Par Olivier Bagdassarian
Seasonal sales last five weeks in France, but the dates and regulations are different in each country of the European Community (see table below).
Review the status of your sales stock regularly so that you can focus on the oldest products. Don’t hesitate to slash prices, especially on unsold items. In exceptional cases you may sell at a loss. The less dead stock you have, the more you can improve your balance sheet and make room for new products.
Reminders to help you boost and optimise your sales:
Sales: regulations and conventions for the customer’s benefit
- Mark the item with the old price (crossed out), the new reduced price and the discount rate.
- Mark every product in the sale with the word “sale”. In France, a product may only be sold at a sale price if it has been on sale for at least one month.
- Consider adding an extra label to distinguish sale items from other product categories (new collection or products not in the sale).
- All advertising relating to your sales must mention the word sale and the date on which the event starts.
Spread the word about your sales
- Send out a specific weekly newsletter about your sale products highlighting one or two very attractive offers to encourage your customers to visit your shops and pass on the information via social media.
- Embellish your design, promote the event and highlight your window displays in accordance with your positioning.
- “Merchandise” your shop by combining sale items with the new collection. This will allow you to mix sales and preserve your margin.
Summer: July to August / Winter: January to February. No set sale periods.
|Belgium||Summer: 1 to 31 July / Winter: 3 to 31 January.|
|Bulgaria||Summer: July and August / Winter: January and February.|
|No set sale periods.|
|Cyprus||No set sale periods. Shops may have sales at any time during the year.|
|Czech Republic||No regulations. In Winter, sales generally start after Christmas.|
|Denmark||Summer: start of June to end of August / Winter: from 27 December for some shops; throughout February for others.|
|Estonia||No set sale periods; generally halfway through or at the end of the season.|
|Finland||Summer: end of May to mid-July or mid-June to start of August / Winter: generally before Christmas until the start of February. No set sale periods.|
|France||Summer: end of June to end of July / Winter: start of January to mid-February. Sales are strictly regulated. The dates are set by law and apply throughout the country, except in the case of exemptions for areas on the border and overseas territories.|
|Germany||Summer: end of August to start of September / Winter: end of January to start of February. No set sale periods. Shops’ opening hours are different in the various regions of Germany.|
|Greece||Winter: as a rule, from the second Monday in January to the end of February / Spring: 1 to 10 May / Autumn: 1 to 10 November.|
|Hungary||No set sale periods / Winter: after Christmas until the end of January.|
|Ireland||Winter: after Christmas until the end of January. No set sale periods.|
|Italy||Summer: around 7 July, for a maximum of 30 days / Winter: around 7 January, for a maximum of 30 days.|
|There are different regulations for sales in different regions.|
|Latvia||No set sale periods; generally halfway through or at the end of the season.|
|Lithuania||Summer: end of summer / Winter: after Christmas, start of January.|
|Luxemburg||Summer: middle or end of July / Winter: generally in January. No set sale period.|
|Malta||No set sale periods. Sales can take place all year round.|
|Poland||No set sale periods; generally halfway through or at the end of the season.|
|Portugal||Summer: mid-July to mid-September.|
|Romania||Winter: 15 January to 15 April / Summer: 1 August to 15 October.|
|Slovakia||No set sale periods. In practice, sales start after Christmas and after the summer season.|
|Slovenia||Summer: from the second Monday in July for two months / Winter: from the first Monday in January. Sales last a maximum of 60 days; the shops decide how long their sales will last.|
|Spain||Summer: start of July to end of August / Winter: generally from 7 January to March. (Dates vary by region).|
|Sweden||No set sale periods. Winter sales generally take place after Christmas, and summer sales in July.|
|The Netherlands||Summer: in August / Winter: generally in January. No set sale periods.|
|United Kingdom||No set sale periods. Consumers can shop in the sales several times a year. In practice, sales often start on Boxing Day (26 December).|