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New Balance ventures into Cambodia

Published: 5th Mar 2024
Author: By Tinashe Mandirahwe; Retail analyst at

The unisex New Balance 550 debuted in 1989 and is still today a global fashion favorite. Image: New Balance

New Balance, the footwear and apparel brand, has expanded its global presence with the opening of four stores in Cambodia. The management of these stores falls under MAP Active Cambodia, a sports and lifestyle brand importer and distributor, as reported by The Phnom Penh Post.

Strategic Partnership with MAP Active Cambodia
New Balance’s entry into Cambodia stands out due to its strategic collaboration with MAP, a move that exemplifies the brand’s astute business approach. This partnership underscores the brand’s emphasis on understanding local markets — acknowledging that when understanding falls short, collaboration with a company well-versed in the local nuances becomes imperative. While the specific details of this collaboration remain undisclosed, the decision to unite with a local entity like MAP can be interpreted as a proactive step to effectively address potential challenges arising from language and cultural differences in the Cambodian market.

Will New Balance Flourish in Cambodia?
Economic Boom and Infrastructure Improvements:
New Balance likely recognized Cambodia’s substantial economic growth and improved infrastructure, prompting the decision to establish stores in the country. The allure of thriving tourist destinations could have also heightened Cambodia’s potential as a market for the brand.

Challenges in the Cambodian Market
However, there are complexities in Cambodia. Despite economic growth and improved infrastructure, issues such as income inequality, crime, and corruption persist.

The Unseen Risks and Returns
As a privately owned entity, New Balance’s specific outcomes and risk assessments for the Cambodian venture might remain undisclosed. The saying ‘the higher the risk, the greater the return’ may explain New Balance’s rationale for venturing into a market like Cambodia with all its complexities.

The Future Ahead
As New Balance establishes its foothold in Cambodia, the success of its collaboration with MAP and the strategic positioning of its stores in prominent locations will likely shape its future trajectory in the country. The ensuing years will unveil the impact of these strategic moves, shedding light on New Balance’s ability to resonate with Cambodian consumers and solidify its position as a leading sports and lifestyle brand in the region.

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