Paris Winter Sales 2017: What you need to know
Guess what’s on between January 11, 2017 and February 14, 2017?
Yes, it’s the Paris Winter Sales 2017!
Ok, that was easy since it’s the title of this article.
But here are tougher questions: do you have any idea how to make the most of this fabulous shopping event? How to get the best deals? How to beat the crowds?
Hmmm… though so!
For any shopaholic, Paris is a great place to be, but come the Winter Sales, it’s undeniably THE place to be! So many clothes, decorations, jewelry, cosmetics, perfume… all at prices defying the primary rules of supply and demand.
Needless to say that if you are looking for something to buy for your children, it’s the perfect moment as well!
The best deals are around the corner, but here’s the downside: you’re not the only shopping fan waiting to get what you have been dreaming of for so long at unbeatable prices.
And having to use your elbow to get to the cashier because of the dense crowd is never a pleasant feeling.
Luckily for you, I have done all the work to find out how to make the most of your Paris Winter Sales 2017. From preparing your shopping spree to the best areas in Paris to satisfy your shopping addiction, find out all you need to know about Paris Winter Sales 2017.
So, keep calm and… shop!
PARIS WINTER SALES 2017 MADE EASY
How come we always remember the unbeatable prices during the Paris winter sales, but never remember how unpleasant it is to have to do your shopping among thousands and thousands of other people?
Every year, I hear the same thing: “I got this item with a discount of 70%, but I really had to wade through a dense crowd in order to be able to get to the item and then pay for it. I’m never going shopping during the sales period ever again”.
Here’s what everyone should do to make the coming Paris Winter Sales 2017 as pleasant and enjoyable as possible, without having to wait for the last day (and walk out empty handed as everything has already been sold!).
1. Know what you want before the start of the Paris Winter Sales:
The worst thing is to think you’ll have the time and space to freely wander in boutiques and try out what you want during the sales period. I know that that’s part of the shopping experience, but instead of doing it during the sales, why not do it BEFORE the sales?
Take a bit of time to find out which boutiques you are interested in, the items you would like to buy and, for clothes, the size that suits you best.
That will save you a lot of time and patience: all you’ll need to do on the early days of the sales period is head out to these boutiques, take the item you’re interested in, pay and leave.
You can’t go wrong with that.
2. Select the shopping areas that match your style:
There are many shopping areas in Paris, as you’ll see in the chapter below, but they each have their own specialty. You won’t want to go on the luxurious Place Vendôme to find an affordable clothing item for example.
And it’s important to make that selection in order to save precious time. Do one neighborhood at a time to avoid back and forth transportation, otherwise your patience will wear thin.
3. Choose the right time to save time:
Clearly, on the first day of the Paris Winter Sales period (traditionally a Wednesday), shopaholics tend to queue before 8AM in front of the big department stores. I would not recommend to go during that period.
I would generally recommend going shopping on a weekday (except Wednesday afternoon when kids are off school), preferably avoiding the lunch break, as that’s the time a lot of working people take 1 hour to shop. Try to avoid Saturdays as much as possible.
4. Dress to undress:
If you have a lot of clothing items to buy, and didn’t follow the first rule of sales shopping, it is wise to dress intelligently in order to undress quickly. That saves both your time and the time and patience of others waiting outside the fitting room. It’s winter, so I’m not saying you have to wear a T-shirt, but avoid the all too classy yet difficult to take off clothes. Avoid clothes with thousands of buckles, laces, belts and layers, and go for the easy pants and sweater. Remember, you want to be efficient here!
5. Buy the right item:
During the Paris Winter Sales, the prices are definitely attractive. But the service might not be that of ordinary days. Make sure you really try them on before buying because many shops have a “no return no exchange” policy. That means you’re stuck with the item you wrongly bought…
6. Shop at the very end of the Paris Winter Sales in order to get the most attractive price.
If you are really looking for the most amazing prices, shop at the end of the sales period. The boutiques and shops will be selling everything out. Not sure you’ll have the trendiest and most popular design (after all, nobody bought them before, so there must be a reason), but at least you will have paid a very small amount to get it!
It all comes down to this: be patient, efficient, and be quick!
THE BEST AREAS FOR YOUR PARIS WINTER SALES 2017 SHOPPING
Now that you know how to make your Paris Winter Sales 2017 shopping expedition as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, here are some of the best areas in Paris to look for the clothes or objects you have always dreamed of.
Grands Magasins, Madeleine & Boulevard des Capucines
Type of shopping: department stores, fashion, home, cosmetics, jewelry, food
Range: middle to luxury
The 2 most famous department stores are Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps, which most Parisians refer to as “Grands Magasins” (big stores). Located next to one another, these 2 all-time competitors strive to offer the best brands to their customers. All the major luxury brands have outlets in both stores. And because Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps attract so many shoppers, many other famous brands have set up their boutiques in this area. You’ll find a lot of food outlets on Place de la Madeleine (Hédiard, Fauchon, Maille, Patrick Roger), and the largest luxury watches wholesaler in Paris on Boulevard des Capucines (Bucherer).
Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne & George V
Type of Shopping: luxury, fashion, cars, souvenirs, food
Range: middle to luxury
The Champs-Elysées avenue is said to be “the most beautiful avenue in the world”. Not only is the view really nice on the Arc de Triomphe, but the shopping possibilities are endless. From high end boutiques (Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Tiffany’s) to affordable souvenir shops, you’ll find all you need here.
If you are looking for more luxury end products, head out to the “Golden Triangle” on Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V and Avenue François 1er. You’ll find the most prestigious luxury brands there, but they are not the types of brands that offer a 70% discount (you wish!).
Place Vendôme, Faubourg Saint Honoré, Rue de la Paix
Type of Shopping: luxury, fashion, jewelry
Range: high end to luxury
Rue de la Paix and Place Vendôme is where luxury all began in Paris. Cartier has it’s flagship store there, and all of the world’s most famous jewelers have a boutique here. Again, discounts are rare in these types of establishments, but it’s always nice to take a look at their beautiful creations. For luxury fashion items (Hermès), head out to Faubourg Saint Honoré. You will find all the Haute Couture brands, and chances are, you will be able to find something on sale during the Paris Winter Sales.
Type of Shopping: hip, trendy fashion and decoration
Nothing beats a Sunday in Le Marais district of Paris. It’s central, it’s beautiful, but more importantly, it’s one of the only places in the French capital with open boutiques on that day. People come here to find the independent, small, cozy boutiques, or the trendy home decoration shops. There are some great deals here during the Paris Winter Sales. And while you are at it, grab a falafel in Le Marais’ Jewish district on Rue des Rosiers. Finger licking good!
Le Bon Marché, Saint Germain
Type of Shopping: classic French, luxury, fashion, decoration, art, department store
Range: high end to luxury
The Saint-Germain district is one of the most iconic areas of Paris. Where the Lost Generation once spent time is now where a lot of Parisians hang out and go shopping. You won’t find that many tourists here.
The oldest Parisian department store is also located in Saint Germain. Le Bon Marché welcomes most of the luxury and high end brands for fashion and cosmetics.
Another aspect of Saint Germain is its artistic tradition. You will therefore find a lot of high end art galleries.
Les Halles & Rue de Rivoli
Type of Shopping: souvenir, fashion, objects
Range: low end to middle
Les Halles is considered the heart of Paris. Emile Zola, the famous French novelist, even called it the belly of Paris, since this was the place where the largest market once stood for centuries. Today, the main building has been completely rebuilt and turned into an architectural highlight (la Canopée). For shopping, you will find everything from streetwear to souvenirs to a variety of other small boutiques selling all kinds of different things (old record stores, gothic clothes…). The shopping mall underground is a good place to find common brand names such as Zara or H&M.
On the Rue de Rivoli, you will also find international brands, which offer very interesting and attractive prices during the Paris Winter Sales period.
Beaugrenelle, Rue de Passy, Franck&Fils & Passy Plaza
Type of Shopping: fashion, food
Range: middle to high end
Il you are staying near the Eiffel Tower, your best and closest shopping area is the Beaugrenelle shopping mall. There, you will find all kinds of middle to high end brands for clothing (Aigle, American Vintage, Eleven Paris, Esprit…), accessories (Adidas Originals), electronics (Bose), furniture and more.
If you cross the Pont de Beaugrenelle bridge and walk uphill for 10 minutes, you will end up in Rue de Passy, one of the busiest streets of the posh 16ème arrondissement. You will find many boutiques there (COS, Zadig & Voltaire, Zara, Lauren Vidal etc.) as well as 2 fancy shopping malls: Franck & Fils and Passy Plaza.
La Vallée Village
Type of Shopping: fashion, food
Range: middle to high end
La Vallée Village est located next to Disneyland Paris. Sure, it’s not in located in the center of Paris, and it will take you about 45 minutes to get there with the train, but it is well worth it. La Vallée Village is nothing but a shopping village, where all sorts of high end brands have some sort of factory outlet. The prices are really interesting, especially during the Winter Sales, but make sure you follow our instructions on how to make the most of it, because if you don’t, it could very well turn into a disaster because of the dense crowds.
For an optimal shopping experience for your children, check out our 10 best luxury shops for kids in Paris (http://family-twist.com/blog/10-best-luxury-shops-for-kids-in-paris-and-london/)
WHY DO THE PARIS WINTER SALES 2017 EXIST?
The sales happen twice a year (winter and summer). They last for a period of 6 weeks.
These sales take place in order to help the boutiques and department stores sell the remaining merchandise in stock of the past collection quickly and efficiently.
There are very strict rules that boutiques must comply with in order to participate. The goods on sale must have been on display for a at least a month in order to sell them at discounted prices.
Depending on the stock, these goods can even be sold below cost, which is theoretically against the law in normal periods.
In other words, treat yourself and your children to something nice during the Paris Winter Sales 2017. You won’t regret it!
Should you want us to organize a shopping themed itinerary for you, with your own private personal shopper, please contact us. Kids are more than welcome to participate of course, but should you want to go on your own, we can offer baby sitting services.