It’s widely held that there are only two sales per year in France, the Winter Soldes and the Summer Soldes. But once you’re in Paris long enough, you’ll soon realize that’s just not true. Shops are having sales all of the time. They just don’t call them soldes. Instead they use phrases like “Les 3 Jours” or “Les Jours Or” or “Promotion.”
Department stores like Printemps, BHV, Galeries Lafayette and Bon Marché seem to have sales all of the time, and walking through the Centre Commercial Italie 2 (shopping mall at Place d’Italie, 13th) today I noticed most of the shops seems to be having huge reductions. Word on the street is that September was dead in terms of shopping in France, so no doubt this is to get people spending their Euros again. It certainly takes away some of the pain for those of you who can’t wait for the January soldes.
My understanding is that Soldes date back to medieval times and are strictly regulated by the government to assure that all the shops are playing by the same rules (they usually happen at the same time as inventories turn over). But obviously stores use linguistics to get around the rules. And the regulators knows the economy is hurting so they turn a blind eye.
It’s really true; I’ve lived here for several months now and I was wondering what’s going on! There are sales all the time. But why are they not called Soldes? Is it a French categorization thing? Soldes only occur twice a year, but Sales happen whenever they like?