The A Paris Travel Blog
My company, A Paris Travel specializes in arranging tours in France and Britain. I also arrange tours in the Republic of Ireland, Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland. My goal in these pages is to share my thoughts and ideas on traveling in France and Britain, and the other European countries where I arrange tours and other travel services.
Sales Time in Paris
Be a Soldes Survivor…
SOLDES is the French word for “sales”! It’s an appropriate word, right?
Sales! Ahhh…the magic word that we so love to hear! SALES! In France the concept of retails sales is totally different from here in the United States.
In France, the sales are state-regulated and believe it or not, they happen only TWICE a year. The first began yesterday January 9th and will continue until February 12, 2013 and the second will start on June 29 and last until July 30, 2013. During these two periods of the calendar year, all stores will try to clear their shelves out of the old season’s items ---from boutiques to hardware stores, from department stores to designer outlets, the prices will be reduced, reduced, and slashed as the days go by!
There are other sales that take place throughout the country but the big periods for major “deals” are during the winter and summer sale dates. Because the Parisians understand the strategy behind the best items to purchase where, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early at stores, be prepared for lines (think around-the-block-lines), and know your products. It can’t hurt to get acquainted with a native Parisian to garner tips so that you can be a “Soldes Survivor” and in possession of some true Paris bargain treasures! A Paris Travel can arrange a Private Paris Walking Tour should you desire a memorable Paris shopping experience.
I’d definitely visit Galeries Lafayette (in the 8th arrondissement with Printemps, the other major department store) since you’ll have so many departments from which to choose for your sale items. If you’re on the Right Bank, do go to Le Bon Marché (bon marché means “cheap” in French, but this doesn’t translate into the prices that you’ll actually find in the store!).
Take some time and shop in the Marais for some unique and well-made products, fashion items, and fine jewelry. Not far from the Marais is the location for antique treasures, trendy shops, and lovely galleries. This would mean a visit to Place des Vosges (the first Royal Square in Paris…and magical whether you find a “soldes” or not!).
Left Bank shopping must be part of your sale time, too. Bien sûr, St. Germain just oozes shopping and if you need time to pause between purchases or just to reassess your strategy, you’ve got the most amazing cafés in which to see (and be seen) the state of your wallet, your VISA© card, or your Master Card©, or your American Express Card©, your stamina, or the strength of your arms to carry more and/or the ability of your feet to walk further. In any case, there’s always time for a Paris Pause (the word pause actually can translate as coffee break in French!) since it is essential to allow yourself the luxury of a café delight!
As in all travel, the learning that goes on during the experience is what truly makes the trip! You’ll definitely discover this during your venture into the World of Soldes, so Bon Courage! Oh and don’t forget to notify VISA© that you’ll be traveling overseas and will likely be using your credit card while abroad. Have fun!
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