Vietnamese retail giant Mobile World Group (MWG) has decided to close down its Bluetronics chain of stores in Cambodia, after nearly six years in the market – and its domestic fashion chain, AVASport.
There are currently only two Bluetronics stores remaining in the Cambodia network that once stretched to 55, both of them in Phnom Penh.
MWG launched in Cambodia in 2017 with the phone chain BigPhone, marking its first international foray. After three years, MWG had transformed the concept from a phone store into an electronics chain and changed its branding to Bluetronics.
According to Doan Van Hieu Em, CEO of MWG and Dien May Xanh (another arm of the business), part of the reason to close the business is that Cambodia is a small market with confusing tax legislation. As a result, the company chose to close all Bluetronics stores in the first quarter of this year and instead focus on other markets – such as Indonesia – along with different business models.
“Currently, the Bluetronics model in Cambodia is quite similar to the Dien May Xanh model in Vietnam, including selling phones, electronics and other satellite products,” Doan told local sources.
“The model in Cambodia is not a bad one, we even customise it to suit this market better.”
At the end of last November, MWG opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Indonesia, under the name Era Blue Elektronic. The launch is a collaboration with local distributor Erafone Artha Retailindo, a subsidiary of Erajaya Group.
MWG said the Indonesian market offers a lot of opportunities for the Era Blue model. The group is continuing to test and fine-tune the Era Blue concept ahead of accelerating the store rollout.
Meanwhile, the Saigon Times has reported that MWG has also decided to close down its AVASports retail business launched only a year ago.
The chain has “not been as profitable as expected due to weak demand in the domestic market and high business costs,” the paper reported.