T Galleria by DFS has expanded to offer its first luxury, duty-free department store in Cambodia with a focus on Chinese tourists. The new mall, which marks the LMVH-owned, Hong Kong-based retail group’s 17th destination in the world, launched last week in Siem Reap, a popular destination for the increasing number of Chinese travelers to the country.
The opening of the new T Galleria, which is attached to the Angkor National Museum, makes it the largest duty-free luxury department store in Cambodia, featuring 170 brands, spanning fashion, watches and jewelry, wine and spirits, and beauty and fragrances, plus amenities that cater to VIP customers in a setting that draws from Cambodian culture.
Chinese shoppers are a big draw for the retailer—last year, the number of travelers from mainland China to Cambodia grew 24 percent—and T Galleria’s offerings are in line with what affluent travelers are seeking from their shopping excursions. To appeal to Chinese travelers, the shopping center features an outpost of LVMH-backed Chinese restaurant group Crystal Jade, where guests can take in the garden scenery while dining on dim sum and traditional dishes.
Siem Reap is increasingly becoming a shopping hotspot for Chinese luxury shoppers looking to buy abroad to avoid China’s high tariffs on imports. The T Galleria opening comes not long after Chinese state-run duty-free retailer China Duty Free Group opened a 4,500-square-foot luxury shopping center in Siem Reap in December 2014.
T Galleria’s stately interiors channel inspiration from local artists and architecture as localization is a focus of the brand. Traditional Khmer motifs and carvings found in nearby temples decorate the walls and floors of the mall, including in the VIP-focused Prestige Lounge, and the wide-open halls and atrium leave room for elaborate, yet elegant art installations suspended from the ceiling.
According to DFS Group CEO Philippe Schaus, the brand is “confident visitors will enjoy indulging their taste for the finest international brands,” choosing from a selection that includes Bulgari, Cartier, Burberry, Gucci and more than 30 popular beauty and fragrance brands. With a focus on tourist-shoppers, the mall also features localized items, including one-of-a-kind artisan handicrafts to take home. More than 30 Cambodian artists are represented in the store, and during the opening gala, some of the design studios gave guests insider tours on their practices. Siem Reap-based design studio Angkor Artwork gave guests insight into the world of lacquer making, and silk producer Golden Silk conducted a silk weaving demonstration.
This year, T Galleria by DFS has a long list of expansion projects to its name. Earlier last month, the group tripled the size of its shopping center in Macau’s Cotai Strip and in October, it is planning to expand into Europe with the launch of its first store in Venice, Italy, no doubt in part an effort to capitalize on the growing number of Chinese tourists headed abroad and looking for tax-free deals on their favorite high-end labels.