Every man for himself, or the last day of the summer sales in Paris

Whew, it was a battle of the fittest yesterday. One man, who was fleet of foot, dashed across the store to snatch a pair of shoes before a mother and her son could reach them, while another cunningly studied a fellow shopper to see if he would release his grasp on a desired jacket. As many Parisians are preparing to leave the city for their August vacation, competition for the few remaining items of summer wear was fierce.

The bi-annual sales (soldes) are state regulated in France and are the only time of year that stores are legally allowed to sell merchandise at a loss.  With an official start and end date set by the government, the summer and winter sales are the primary way for stores to reduce their inventory of old stock. And as every savvy shopper in Paris seems to know, merchandisers gradually reduce their prices during the six week sale period until goods reach their final markdown, often the third one, on the last day of the sale.

My son, who has a slim build, remarked that a larger man would have had better luck than him in Paris because the majority of the sales items were sizes XXL and XL, while in the United States it's usually sizes M and S that are left (maybe Americans need to add more cheese and wine to their diets!). But since he has already asked to borrow a larger suitcase to take his new wardrobe back to Boston, I think that he did alright during our shopping trips. Thank goodness that the battle of the bargain hunters is finished until January!

After watching the tactics of the male shoppers, I was happy to have completed my summer shopping in the States.

All of the remaining pink shirts were sizes XXL, XL and L.


  1. I love that photo--the store is a mess.

  2. It was like a feeding frenzy - and that was only the men's section. Can you imagine what the women must have been like?!

  3. Yes, I can, having gone shopping with many women in the past. It ain't always pretty.


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