Fan and aircon sales up 400% in France before heatwave

Sales of fans, ventilators and air conditioning units have shot up in recent days in anticipation of hot weather

Sales of fans and air conditioning units have shot up by as much as 400% in some parts of France this week as residents prepare for the heatwave that is forecast to hit next week.

Stores across the country reported a rise in sales on Thursday and Friday, after the issue of forecasts of temperatures of up to 40°C, from today (Sunday June 23) well into next week.

Residents have been especially well-prepared this year, shops said, in contrast to buying patterns in previous years, in which people have tended to buy air conditioners and fans at the “last minute” after a heatwave (canicule) has already hit.

A statement from home appliances and electricity group Boulanger said: “Following the announcement of the heatwave, Boulanger has already seen a rise in sales by 400% (compared to the usual) in the air treatment category.

"We are also seeing a trend towards clients who are investing more from the start, taking into account the current tendency towards repeated hot weather.”

Olivier Garcia, product director at the Fnac-Darty group, told news source FranceInfo: “The most in-demand products are ventilators, air conditioners, and coolers. Last week, sales started on air conditioners. We are already up 100% compared to last year (2018).

“We are even almost up to 300% for Thursday and Friday.”

Benoît Vincelet, store director at the Castorama branch in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, near Paris, said: “We have seen a peak in sales since yesterday. We sold 80% of our stock of air conditioners in two days.”

Mr Garcia added: “Normally, the French are not very cautious, and generally come to the shops at the last minute, after one or two difficult nights [during a heatwave]. But the media coverage of the heat has been much more widespread, so the public has anticipated it a little more.”

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