The national soldes are held in France over the two sales periods lasting six weeks each.
Twice a year
The dates of the large nationwide sales in France are determined by the central administration. There are just two main periods to look out for – winter (soldes d’hiver) in January/February and summer (soldes d’été) in June/July.
- Summer sales 2016 are expected to start around June 22 and end on August 2 [dates can be slightly different in Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Moselle (57) and Vosges (88)]
- Winter sales 2017 start on January 11 and end on February 14 (dates to be confirmed) [soldes dates are slightly different in Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Moselle (57) and Vosges (88)]
Each sales period has a definitive start date that is uniform across the country. The timing of the end of the sale is more flexible as the date is determined by each Department.
Since January 2015, each sales period has been extended to six weeks (it used to be five weeks and there used to be two floating weeks during the year).
The savings during this time are considerable – usually 30-50%, and as high as 70% as the sale period goes on. As stores are not allowed to bring in merchandise especially for sales, prices are reduced on what is in the shop. This is great news if you are after a little black dress at a high street price as even the major designer labels such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, et al drop their prices, and also if you are shopping for building materials and supplies at the main bricolage stores. You can really find a bargain.
Where to shop
An easy way to sales shop is to head to France’s main department stores such as Galeries Lafayette, Printemps or Le Bon Marché. During sale times, they are legally allowed to discount stock from the previous year, as well as line that have been over-produced or are being discontinued.
In addition, France now allows shops in designated ‘tourist interest’ areas to open on Sundays, so there’s even more time on the weekend to indulge in bargain hunting.
Online sales are increasing in scope every year and they offer extra features like free shipping as well as reduced prices.
Check return policies as many stores will not reimbourse your purchase but will offer a credit voucher instead with a specific time limit to use it.
Source: Service Public
Read more: Our guide to shopping in France