“As there are reductions all year round, we wait less for the sales”?: like Mélanie, 32, social media manager in a bank, who nevertheless pushed the doors of a few shops before leaving on vacation, customers seem to have grown tired of sales.

The period remains of course a high point of consumption in France: “The sales periods generate higher sales than the non-sale periods”, explains to AFP Sophie Brenot, president of the Federation of Leather Goods Retailers. But year after year it loses interest in the eyes of buyers.

Ile-de-France, Mélanie “hates shopping” and only goes there “when she has a specific objective, needs a dress for example”. Even if after skimming Promod, H

– “Very bad start” –

The search for bargains is all the more important this year as the subject of purchasing power has become the primary concern of the French, in a context of inflation not seen for more than 30 years.

“We could wonder if there was going to be a windfall effect with a quest for low prices, but that did not happen”, however notes the director of the economic observatory of the French Institute of Fashion. (IFM), Gildas Minvielle.

“There were no good surprises”, he continues, “when you have a market that is not dynamic, sales are no exception”. The IFM questioned professionals on the first fifteen days of the sales period, which generally give the “the”, and the results are an average drop in sales of 4.5% compared to the previous year.

The Trade Alliance, which brings together professionals from department stores, clothing and footwear and which had alerted in early July on the “very bad start” of the sales, for its part noted, via the panel of a forty brands representative of the clothing market that he achieved with Retail Int, a “slight improvement” in sales during the third week of sales.

Comparing for its part to the pre-Covid period, in 2019, its general manager Yohann Petiot spoke to AFP of sales down 13%. “The situation has improved a little but remains largely disappointing”, he specifies, with a sharp drop in attendance in the stores.

– Returning tourists –

The resumption of air traffic and tourism has however made some people happy: department stores, “which have regained a better dynamic with the resumption of travel”, notes Gildas Minvielle.

And the luggage sector, “which in compensation for the Covid years has really exploded”, notes Sophie Brenot. “We even sell luggage that is not on sale because people want to equip themselves”.

Sales in seaside resorts and coastal areas also remain very dynamic, according to the players interviewed.

If the poor performances of the period find their explanation in part in “difficulties of purchasing power” for some French people, with a sector “very fragile and very affected by changes in the economic environment” according to Gildas Minvielle, some believe that sales are now largely obsolete.

In June, the treasurer of the National Federation of Clothing (FNH) Stéphane Rodier called for a “global reflection” to bring out “viable solutions that do not make us consume for the sake of consuming”, judging the sales model “not all ecological”.

A point of view that not everyone shares. The sales “are no longer what they used to be but have the merit of existing and are regulated, I fear that if we do not withdraw them, it could encourage nonsense a little…”, believes Sophie Brenot , of the Federation of Leather Goods Retailers.