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Tuesday, Oct. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


French sale season: A campaign worth buying into

Paris government officials are now urging the public to fulfill their patriotic duty – go shopping.

Paris has long been synonymous with fashion, but it seems that its reign as the fashion capital of the world is in danger. 

Last week it was announced that France would literally campaign to entice more shoppers after Christmas.

The goal is to increase retail sales in the hopes of supporting the economy and regaining the reputation of the world’s premier fashion capital, a reputation Paris used to very clearly dominate. 

Lately, however, there has been much competition for the title of premier shopping capital of the world.

Cities like London, Dubai, New York City and Milan are all giving Paris a run for its money.

Since 2007, the city council, chamber of commerce and national tourism associations have gathered to plan a campaign to revive Paris shopping after the holidays. However, this year they will be stepping up the campaign.

To kick things off, there will be five opening ceremonies taking place in the main shopping areas of the city – Abbesses, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Saint Paul, Madeleine and Palais Royal.

 Additionally, the first four days of the sale feature concierge services, free gifts and special reductions. 

The primary goal is to attract more shoppers and tourists during the month of January, when tourism and retail sales typically drop.

The annual event to increase post-Christmas sales is known as “Soldes by Paris” (Sales by Paris).

This year, to make the event a success, the organizing parties have arranged extra incentives for people to visit the city, such as special deals on accommodations and tourist sights.

Hotels, restaurants, museums and popular sightseeing destinations are all taking part in this month-long campaign to bolster Parisian retail sales.

The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau assist travelers in trip planning to help visitors make the most of their shopping experience, which bolsters the French economy.

This is the first year that Sales by Paris will be partnering with Institut de la Conciergerie Internationale to help tourists navigate the city and shop, shop and shop some more.

Each year, Paris has about 29 million visitors, of which many bring their Am Ex and appetite for shopping.

It’s no secret that Paris is fashion nirvana, but it is a lesser known fact that January promises some of the best sales of the year; retailers, both large and small, offer sales between 20 to 50 percent off during the month.

Sales of Paris begins right after Christmas and continues through January, but the best time to catch the sales is Jan. 6-9, when discounts are at their lowest markdowns. 

While it might seem a bit odd that this is such a big deal, fashion is truly an integral part of the French culture. France’s role in the fashion world is a mark of pride to its people. 

Moreover, while it might seem a bit strange that government officials are actually working to help promote a massive post-Christmas sale, it makes sense from a pragmatic standpoint.

The revenue generated by retail and tourism in France is significant.

To the French, it is not about frivolous shopping. It’s about supporting their country’s heritage and industry. And that is something I will happily buy into.

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