What are “Les Soldes“? It translates to “the sales”. Here in Europe, sales don’t happen like they do in the US. This is not the land of constant markdowns and bargain shopping. Twice a year for about a month (in August and January), they sell off the previous season’s merchandise at a discount. In France, the dates are set by the government!
At first, they start with 20-30%. After a couple of weeks, they mark things down to a second reduction of 50% off. If you get really lucky, they will mark things down to a final reduction of 70% off. Even though “never pay retail” should be tattooed on me somewhere, I haven’t gone buck nutty. I still think you can buy things less expensively in the US. Knowing there is a better deal out there somewhere takes all the fun out of it.
Les Soldes are practically a national sport around here. People will scout things out ahead of time, stalk the remaining garmets in the store and play the waiting game to get the best deal.
Some stores splash the discounts all over their storefronts.
Others (like Valentino) are a bit more discreet.
I didn’t even see any markdowns at Gucci.
By the way, the crazy storefront had this in the window for him. Unfortunately it hasn’t gone on sale yet.
If you are planning on doing some shopping, EuroCheapo and Europe Up Close have some good ideas for tackling the sales.