salesThe Winter sales 2019 have been set by the préfecture for a period of 5 weeks starting on Wednesday 9th January at 8h00 until Tuesday 19th February.
During the sale period, shops are usually allowed to open on a couple of Sundays. Don’t worry if you miss out. You’ll get another chance when the summer sales start on Wednesday 3rd July through to Tuesday 13th August.

Sales are strictly controlled in France. In the past, retailers were only  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 usually take 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.)

Changes over the past few years 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 have also been looking for a while at laws to make Sunday trading more flexible although many large stores have so far expressed little interest in this, stating that it is not 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, and is 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.

Shopper’s rights

  • If the product has a hidden defect (“vice caché”) which renders the product unfit for the use for which it is intended, a replacement, a partial or total refund, or the cancellation of the whole contract can be obtained.
  • If the product does not conform to its description, the consumer can demand the repair or replacement of the good
  • If the product causes damage because it is defective, the trader is responsible for damage caused.
  • Where sales (soldes) are concerned,the shopkeeper is still obliged to exchange or reimburse faulty goods unless a specific fault was pointed out as the reason for its sale price.


After paying for a product, you change your mind although it is not faulty. Traders are not obliged to take back or cancel the order but may agree to give you a credit note.

However, if the seller is at fault (defective merchandise, late delivery, etc), you are not obliged to accept this arrangement and can insist on your money back.

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