Retail competition in the DPRK

A visitor to the DPRK sends in a picture of a 10% discount coupon received at a hard currency shop in Pyongyang.

The coupon is issued by the 6.17 Trading Company, and according to a member of my crack translation team it reads:

One coupon per party is given when the party has spent more than 50 Euros at our restaurant during their visit. The next time you visit our restaurant, 10% discount will be applied to your bill.  This coupon cannot be used twice or split over visits. The expiration date of this coupon is in two months.

I am also told that the coupon lexically equates “discount” with “service” as in “we will serve you at 10% lower price”.

The coupon is interesting because it signals that there seems to be some real price competition among hard currency shops in the capital. These shops not only cater to foreigners, but also to North Koreans with sufficient forex balances, so they don’t just have to compete against each other, but also with the black market.

Do other readers have any experience with discount coupons in the DPRK, or is this a relatively new phenomenon?


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