Trading laws stipulate that there are two periods for sales in France. Winter sales from January to February and summer sales from June to July. In each case, the sales last for five weeks. All goods on sale must have been in the shop for a minimum of thirty days prior to the sale date – nu buying in cheap stock and selling it as a sale item. Reuctions must ne visibly displayed in percentage terms. labels must also show the old pre sale price and the new sale price. Retaiers are allowed to reduce their prices three times in the sales – after the first fortnight, and again in the final week.
Outside the official sale periods, retailers are allowed two weeks in the year, to use at their discretion, for extra sales such as pre-christmas sales or spring sales.
…Tomorrow morning [today] many shops (with permission from their local trading authorities) will be opening at 7am. Needless to say that the starting date is a national one decreed by the government.
Here is more information and I thank Bill Hawshaw for the pointer.