This month marked one year of 7-Eleven Cambodia, but how exactly are they doing and have they lived up to all the hype? Well yes and no.
What wa Cambodia like before 7-Eleven daddy?
I am sure in 100 years when bioengineered humans and, or our robot overlords are reading this then the thought of no 7-Eleven Cambodia will seem like craziness, but there was a pre 7-11 time.
In time son yore the local Cambodian mini-mart scene was dominated by Kiwi Mart and various other small time players. These were OK overall, but lacked that 7-Eleven magic. I do admit to being quite the fan, particularly of Lucozade and sandwiches in Hong Kong, as well as the dumplings of 7-Eleven Thailand.
Cambodia was ready for 7-11
The First 7-Eleven in Phnom Penh 2021
Despite agreeing franchise terms with the Thai parent company in 2019 the first 7-Eleven did not open until August 2021. This was during the height of Covid-19 in Cambodia, which meant a somewhat subdued opening.
Said opening occurred in a rather nondescript part of Phnom Penh and Covid restrictions meant that people literally had to line up to get in. I was one of these 7-Eleven Cambodian pioneers that waited 30 minute stop get in!
And what did we find when got in? Fuck all pretty much. Most of the shelves were empty, non cashless payments were accepted and it looked all rather like a shit version of Kiwi Mart.
And the icing on the cake? A Coronavirus scare for everyone that had been there. Surely things had to get better right?
To read bout 7-Eleven opening day click here.
7-Eleven Cambodia in 2022
One year on things have indeed gotten better, with them not only offering a wide array of fast food that can be microwaved, but also fresh baked goods as well as the iconic slurpy.
To read about Kai Bar click here.
The only problem with these dishes? Well it seems that 7-Eleven Cambodia have yet to truly fix their supply lines, with any entry at night usually being dominated by rows of empty shelves. Although this does in theory at least mean that the brand is proving popular in Cambodia.
And to be fair when you visit it is rally fairly full.
Where can you visit 7-Eleven in Cambodia?
I have yet to find out how many 7-Eleven stores there are in Cambodia, but they have been spreading like wildfire. There’s a decent branch on the riverside, a few on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and now branches throughout Cambodia.
This includes a great one by Pub Street in Siem Reap, as well as in 7 other provinces, with Sihanoukville 7-Eleven being the latest to join the fold as of July 2022. The stores work on a franchise model and the plans are to keep opening stores, so you’d expect them in most provinces by the end of the year, in theory at least.
Is 7-Eleven Cambodia all hype?
Sadly the answer to this yes, yes it is. The Thai parent company did a press release stating how much they were going to revolutionise things through “Thai management systems” and a bunch of other buzz words, but alas the reality is somewhat different.
In essence the Cambodian 7-11’s offer very little in the way of innovation, runs out of food too quickly and still doent accept anything in the way of cashless payments, save for TrueMoney, which literally no one has.
Does 7-Eleven Cambodia have potential? It sure does, but drastic improvements will have to be made.