Winter Sales in Paris – A Strategy for Savings
Right Time, Right Place
If you are visiting Paris this January and early February, you are one lucky shopper! The
winter retail sales (“Les Soldes”) have begun and they will last until the 6th of February. This is the time of year when shopping becomes a national sport (forget the Olympics for the moment!) The sales can be a bit confusing for first timers, which is why Apartments du Louvre has put together this informal guide for grabbing the bargain of a lifetime in one of Paris’ 60,000 stores.
Background of Bargain Hunting
The seasonal retail sales in France are regulated by the government and happen only
twice a year, winter and summer. The official dates for 2024 are January 10 th to February 6 th and (for your summer trip) June 26 th -July 24 th. During this time, a savvy shopper could save
from 30% to as much as 70% and more on Prada, Hermes, Dior, Valentino, Armani, Maje, Sandro, Gucci and many other famous fashion labels. You could even get a second discount of about 12% if you apply for the VAT (Value Added Tax) refund when you purchase your items (more about that later). The most important thing to remember about the sales is that prices drop in stages. If you shop early, you will have a better selection, but not as much of a discount. If you wait until the second or even the final third stage of discounts, you have a better chance of finding huge savings (up to 80%) and smiling all the way home. However, you will have a much smaller selection of goodies to choose from. Another tip, is that it’s best to focus on French fashion brands, since the mark-up back home is so exorbitant, even the regular prices in Paris are a bargain. However, on sale, the prices could be a real steal. Your best bets for clothing are Sandro, Maje, Zadig et Voltaire, The Kooples, Ines de la Fressange, Les Petites and Iro.
What to Do and Where to Go
Put on your walking shoes and, from Apartments du Louvre, head on down to Rue de
Rivoli and the iconic BHV department store (52 rue de Rivoli). On the way there, you’ll pass by many shops that might be worth a visit, depending on what you’re looking for (Uniqlo, Zara and much more). Another unique shopping spot could be 99 rue de Rivoli where you will find the Carrousel de Louvre, an elaborate underground shopping mall with 33 stores (such as LaCoste, Sandro, Swarovski, Fossil, Maxim’s of Paris…) and a food court of 11 restaurants.
The Carrousel de Louvre also contains “La Pyramide Inversee”, (Louvre Inverted Pyramid), an amazing structure which plays a key role in the best-selling book and movie “The Da Vinci Code”. If you prefer elegant, smaller boutiques, head to the ever-stylish rue Saint-Honore for upscale shopping at boutiques such as the Longchamp Flagship Store, Bonpoint, Dior Concept
Store and many more.
If you wish to benefit from the VAT discount at any of these establishments, there are some ground rules you should know about. You must be over 16; not a member of the European Union; spend over 100 Euros in the same boutique and have your passport with you. The sales assistants will help you with the paperwork, which may seem a bit complicated but well worth the effort. The VAT discount is an additional 12% off, which will be reimbursed to your credit card once you are back in your home country.
So, there you have the basic guidelines and plenty of reasons to add luxury shopping
and bargain hunting to your list of things to do while you’re staying with us at the Apartments du Louvre. And think about reserving in advance for the Summer Sales in June that start on June 26 th . The sooner, the better!