Sales in France
In the past, retailers have only been able to hold sales twice a year, of a maximum of six weeks, each, and on dates decided for them by the prefecture of each department. Summer sales have usually taken place in the last week of June, and winter sales around the second week of January. Special promotions do not count as ‘sales’ and can take place whenever the shop wishes, as long as they conform to certain conditions.
However, recent changes now allow retailers to choose a further two weeks, on top of the summer and winter sales, to hold their own sales weeks.
The government are also looking at laws to make Sunday trading more flexible although many large stores have so far expressed little interest in this, as they do not feel that it is worth their while to open on Sunday and pay double time or time-off in lieu.
The Sunday closing laws actually date back 100 years to a law which grants employees the right to 24 hours complete rest in any six-day period, not due to religion as many believe. Although employees can volunteer to work extra hours, they may well be entitled to up to 300% of their basic wage or an extra day in lieu.