17 In Advice and Money Saving Tips

Winter Sale Season in France: Les Soldes

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!

[Updated August 4, 2022]

Timing Of Les Soldes

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

Dates depend on the region.

2023 Les Soldes Dates:

The winter dates are: January 11-February 2, 2023*

and the summer dates are: June 28-July 25, 2023**

*Note: these departments start January 2, 2023: Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Vosges

** Note: these departments start July 5, 2023: Alpes-Maritimes, les Pyrénées-Orientales

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
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 markups 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 100 Euros in one store on the same day. Here is a post I did on how it works: How To Apply For The EU-VAT Refund On Purchases Made In France
  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.

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Les Soldes-Sales In France

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  • Reply
    Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields
    December 19, 2016 at 3:10 am

    The sales in France sound like fun. I can’t believe they are state regulated, and I thought Australia was a nanny-state!

    • Reply
      December 19, 2016 at 8:59 am

      France is pretty regulated over all. Nice to see sales twice a year, though.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 11:39 am

    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!) 🙂

    • Reply
      December 19, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Great excuse to go to Paris!

  • Reply
    Irene S. Levine
    December 19, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    I would love to be in Paris during Les Soldes! Thanks for all the tips because I’m still hoping I’ll get there one day:-)

    • Reply
      December 19, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      And I’d love to meet up with you there….or in NY!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    December 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing the shopping tips Jan. We’re not huge fans of shopping but we do like saving money when we do.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2016 at 10:20 am

      I don’t do a lot of shopping, but when I do, I certainly would like to get a deal!

  • Reply
    Jackie Smith
    December 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    The Globe Trotter
    December 25, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Thanks for the shopping tips, Jan. I am not a big shopper and usually tend to avoid sales due to the crowd. But yes, I like saving money when I can 🙂

    • Reply
      December 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      I’m with you on that!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I am leaving for Paris on the Feb. 18th and arriving on the 19th. I have one day to find some sales! Thanks for posting the info.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Do you know when the January 2021 sales are?

    • Reply
      July 26, 2020 at 9:38 am

      My understanding is that the dates for Les Soldes sales season in France for 2021 are as follows:
      Winter: January 6-February 2 (Note: these departments start January 2: Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Vosges)
      Summer: June 23-July 20 (Note: these departments start July 7: Alpes-Maritimes, les Pyrénées-Orientales)

      Obviously, the dates are subject to change like they were this year due to Coronavirus.
      Hope this helps.

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