

The new mall, located in Sen Sok district, follows the hugely successful first Aeon mall, which opened in 2014 in Sothearos Boulevard and changed the face of retail in the country.

Aeon Mall 2 is in Pong Peay City, an area north of downtown Phnom Penh currently under comprehensive development by the LYP Group, who is focusing on housing projects, wedding venues and commercial facilities.

Tetsuyuki Nakagawa, managing director of Aeon Mall Cambodia Co., Ltd., said a raft of Cambodian developers are raising high-end housing projects in the area, which is helping drive up the value of land.

“Moreover, the mall is close to downtown Phnom Penh, and transportation between the mall and existing residential quarters is convenient and fast,” Mr Nakagawa said.

He explained that the new mall has several strong selling points: “It has a rich, green environment and it’s the largest recreational facility in Cambodia.

“On top of that, it offers access to various public services, as well as a financial zone with the latest technology from Japan,” he said.

Aeon reached an agreement with Korea’s Hyundai Engineering in 2016 for the construction of the $120-million Aeon Mall 2. The result is a four-story mall that covers an area of 151,000 square metres.

Ann Sothida, director of CBRE Cambodia, said the Kingdom is likely to see several more international malls in the near future, as there are still few of them in the country and disposable incomes are on the rise.

“Investors interested in this kind of projects must focus on design and on developing an effective sales strategy to be successful,” she added.