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:
Dates depend on the region.
2020 Les Soldes Dates:
The winter dates are: January 8-February 4, 2020
and the summer dates are: July 15-August 11, 2020
2021 Les Soldes Dates:
The winter dates are: January 8-February 2, 2021*
and the summer dates are: June 23-July 20, 2021**
*Note: these departments start January 2: Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Vosges
** Note: these departments start July 7: 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
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.
- 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
- 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.