Monday, 13 February 2012

It's Winter sale time in France!!

Wow! We are just back from the Citroen garage where the car went for a 'simple' electrical repair to the boot that would not open rendering it absolutely useless!! The 'facture' was so horrific that I cannot even bring my brain to enter that zone again...too painful! It was three times what we expected in our worst case scenario! Next time we will get a 'devis' or quote!

We are constantly surprised as to the cost of some things in France that anyone who has experienced living life elsewhere would just not tolerate. Many French friends think that we are quite mad to do the drive to the U.K. for many and various...Michelin tyres [a French product!] are double, timber, electrical appliances, second hand cars, paint [classic example today was the €130 euro price tag on the same 5 litre can of Farrow and Ball distemper paint that is £69 in the U.K.]....

You may ask what are the things that are notably cheaper...not a lot really...the food is generally better quality but you pay for the privilege...the sales can be exceedingly good too!
It really is something to consider if you are thinking of moving to France to live. For us the benefits of the lifestyle, and the fact that we came for London, which is also an expensive place to live, outweigh the extra costs and somehow our lives are simpler with less retail. Our habits have changed. We rarely go out for 'shopping' excursions like we used to in is not a 'hobby' or a way to 'spend an afternoon' anymore...Liliana has so few trips to the Maxi Toy shop that last time we took her she almost had heart pulpitaions with over joke...she has not been since!

The girls are happy to do a special trip for a 'shopping fix' in sale time to Paris, Troyes or Reims. France has state regulated dates when 'magasins' or shops are legally able to put stock on sale twice a year and then it is all over till next time. When the dates are publicly announced it causes great excitement!

As you can imagine the bi-annual sales are a great excuse for all manor of girlie shopping excursions for my teenage daughter! Luckily her birthday falls near the end of the winter sales.. tomorrow this year and she is off to buy some new shoes! Things get progressively cheaper throughout the weeks of the sales and if you are prepared to wait your item of choice could go from 30% off to 70% off! Some Parisians are even known to move items around the shop and hide them in order to try and wait out the price that is dedicated!

For serious shopoholics here is a link to a guide to creating a strategy to the sales in Paris...worth a read if your dates visiting any major town in France coincide with the sales or 'soldes'.

The Winter 'January' sales is usually the second Wednesday of January till mid February.

The Summer 'July' sales run from late June to the end of July.

We are lucky to have a few of the biggest outlet villages close to us that our guests enjoy visiting...they offer masses of French fashion and products at reduced prices all year round in stylish village style centres which are a fun day out...if that is your thing!! If you love shopping and would like to do a daytrip then look no further. 

Within 1 hour's drive from our house there are several French teacher in London even used to do day trips over with clients to storm the shops!!
 Givenchy Paris

La Vallée Village

Location:  3 Cours de la Garonne, 77700, Serris, France.  (01 60 42 35 00),
La Vallée Village is one of the best of the Paris-area outlet malls is located a mere five minutes from the Disneyland Resort. The 70-store mall has more high-end brands than its competitors, and many of these labels —Celine, Christian Lacroix, Givenchy — have few outlet stores. The discounts are authentic and often deep.
Open daily (except Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and May 1st) from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. On Sundays, the Village is open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. To get there take the RER A4, towards Paris, exit at Val d'Europe...

George V Four Seasons Hotel Paris France

McArthur Glen Troyes

Location:  Voie du Bois - 10150 Pont de Sainte Marie - France.  (03 25 70 47 10)
This is France’s largest outlet-mall hub, just outside the medieval town of Troyes, in the province of Champagne. Shoppers have three malls to choose from, the biggest and best being home to 84 stores, including Burberry, Lacoste, and Versace.
From Paris’ Gare d’Est it’s about 1.5 hours by train to Troyes. But, if your plan is to power-shop your way through all three Troyes outlet centers, it’s much more practical to rent a car.
Open Mon - Fri 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday 9.30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Other outlet malls in the area include:
  • Marques Avenue: Troyes (03 25 82 80 80) 114 boulevard de Dijon, St-Julien les Villas, Troyes. The 55 stores include Hugo Boss, Charles Jourdan, trendy chain store Kookäi.
  • Marques Avenue: Troyes Maison(03 25 82 80 80) 230 Faubourg Croncels, Troyes.

Shame the garage was not having a 'soldes' on the mechanics labour...I am still mistifyed how they spent 8.7 hours at €58.36 [+ tax] an hour fixing the boot and fitting a towbar...All the savings made at the sales is not gonna bring that back in a hurry!!  

Wherever you are in the world...end of Summer or end of Winter...HAPPY SHOPPING!

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