Paris Sales (Soldes)
We get used to constant sales and reductions in Australia, especially in times (like now) of retail decline, so it’s refreshing and ‘special’that the French have only two sale periods a year. The government regulates the dates of the Paris Sales or soldes. Look for the signs everywhere in the shop windows: Soldes.
Paris Sales 2017 — dates
The 2017 Winter sales in Paris began on 11 January 2017 and ended on 14 February 2017.
The 2017 Summer sales began on 28 June 2017 and end on 8 August 2017.
Update: The 2018 Winter sales in Paris will begin in mid January 2018 and end in mid February 2018.
The Paris Sales are wonderful; your favourite shop is bound to have lots of bargains. Window shopping at this time of year should lead to buying more than you would at other times. As retail is suffering prices dropped more rapidly in the Winter 2013 sales than normal, so if you can hold off shopping for the first week you should do even better.
Tip: Work out your European sizes before beginning to shop.
I had an unsatisfactory excursion in the Paris Sales of 2012 when I visited the famous Repetto store in search of ballerina flats and had no idea of my foot size. The shop was so busy there was no way to try on shoes until I discovered my size.
Tip: Wear layers that are easily removed, and shoes that are easy to slip off.
If you are in and out of shops the easier it is to take your clothes and shoes off, the happier you’ll be. This is more difficult during the Winter sales as you will be wearing coats, gloves, scarves etc.
Tip: Shop early in the day.
Start early when you have the most energy. The shops will get much busier later in the day, especially during the Summer sales when there are more tourists in town.
Tip: Just looking.
It’s fun to spend time just looking at the designer dresses. If you are brave you can even try them on with no intention of buying.
Tip: The French are small!
You will find that the French seem much slighter than Australians and Americans. I hardly saw an overweight person. French children in particular are petite. You should buy things labelled for a child older than the one you’re actually buying for.