Parisian Living

Les SOLDES: Navigating Paris’ Fierce Sale Shopping Scene

by Sylvia Sabes
HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Diane YoonBroken Arm, Diane Yoon

Regulated by French law since 1906, stores are only allowed to have sales twice a year in Paris.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Diane Yoon/Erica BermanCappuccino and shopping at Broken Arm, Diane Yoon/Erica Berman

When the Soldes begin, it is like hunting season, with each shopper tracking their prey.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Malou LasquiteMalou Lasquite

This year, Les SOLDES begin June 25th and last one month. Here are some hints for getting ahead of the competition…

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Didier GauducheauCentre Commercial, Didier Gauducheau

The first tip is to take advantage of the Ventes Privées (private sales). While sweeping discounts for the general public are illegal throughout the year, private sales are tolerated. If you have a favorite brand, sign up for their mailing list. You’ll be notified of private sales throughout the year and may even have priority during the soldes.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Diane YoonBroken Arm, Diane Yoon

If you are not on a mailing list, but stumble into a shop with the perfect pair of designer pumps you’ve been simply dying to own just a few days before the sales have begun, ask if they’re having a Vente Privée. Sometimes they’ll say no, but often boutiques are happy to give visitors the discount regulars already enjoy.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Carin OlssonSandro, Carin Olsson

With the exception of Louis Vuitton, every designer on the market seems to participate in Les SOLDES. The very chic shops will not have signs out advertising the sales, and sales merchandise is likely to be hidden off to the side, without any indication that prices have been reduced.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Didier Gauducheau/Diane YoonCentre Commercial, Didier Gauducheau/Broken Arm, Diane Yoon

Parisiennes in the know will simply ask a sales person to show them Les SOLDES, although it is helpful to remember that the international brands sell out of their stock fairly early on and rarely participate for more than ten days.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Diane YoonBroken Arm, Diane Yoon

Hermes is one exception to the rule. To avoid confusion, they hold their sale at the Palais des Congrès at Porte Maillot in the 16th arrondissement. Expect long lines of luxury bargain hunters looking to enrich their collection of little carré scarves, extravagant shoes and sumptuous cashmeres, but don’t expect to find that cherished bag, as their leather bags are not part of the event, which will be held this year from June 25-28.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Flickr Rafael CastilloRafael Castillo

For the large shops and mass-market labels, Les SOLDES are often an “each woman for herself” kind of event. The truly determined show up the night before and try to convince a sales person to put an article aside for the following day.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Diane YoonBroken Arm, Diane Yoon

And what a day that is! It is one of the few days of the year you’ll see Parisiennes waiting in line outside the department stores, showing up an hour before opening just to ensure they get what they’ve come for. Fortunately, the sales always start on a Wednesday, making it fairly manageable as most people are busy with the more serious routine of their daily lives.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes, Erica BermanErica Berman

The best bargains can be had the last week of Les SOLDES as articles that were originally discounted 30-50% receive a second and maybe even a third discount.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes,  Diane YoonBroken Arm, Diane Yoon

If your trip to Paris happens to be too early or too late for Les SOLDES, never fear. There are a few discrete outlet shops, called stock, in the city. My favorites being;

MAJE, 6 rue du Cherche Midi, 6ème

Zadig&Voltaire, 22 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 4ème

Chloé, 8 rue JP Timbaud, 11ème

Bonne chasse!

HiP Paris Blog, Les Soldes,  Diane YoonBroken Arm, Diane Yoon

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Written by Sylvia Sabes for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Written By

Sylvia Sabes

When not hitting the ol’ cobblestones hunting down the hottest new addresses for her job as Paris Expert for Afar magazine and Luxe City Guides, Sylvia pretends to be swamped disguised as a wife and mom. You can read more of her work at (link below) or follow her adventures on FB @SylviaDublanc View Sylvia Sabes's Website

3 comments on “Les SOLDES: Navigating Paris’ Fierce Sale Shopping Scene

great photos! makes me feel like i’m window shopping in paris with you!

How funny! Just mentioned the Broken Arm as one of my favorite boutiques in Paris in yesterday’s blog post ~coincidentally~ about shopping the Paris sales. 🙂 Hope you check it out.

Great post btw, xo

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