New chain stores aim to please Pyongyang consumers
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Workers in sharp new uniforms open the doors and turn on the lights about an hour before sunrise at their chain store on the corner of one of Pyongyang's main streets, right smack in the middle of a showpiece area of the capital.
But unlike much of the neighborhood around it, this shop isn't a showpiece. It hasn't been profiled by the state media or been paid any visits by the leader. It's a real business — and a quiet but telling example of an ongoing shift in the North Korean economy as officials play catch-up with grassroots entrepreneurism that has been building for nearly two decades.