The French may be visiting outlet stores, local malls, and even independently owned shops in the villages now because of the January sales but seldom do they offer anything more than 30 to 50% off. Not only are the reductions never as enormous as they are in North America, but the sale selection is not as varied. That makes me wonder . . . Are mark-ups for regularly priced goods lower in France? Or are North American mark-ups so high that 70% off still allows the merchant to make an acceptable profit?
The Canadian dollar is the most pathetic I have ever seen it. The last time it was bad, but not this bad, was in 2009. As a result, I am certainly not buying as much as I did last year. I was looking at a "bouti", basically a quilted bedspread, that was priced at 160Euro. By the time I figured out the dollars I would need to spend (multiply by a humiliating 1.6), I began to walk away. The shopkeepers in small town South-West France are feeling the consequences of high unemployment, the loss of the the summer tourist trade, and the reticence of retired local Brits who are not buying much either even though their sterling is considerably well-positioned next to the Euro. The vendor offered a discount of about 20% on what she claimed were not sale goods and "free" matching pillow covers. Yes, well . . . I shook my head, did my best to express myself emitting that pouty puff of air (a French gesture of non-compliance) and shrug. She shrugged back and I said, "merci, mais non" and walked away. It is a matter of need. And I certainly don't need a "bouti" at the present exchange rate.
Now of course, I am reminiscing about a set of bedding that I saw at a previous July 2015 sale . . . sigh . . . would have, could have and should have . . . I'll be back and maybe the July sale in 2016 will once again have what I want at an exchange rate that is a tad more gentle on my wallet. I'm glad we bought our car in May.
While in Canada, a dollar is a dollar is a dollar to me since I get paid at that exchange; however when I am in France, it is quite a different thing.
The conclusion, of course is that, I don't have any motivation for a shopping spree, especially for clothing, before I return to Canada. This is a good thing for my 2016 clothing resolutions. I'll be back in Canada in less than two weeks and happy to spend my dollars there.