It is that season in Paris again where the stores are wiped out of stock due to the bi-annual sales frenzy. French consumer-protection law only allows two periods of the year (January/February and July typically) for massive retail price reduction. Smaller promotions can still happen during the year, but – with the exception of “going out of business” sales, across the board discounts of 20%, 30%…60% and more are only legal during these two periods. During this period, the stores are all complete chaos and stocks – even regular stocks – dwindle into nothing. Oh, you can find loads of defective items or XXXL shirts or XS shorts but looking for a “normal” sized almost anything is pointless until the frenzy dies down. The worst example – at least in my experience – is H&M where I have literally seen clothes flying through the air as ladies, girls, moms, grandmas, etc elbow and shove and dig there way through the racks looking for cheap stuff that is their size. My example from the last two days is that I needed a fleece for my kid for next week’s ski vacation. I hit five different stores before falling back on the Vieux Campeur in the 5th where I got the very last fleece they had in my kid’s size. I mean the very last one! So, some advice: take the day off when the sales start (typically on a Wednesday such as the one after New Years) and go early to find what you want. Target only a few places and get in and get out before anyone gets hurt. Then, wait at home until the shopping hell subsides and the stores re-stock and go buy the rest of the stuff you need. A note of caution: most stores will have one rack on sale and the rest of the collection items will be regular price. Since the signage is sometimes absent, it is best to ask “est-ce que ceci est en solde?” before getting surprised at the checkout counter.
That reminds me, I forgot to buy socks. Yikes!
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