Today was the first day of the SOLDES in France. Stores are allowed to have sales only twice a year, in January and in July, so it is a big deal. There are actually inspectors whose job is to go around and make sure no one puts anything on sale early. Which would be concurrence déloyale [unfair competition]! I read an interview yesterday with a government minister who said she was in favor of having sales as many as three times a year: but only if strictly regulated.
I don't understand why stores can't put on sales when they want. As it is, everyone in France goes to the stores the first day, with predictable scenes of chaos. But then, there are many things I don't understand about France. It may be related to the French predilection for doing things all at the same time, like going on holiday in a massive traffic jam on August 1st, or having lunch at exactly 13h (one o'clock to you). They will often remark, though, that you Americans are conformists, while we, the French , are individualistic!
Individuals in a large crowd a fair amount of the time.
I went to the SOLDES today with one of the more demanding members of my family, so I am too exhausted to write any further.