DFS Group, the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, celebrated the grand opening of its first Cambodian store – T Galleria by DFS, Angkor – with a gala event on Thursday, June 30. Over 300 guests including DFS Group’s Chairman and CEO Philippe Schaus and DFS Group Co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller, His Excellency Aun Pornmoniroth, Cambodia’s Senior Minister of Economy and Finance and His Excellency Thong Khon, Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism.
Located in Siem Reap, a popular resort town and provincial capital in close proximity to the ancient temple of Angkor Wat, T Galleria by DFS, Angkor is the largest duty free luxury department store in Cambodia, offering travelers an integrated retail, hospitality and leisure experience. With 170 brands across 86,000 square feet, T Galleria by DFS, Angkor brings shoppers the best of leading international fashion and accessories, watches and jewelry, wines and spirits, and beauty and fragrances brands as well as a selection of locally handcrafted artisan products.
“Here at DFS Group, we strive to create shopping experiences that will surprise and delight our customers, while designing our stores in a way that celebrates all that the destination has to offer. With the opening T Galleria by DFS, Angkor we mark a new era in the history of DFS,” said Philippe Schaus, DFS Group’s Chairman and CEO. “An oasis of luxury in the heart of the city, we’re confident visitors will enjoy indulging their taste for the finest international brands while experiencing the best of Cambodia within the beautiful setting of T Galleria by DFS, Angkor.”
The event began with a ribbon cutting ceremony where members of DFS Group’s senior leadership team, brand partners, LOYAL T members and Cambodian government officials gathered to toast the opening. Traditional Cambodian Apsara hostesses then led guests through the two-story store, where attendees were entertained with traditional cultural performances and demonstrations from Cambodia’s leading craftsmen.
T Galleria by DFS, Angkor’s curated collection of Cambodian artisanal products are all designed and produced locally by over 30 Cambodian artists workshops, many of whom are reviving ancient practices to ensure these precious techniques are passed on to the next generation. Angkor Artwork, a Siem Reap-based design studio focused on producing fine artwork created using traditional vegetal lacquer, natural color, gilding and polychrome techniques, led guests through the art of lacquer making while Golden Silk, one of the last fully integrated silk producers in the world, wove silk spun from the indigenous Cambodian silk worm on site.
The store’s design also reflects the long artistic heritage of Siem Reap, incorporating traditional Khmer motifs and carvings throughout. Craftsmen from Artisans d’Angkor, a socially-conscious business aimed at revitalizing Cambodia’s traditional crafts while pioneering a sustainable working environment, carved bas-relief panels for columns within the store depicting motifs found in the Bayon and Angkor Thom temples. Intricately patterned wall screens and floor tiles evoke local architecture and a nearly 60-foot art installation, suspended in space above the store’s vaulted atrium and inspired by the rich, warm hues of Buddhist monks’ robes, brings the culture and heritage of Cambodia to life for shoppers within elegant, contemporary setting of the store.
“We are privileged to have been able to work closely with the amazing people of Cambodia to honor their culture and help our customers fall in love with the magical and storied Siem Reap,” said Philippe.
In addition to local handcrafted artisanal products, T Galleria by DFS, Angkor offers travelers over 130 international brands across DFS Group’s five pillars of luxury including leading watches and jewelry brands Bulgari, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. and international fashion brands Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Fendi, Gucci and Saint Laurent. In the world of beauty, customers can also discover over 30 beauty and fragrances brands such as Clé de Peau Beauté, Dior, Estée Lauder and Giorgio Armani at T Galleria by DFS, Angkor.
The gala event also marked the official opening of T Galleria by DFS, Angkor’s onsite restaurant Crystal Jade. The first Crystal Jade outlet in Cambodia, the restaurant serves traditional Chinese cuisine and dim sum delights in a casual yet sophisticated setting, overlooking the gardens and reflecting pools outside.
The event also provided a platform to officially announce the company’s sponsorship of several non-profit organizations focused on helping underserved populations in Cambodia. Presenting a donation check to Kuma Cambodia, whose mission is to reduce poverty through the provision of education, healthcare and nutrition to vulnerable young children, English and computer courses for teenagers and workshops and guidance for parents and guardians, Philippe Schaus commented on DFS Group’s commitment to Cambodia. “We take our responsibility to our local communities very seriously, both as an employer and as a supporter of those who are less fortunate,” he said. “DFS is in Cambodia for the long term, and we intend to do all that we can to help Cambodian people to thrive.”
The new T Galleria by DFS, Angkor store is DFS Group’s 17th T Galleria by DFS store globally and builds upon the Group’s recent expansion strategy which includes the opening of the extended T Galleria by DFS, Macau, City of Dreams as well as DFS Group’s entry into Europe later this year with the opening of T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS in Venice, Italy in October.