Every January and July, almost everything goes on sale. France is not like the U.S., where we have major sales throughout the year--mostly around holidays, like Memorial day sales, Labor Day weekend sales, Black Friday, and after-Christmas sales.
Here, it is quite systematic. For one month, almost all of the old inventory goes on sale. This is true for even the big department stores like Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. This year, the sales started January 12th, and they will end February 15th. The markdowns will get progressively larger. There is an art to this--you have to wait a little while to get the best price, but if you wait too long, there will be no inventory left!
Today I did some exploring at Printemps--one of the huge luxe department stores. Almost everything was on sale! Some of the boutiques--like Louis Vuitton and Gucci did not participate. However, much of the other high end merchandise was indeed on sale.
I saw a cute top--regularly priced at 985 euros, on sale for 50% off! I saw another top, regularly priced at 70 euros, on sale for 50% off!
35 euros for a 70 euro top ain't bad! But, I'm going to wait about a week and half. I'm aiming to catch some of the 70% off prices ;)