Soldes is the French word for "sales" or clearance sales. I was surprised to see that there were no clearance sales starting the day after Christmas. I was even more surprised to learn that "Soldes" are regulated by a law that dictates that there can be only two clearance sales per year - once in the summer, starting on the third Wednesday of June, and the winter sale which starts on the second Wednesday of January. Not one day sooner! Soldes are also limited by law to last only five weeks - and not one day longer! This year that means January 12-February 15th. The law applies to every store in the country* - from the small neighborhood stores on my street
to the largest department stores.
Needless to say, the big department stores were packed - but I was amazed to see people standing in line in the Galeries Lafayette for hours for the privilege of buying Gucci shoes at a discount
Or nearby Prada shoes
More affluent shoppers hit the stores on the Avenue Montaigne where there were no garish posters, but sales nonetheless
No matter that today was gray and rainy - the shoppers were out en masse . . .
I could use a new pair of shoes. But I don't particularly like to shop and I hate fighting the crowds. So instead of trying on shoes, I just took a few more photos .
*Stores which are near France's borders can begin their Soldes a week sooner - in order to compete with neighboring countries. Can you imagine the U.S. government dictating sales dates to Macy's or Nordstrom??
p.s. These sales dates apply to online sales too!