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On your marks, get set, shop!

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2010-01-06

It’s sales time again in France and, as it only occurs twice a year, Parisians are limbering up for five weeks of frenzied shopping. Retailers are hoping for an improvement on last year's recession-induced low turnout.

It’s sales time again in France and, as it only occurs twice a year, Parisians are limbering up for five weeks of frenzied shopping. France is very different to other countries in that the government regulates when the shops can put their merchandise on sale for anti competition purposes. As this shopping extravaganza is just bi-annual, and after last year's disapointing turnout, the retailers have laid on some real bargains. has put together some vital statistics for this year’s sale season:

140,000: The number of customers expected to go to the Printemps department store in Paris on the first day of the sale. The more upscale Galeries Lafayettes department store only reported that they anticipate a “very strong showing.”

159: The number of euros that the average French person will spend, according to the Kelkoo price comparison site. However, this figure is just a guide as the anticipated figure at last year’s winter sales was 200 Euros per buyer, but the financial crisis meant a tightening of the purse strings, and the average consumer spent just 168 Euros.

4%: The amount that clothing sales went down by in 2009. The good news is that clothes are number one on everyone’s shopping list at this year’s sales. Even better, sales of clothes over the internet rose by 20.5% in 2009 – comprising 6% of the total market share for clothing sales.

12 million: The number of consumers who intend to make their sales purchases online, according to the Federation of E-Commerce. has reported that it is expecting a million visitors to its site on the first day of the sales.

30: The amount of time that the company Cyclobulles in Paris is offering to shoppers for a free test-drive of its electric tricycle. To go where, you ask? Why the city’s main shopping thoroughfares, of course! And a few museums and cafés while you’re at it.

XY: There is a distinct possibility that the men will out-shop the women this year. One study commissioned by Kelkoo revealed that only 19% of men planned to spend less this year than in January 2009, as opposed to 27% of women. Furthermore, 27% of men intended to spend more this year than last year.


Date created : 2010-01-06