North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, visiting an upscale department store in Pyongyang in March. Another store in the city receives tens of thousands of visitors despite sanctions, a newspaper based in Japan reported Wednesday. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun
SEOUL, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- One of North Korea's largest retail stores receives an average of 20,000 visitors a day despite economic sanctions and lack of reform in the country, according to a pro-North Korea newspaper published in Japan.
Pyongyang Department Store No. 1 is a popular shopping destination for local residents.
On Sundays and on holidays, about 50,000 shoppers flock to the store, Choson Sinbo reported on Wednesday.
In the article than ran under the headline, "Revival under sanctions, the vigor and power of the [North] Korean economy," a deputy manager was quoted as saying the store was enjoying "peak sales season," and that demand was growing with the availability of a wider range of products.
Sales goals have been far exceeded and have reached "120 percent" of targets, the manager said.
The department store offers a variety of services, including deliveries.
Special deliveries for North Korean consumers who are unable to visit the store because they are required to volunteer during mass mobilization movements, like the "70-day" or the "200-day battles," are also available, according to the newspaper.
Items ordered are delivered to the work sites where North Koreans labor on various state projects in construction or infrastructure repair, the report stated.
The Choson Sinbo also reported about 80 percent of the goods are North Korea-made, while about 20 percent of items were of foreign origin.
The newspaper blamed the sanctions of the "United States and its followers" for the relative lack of imported goods at the store.
The state-sanctioned emporium carries foodstuffs, electronics, clothing and furniture and is also frequented by tourists to North Korea.