September 9, 2011

Saturation of markets turns up heat on owners


THE Angkor Night Market in Siem Reap has been an iconic tourist magnet since it was founded in 2007. But with so many copycat night markets, not to mention day markets, muscling in on the territory, market director Lim Nam feels he is under siege.

Battling to wrest the tourist dollar from his competitors, Lin Nam insists his market is still the biggest and best in town.

“We keep it original, and cheaper than the others. We were the first to have the Doctor Fish Massage. This was our creation, but now there are about 40 of them,” he said.

“This market was created to promote local products as much as we can. We go to local villages and source original handmade products. But now there is a problem with too much competition, so we plan to do more entertainment with more shows and we may consider expansion. But only quality expansion, as we only want full stores.”

Chrissy Black, a 21-year-old backpacker from Australia, is a fan of the Night Market. “I went to the other markets first, but this night market is much nicer. I like the tropical garden setting where you can relax at the bar with a drink, and the entire setup of the place is better,” she said.

Lim Nam said that he makes it easy for local traders to establish stalls in his market. “We only charge $500 for a year lease, and if they can’t afford that, we only ask for a three month deposit on the year lease,” he said.

“We don’t do commissions, and we provide security, equipment and also services like repairs.”

In his role as director, Lim Nam says he understands the competition in town is hurting his stall owners. “Incomes are not what they expect due to competition. But we advertise strongly to promote the market as a unique local Cambodian market. We lead this market with trained management, so it works better.”

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