Winter Sale Season in France: Les Soldes

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70% off a Chanel dress. Wouldn’t that be nice! Who doesn’t like a sale, particularly when it’s Les Soldes,  a promotional period in France where shoppers go crazy over big discounts. Next month this craziness begins!

Timing Of Les Soldes

Sales are state-regulated and there are two periods that “Les Soldes” take place:

Les Soldes in France
Les Soldes in France

Dates depend on the region.

In 2018 the winter dates are: January 10-February 20, 2018

and the summer dates are: June 27-August 7, 2018.

You’ll see “Promotion” or “Soldes” signs with prices slashed quite a bit not only in the small stores, but also in the department stores such as Galeries Lafayette. Reductions can range from 30-50% and even as high as 70% and these discounts may increase as time goes on. Their goal is to get rid of old stock.

Your Strategy During Les Soldes

Les Soldes in France
Les Soldes in France

While it’s not like Boxing Day in Canada and the United Kingdom, or Black Friday in the United States where people line up the night before to get in first, it is important to get there early right when the store opens.  Avoid the lunch-hour when many office workers zip out to find a deal. When I was there last January some stores got extremely crowded so it’s wise not to overdress. Also be prepared to be assertive.

Items that have the highest mark ups tend to have the biggest discounts. Boutiques, supermarkets, specialty stores, and department stores all take part. Stores in tourist areas, particularly in Paris can be open  on Sundays in Paris (ie. Rue de Rivoli), so you might have a chance on doing some shopping.

Two reminders:

  1. If you live outside the European Union, you qualify to get a tax rebate if you have spent 175 Euros in one store on the same day. Here is a post I did on how it works: Money Saving Tip 
  2. Notify your credit card company before you leave for France that you might be using your card. This will prevent holds or difficulties using your card when you are in France.

Not crazy about going to France in January? I’ve been to Paris twice in January and the weather was great. Not too cold. No snow. Sunshine! It’s worth trying it out. Check out my post about some of the highlight during this time period:  Visiting Paris in December and January.

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14 Comments

  1. What fun! We just got back from a trip to Seville and Cordoba, Spain and I was feeling seriously under-dressed in my American jeans and running shoes. Even when the Europeans wear sneakers their attire looks like a coordinated outfit! Sigh. I need a wardrobe specialist (and maybe a trip to Paris!) 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed my visit to Galeries Lafayette when I was there but couldn’t get anything in the sales. It’s handy to know when the sales take place.

    1. Yes, I think it’s really the smaller shops where you find the deals. Can’t remember when I last bought something at Galeries Lafayette!

  3. I’m not a shopper as such, but I do love a good sale. . .brings out the hunter in me, I guess! This is great information as would never have thought about specific times for great sales. . .and will keep this mind should we find ourselves planning any trips that might just coincide with the sales.

    1. I don’t make a special trip to France for these sales, but if I happen to be in France during the two time periods I’ll certainly look for some deals.

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