Galeries Lafayette, a passion for fashion
Paris is considered to be the capital of fashion and as such attracts many fashion lovers eager to treat themselves to that special gem they’ve been coveting! It is easy to get carried away while on a shopping trip in the French capital. If you are budget-minded shopper, you will be looking for the best deals. True to its founder’s idea of democratizing access to fashion, Galeries Lafayette is constantly innovating to ensure all visitors have a great shopping experience and find fine pieces of clothing, home items, decoration accessories or french beauty cosmetics, all at unbeatable prices. Mindful shopping doesn’t mean trading quantity for quality, nor emptying your wallet. Achieving Parisian style just requires planning your shopping trips and following a few essential calendar tips. Here is what you need to know in order to indulge in guilt-free shopping!
The 3J at Galeries Lafayette
In October 1958 Galeries Lafayette launched “Une Journée pas comme les autres”, a day unlike any other: one day of massive discounts! The operation turned out to be a huge success and was from there on repeated every year, to become what is now known as the “3J”. In keeping with the tradition of engaging with famous guests for most events, in 2016 Galeries Lafayette invited Garance Doré the famous fashion blogger to be the face of their 3J operation. Sales before the sales, the 3J are a great opportunity to fish for the best deals with discounts going up to 50% on a selection of products. They occur twice a year, in October and March and last two weeks.
Sales at Galeries Lafayette
If possible, try to target the sales period when planning your trip to Paris. In France, “les soldes” occur twice a year, in January and July. Discounts usually increase every week and can reach as much as 70%! The entire store is filled with hidden gems at unbeatable prices. Good deals are to be found on all types of merchandise from fashion to furniture, beauty products to electronics!
According to the calendar, the Winter sales start on the first or second Wednesday of January , and the Summer sales generally start on the last Wednesday of June. Both periods last for four weeks and are well worth targeting for your trip to Paris!
Black Friday at Galeries Lafayette
Black Friday refers to an exceptional day of sales that occurs on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is always held on the fourth Thursday of November and is a bank holiday in the USA. It has hence become common practice for Americans to take the following day off, enjoying a long week-end and kicking off the Christmas shopping, and Retailers have been applying massive discounts on that day since the 1950s.
But what is the real story behind the Black Friday?
Originally, Black Friday refers to a massive financial crisis that occurred in 1869. Following the doings of two unscrupulous investors that led the U.S gold market to crash and send everybody into bankruptcy, the day became referred to as the Black Friday. However, the popular version of Black Friday links to retailers who, after operating at loss throughout most of the year, and hence being “in the red”, would suddenly see their profits fly on that day and go “back to black”. This has become the official, although inaccurate, story behind the tradition. One other version of the so called Black Friday was brought up by the Police of Philadelphia when describing the chaos that ensued from the crowds flooding into the city originally for the football game held on the Saturday, and then for the shopping deals.
Attempting to remove the negative connotations, Black Friday was renamed Big Friday but that proved unsuccessful and Black Friday remained. Black Friday launched in France in 2013 and has been picking up speed ever since. It is ideal for getting a head start on Christmas shopping, so if you happen to be visiting Paris around that time make sure to save the date for bargain hunting!
Tax refund at Galeries Lafayette
Travellers who are not citizens or permanent residents of a European Union country can claim back their VAT (TVA in French) prior to leaving for their home countries. The standard VAT rate in France is 20%, 5,5% for food and books. Galeries Lafayette offers its customers the opportunity to get a VAT refund on purchases made at the store, under the terms and conditions specified here . You can save up to 12% thanks to the tax refund service and it is available all year round.