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French government slashes winter sales period

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French government slashes winter sales period
Post-christmas sales in France will be a four-week affair happening in January. Photo: AFP
10:23 CET+01:00
Shoppers in France will have two weeks less to bag a bargain this winter after the government shortened the post-Christmas sales period.

Sales in France are highly regulated with the government allowing just two sales periods a year - one in summer and one after Christmas.

And this year the winter sales will last four weeks instead of six.

The government says the sales will take place from Wednesday, January 8th until Tuesday, February 4th.

There are, however, exceptions. In the départements of Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges the sales will run from January 2 until Wednesday 29. There are also different dates for France's overseas departments.

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The idea behind the French system is to protect smaller retailers who cannot compete with big chains and multinationals that are able to buy in bulk and sell some items as a loss-leader.

One of the perhaps biggest threats are international, online shopping platforms, which over the past years have led to a decline in the number of bargain-hunters taking to the streets during sales periods.

Concentrating the winter sales to a period of only four weeks, a law dating back to May, is part of the governments' strategy to revitalise traditional sales shopping. The hope is that a shorter period will boost sales.

Online shoppers can also bag a bargain, but internet retailers must also abide by the dates and the strict rules that accompany sales.

Among these are that goods must have been on display for at least a month at normal prices before being discounted, all items must be clearly labelled with the pre-sale price and the sale price, and shops are forbidden from hiking the prices of items before the sales, in order to make discounts seem more attractive.

Normal exchange and refund rules also apply to goods bought in the sales.


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Scott - 18 Nov 2019 13:31
Tells you something that the GOVERNMENT regulates sales in France.

Boggy - 19 Nov 2019 07:42
The Government do this so small shops can survive. Do they honestly think that all these ridiculous regulations help the small shopkeeper? If they did why are shops closing all over France? If a business can't survive without draconian rules it shouldn't be in business. It's as simple as that. Peoples shopping habits have changed, it's about time Marie's and the Government woke up to that fact.
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