Paris Goes on Sale

The “soldes” are here!

Starting Jan. 7, storming the barricades will take on a whole new meaning in Paris.

That marks opening day of this year’s winter “soldes” (sales), five weeks of frenzied bargain-hunting for the perfect Azzaro cocktail dress or the normally unaffordable monogrammed Noël bed linen — at between 30 and 70 percent off.

[From Globespotters – Paris Goes on Sale – NYTimes.com]

It’s been a long, long time since anyone told an American that “it’s like Paris is on sale,” as they did in the eighties. Even with the recent temporary drop in the Euro, no one said sale. They just said less “pénible.”

Sales occur in Paris, of course, year around, but under French law, retail stores can only run public sales with big “SOLDES” banners only for several weeks in January and July.

The New York Times offers this added advice for the Paris sales:

  • arrive early; don’t shop with a parent, spouse or child; eat a hearty breakfast; wear loose clothing and sensible shoes.
  • Negotiate the hotel rate. Even discounted prices can come down.
  • Think French. The lowest price isn’t always the best deal. Buy one glorious luxury item that will last forever.
  • Pre-shop the sales. Do a dry run and check out the layout of the stores and the merchandise before sales day.
  • Sweet talk the clerks. With charm and some good luck, you may be able to persuade the sales person to extend you the discount on the eve of the sales, or at least to set the longed-for item aside.

Happy shopping (as if as an American, you actually have any cash left to spend)!

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