Apart from the fact any Brit currently visiting/living in France is being monetarily abused by a horrendous pound/euro exchange rate they (when I say they ... it's really like a royal they and I'm totally just saying I) are also perplexed by the post Christmas sales and the regimented disposal of unowned, unwanted and most probably fashionably offensive clothes. Winter sales start on the second Wednesday in January (the 6th this year) and last for 5 weeks with fixed nationwide opening and closing times. In fact les soldes are the only time of the year where shops are legally allowed to sell merchandise at a loss. But seriously you're asking me .... she is rambling about annual govermment-regulated sales in a blog post ... but in fact it amuses me how a) my 54-year-old work colleague has gone weak at the knees at the prospect of his first biannual discounted shopping day of 2010 and b) the fact that my "France in the global economy" lecturer talked solidly for a university semester about how France had moved towards some superior version market-oriented capitalism, with considerably less direct state intervention. Liar liar bums on fire.
Anyway despite my perplexed ramble into French commercial practices it doesn't actually affect me as I am avoiding retail outlets like the plague ... saving the pennies for (hopefully) a trip to Alaska in the summer and I'm finally going to upgrade my Canon kit lens with this baby. Happy shopping Frenchies!