International brands, high-quality local crafts and a signature duty-free shopping experience combine at Siem Reap’s new T Galleria by DFS. We talked to Bruce Bowman, the store’s general manager, about what’s on offer
What attracted DFS to open the new store in Cambodia at this particular time?
Cambodia as a travel destination is growing, with a 35% increase in tourists to Cambodia predicted between 2016 and 2020. With this in mind, we saw a great opportunity to introduce our customers to the magic and charm of Siem Reap through the T Galleria by DFS experience. Everything about the store from the interior design to the product mix to the training of our staff was designed to celebrate the culture of Cambodia while staying true to the luxury shopping experience that is at the heart of DFS.
Which countries do you expect your customer base to come from?
70% of visitors to Siem Reap in 2016 are predicted to be from Asia Pacific, so we do expect the majority of our shoppers to be travellers visiting Cambodia from across Asia. However, as Siem Reap and Cambodia continue to attract a broader base of travellers from across Europe and the Americas, we’re excited to introduce more visitors to T Galleria by DFS so that the store can become a memorable part of their journey.
How many staff will you have? Are staff employed and trained by DFS or do the individual retailers have responsibility for that?
We have over 200 Sales Associates and support staff based in Siem Reap, all of whom are employed and trained by DFS. We provide our employees with comprehensive training through our own learning and development program, DFS University, which allows them to foster their service skills and deepen their product expertise to give our sales associates the confidence to provide our customers with a superior shopping experience.
What, in terms of decor and facilities, sets this new store apart from other shopping
experiences in Cambodia?
The store itself is unlike anything else available in Cambodia today. Designed in partnership with local craftsman to reflect traditional Khmer architecture, T Galleria by DFS, Angkor connects to the Angkor National Museum, home to the region’s most acclaimed historical artefacts.
Throughout the store, visitors will find stunning art installations and traditional carvings that echo the magic of the nearby temples and palaces of Angkor. As the largest duty-free store in Cambodia, customers will have an opportunity to shop not only international luxury brands, but many of Cambodia’s top artisanal products as well.
We’ve partnered with Artisans d’Angkor, a socially-conscious business aimed at revitalising Cambodia’s traditional craftsmanship while pioneering a sustainable working environment, to develop an exclusive collection of fine crafts. We’re also proud to be introducing several key international watch, jewellery, fashion and beauty brands to Cambodia for the first time. Overall, we feel we’ve designed an experience that goes beyond shopping, offering travellers an integrated retail, leisure and hospitality experience right in the heart of Siem Reap.
How can customers pay for their purchases?
As a duty-free retailer, all shoppers must present their passport and return ticket in order to make a purchase at our store. We accept cash, all major credit cards as well as China UnionPay.