In America, shops offer unbeatable sales at almost any moment of the year but in France, deals are government regulated and reserved for two key periods of the year - January and July. Unofficial promotions are authorized for several weeks in between but the dates vary.
Despite battered bank accounts and a welter of gifts we may or may not know what to do with in this post-holiday stage, the January 'soldes' always manage to snare us into more spending.
Muscle your way through the crowds in the first several days, though, and you'll likely walk away with something modestly-priced to make it worth your time. Go early in the morning and during the week to dodge throngs of ardent shoppers.
January sales run from January 8, 2014-February 11, 2014. Summer sale dates not yet released.