Monday, July 4, 2011
Shop Til You Drop
It's that time of the year again, the semi-annual sales. While you see more and more "promotions" during the year, this is one of the two legally regulated sale periods. Merchants are forbidden to bring in extra merchandise to sell at discounted prices; this is meant to clear the shelves for the next season's items.
These photos were taken on one block. Every window is plastered with soldes signs, and many of them have taken merchandise out of the windows and fill them with mannequins dressed only in white shifts or t-shirts.
The classier stores may have more discreet signs indicating that the sale items are to be found in à l'interieur. Some of the classiest, like Hermès, don't have store sales but rather ventes privés held in a different location so as not to sully their image with anything as bourgeois as markdowns.
For those of us raised in the "sell it at any cost" atmosphere of the US, these markdowns are not remarkable. Thirty percent? Nordstrom's will often do 70 percent right out of the box, and that's all year long.
But I must admit, the temptation remains; when all the windows call you you may respond.