France’s winter sales (les soldes d’hiver) are set to begin at 08:00 on Wednesday (January 11) and to finish on Tuesday, February 7, over most of the country.
Sale dates are set nationally in France and not by individual shops or companies.
There are two six-week national soldes periods per year (one in winter, and one in summer) and the dates are set by law.
Shop owners must display the original price of the item as well as the sale price so you can be sure you are getting a genuine deal. Shops can hold other sales throughout the year with dates of their choice but only for a maximum of two weeks.
The rules on sales also apply to internet-based firms, and for internet purchases from French firms you also benefit from an automatic 14 days from receipt to return goods if you change your mind, whether they are on sale or not (some items are excluded, so make sure you check before purchase).
The dates listed above will apply to almost all of metropolitan France, Martinique, French Guiana and Mayotte, but in Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Meuse and Vosges, they have already begun.
In these departments, the sales started on January 2, and will end after January 29.
In general, France’s winter sales always begin on the second Wednesday of January, unless this day falls after January 12, in which case they will begin on the first Wednesday.