Rejoice, the miracle of goods to fill and warm the insides of your secure and well-fortified homes is here! The 2nd Pyongyang Consumer Goods Exhibition took place in the North Korean capital’s Pyongyang Department Store No. 1 back in July, and displayed the wonder of “light-industry goods”, including “clothes and shoes of various kinds”, “a variety of foodstuffs and household goods”, and “Korean silk cloth known as good for people’s health”.
Naenara, a website associated with the “Korea Computer Center in DPR Korea”, beamed about the new development:
More than 3 500 000 goods of 1 400 kinds produced by the central and local light-industry factories, enterprises, related units, workteams that produce goods through the utilization of by-products and are attached to the department stores and industrial goods shops in Pyongyang, and many other units were presented at the exhibition.
By the producers’ spirit of serving the people devotedly, quality clothes, footwear, foodstuffs, kitchen utensils, school things, articles for cultural use and sundry goods for daily use of diversified kinds are turned out in a great number.
And lest anyone gloat over how North Korea’s department stores (hopefully the plural is justified) are akin to the Black Mall as delineated by Chris Rock (“In the white mall, they have big-ass stores. Valet parking. Personal shoppers. In the black mall, there’s no Macy’s, no Saks. Just an eight story Woolworth with personal shoppers who say, ‘Can I help you with your cheap shit?'”), it’d be wise to remember that China wasn’t exactly a shopper’s paradise until very recently.
So congratulations North Korea, it looks like you’re on your way to joining the rest of the world in the creamy mainstream center of consumerist ecstasy! Hopefully these “Exhibitions” eventually get phased out in favor of “Opening Hours”, as they’re known in other non-bizarro regions of the world.
Related: Kim Jong Il and China: An Appraisal