French “Soldes ” in Paris

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

From today, January 11th, the annual “Soldes d’Hiver” mania hits France. The British are used to the rush for sales on Boxing Day. We French have to wait a little bit longer before the enthusiastic spending of our money for the benefit of shopkeepers.
Yesterday, there would have been intense activity everywhere. Shop assistants would have created displays and changed all the price labels putting on 30% to 70% off stickers. The whole stock must be ready for the first morning of the sales. Countless customers would have been around yesterday, mainly women looking for shoes and clothes, searching for the right size and the desired colour. Men, more often than not, were there as well looking at the electronics products.
But no one buys, except fools.
Everyone’s mind concentrates on the labels, calculating and comparing discount prices from different shops, remembering it all so they know where to go and what to buy if they are lucky.
And today is the day.
Even before the opening of the shops there is an electricity in the air. The “Soldes” addicts are out in the streets. And for a few days, you will meet the happy faces of shoppers proudly carrying a lot of trademark bags full of “bonnes affaires”.
It’s so different from the UK where sales seem to be always on. Here in France, it is a five week event, an experience that builds up.
Why not come and do the same? Come to Paris, even for one day. If you miss the first days don’t worry, the French sales run for five weeks. Close to the end you could get the best discounts, but the choices would be limited. Don’t forget in the next few weeks, even the most unpleasant shopkeeper, will be happy to welcome customers.
Unlike the UK where only the best known sale at Harrods has someone famous to open it, here in France we have something different. For the official opening of the winter sales season, two ministers ,François Baroin, Minister of Economy and Frédéric Lefebvre, State Secretary of Trade and Tourism, will both visit the two main Parisian department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps on January 11th at exactly 8.00am. Interesting that the tourism minister is there. It gives an indication of how we regard the “Soldes d’Hiver” as a tourist attraction.
Do you think they will be the first customers?

image © Frederic de Poligny

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