Mama Loves Shopping in Paris and it feels good to know that as of today, we can find a few bargain buys amongst the Pandora’s Box of expensive items that Paris is renowned for! Wandering around the shops in Paris today, MLP was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at some of the items on sale in at least 6 shops including Galeries Lafayette (we just happened to be in the neighbourhood!) and we have to admit, the deals look pretty good! Prices are seriously slashed! Here are our tips!

  • Keep an eye for the coloured stickers which represent different percentages off the sale price!
  • Get up, get in and get out early. Smash and grab people! The sales are a war zone!
  • Be tactical – focus on most popular items first.
  • It’s guaranteed that if you have tiny feet and a tiny body or the opposite you will still find things on the clothes rack in three weeks time so they are not a priority!
  • Make a list, plan a strategy, invest in some good trainers!
  • It’s every Mama for herself! Make it count.
  • Don’t take the kids – it could get bloody!
  • Sale ends August 1, so book recovery spa treatment and massage!

Last year, we wrote about the sales and shopping in Paris. It seemed apt to add it to this post, so enjoy our previous musings on shopping in Paris! Shopping in Paris is something most professional shoppers have got to do at least once in their lives. The array of fancy stores on offer gives the dedicated shopaholic a fix that will last for many a month! On any given day of the year, Paris is a shoppers’ idea of heaven. What’s not to love about shopping in Paris? Beautiful stores galore adorn the city from Le Bon Marché and Galeries Lafayette to Printemps and BHV (pronounced Bay Hash Vay), plus all the designer boutiques like Prada & Chanel or the concept stores like, Merci and Colette! Not to mention, the plethora of markets that underpin these destination superstores. No wonder tourists flock to this city with long arms and deep pockets when the sales are on!

Well, the sales take place twice a year in this town! So the stampede for the best bargains has officially begun. For four to six weeks, every store across the city will be displaying the sign ‘SOLDE’, which means ‘sale’ in French. Admittedly, MLP was confused when seeing these signs for the first time – given that SOLD actually means ‘already purchased‘, in the UK and USA. But once we got our head around it, we couldn’t wait to get on our flats (shoes) and prepare for a shopping marathon! shopping in paris

Given Paris prices, LES SOLDES, provide the perfect opportunity for one to potentially find something that one can actually afford! Let’s not forget that Paris is one of the most expensive cities on the planet. So naturally, tourists are here in their droves battling for the best deals alongside Parisian natives and expats. Bear in mind that a sale price in a Parisian store can still mean that product is way out of reach, but you never know! With this in mind, it is our duty to give you the heads up when it comes to shopping in Paris.

These rules may alter slightly during the sale but this is essential information that any visitor coming to Paris just has to know. It is also what we observed when we arrived from the UK.

If you truly like the idea of shopping in Paris, you need to know that it is not a 24-hour city! You may be familiar with shops opening at 9am where you’re from, but here you can forget it. It is not the way Les Parisians roll! First of all, independent shops are often closed on Monday. So Monday is like a ghost town. Many of the shop owners in the city (apart from the main stores) are chilling out at home while us expats are pounding the streets full of naive expectation. When they start business on Tuesday, their doors will open at about 10 – 10- 10:30am unless it’s a major department store in which case it will be earlier.

So essentially for the first potential shopping hour of the day, one has no choice but to sup coffees and eat croissants in the many cafes ready and willing to provide food and shelter to the tourists desperate for retail therapy. At lunchtime, many shop owners take a break, clearly exhausted from the previous hour or two of work! But you’re shopping spree can be resumed from 2pm until maybe 7.

On a Wednesday afternoon, a lot of places are closed because French children do not go to school on that day so trading stops for many a commercial outlet. Sundays? It’s a no-show again  (although this is changing as the laws have  given this sacred day of the week a shopping stamp of approval!) but markets are open all over the city  and the Marais is open too if you want to shop there – this part of town is essentially Jewish so for religious reasons Sundays are a winner and the shopping is fab!

But let us not forget (and you can be sure that after our first year here we never will), that the city is also CLOSED in August. Yes folks, you will find very few independent shops open in this town during the 8th month of the year and some are even closed from the end of July. Why? Because everyone is on a well deserved HOLIDAY! So don’t leave your sale shopping too late! Luckily the sales ends August 1.

So now you are forewarned and prepared for the shopping in Paris challenges that lie ahead. All that remains for you to do is plan which part of town you want to head to, make a list of things you really need or not!  Grab your wallet and make a dash for it. Bon Courage!

Love MLP

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