Sunday, July 22, 2012


While touring several cities in Europe I found a common phenomena. Soldes! Shortly after doing some shopping, I found that almost, if not all the stores were having sales. I was not complaining by any means, but it did seem a little odd. It wasn't until I stayed with a couple that actually lives in Belgium that I realized why there were so many sales. The government actually regulates when stores are allowed to have sales.
There are only two times during the year when stores can have sales. These fall from January 3-31st and July 1st-31st. How convenient that I am studying right in the middle of the second sale? This blew my mind though. I did not realize how much of a privilege sales are back in the States. That sounds a little dramatic when I read it, but it is true. To have a government that has so much regulation on the country that it can regulates sales is astounding. I will enjoy it will I can here in Europe. However, I will greatly appreciate my American sales more when I get back home.


  1. I know, right? I'm pretty sure that in certain cities, like Paris for example, they only have two sale days during the whole year, once in January and once in July. This is an excellent rule because it keeps the independent shop owners on the same playing field as the big department and chain stores who have the ability to mark down so frequently. Although it's nice that there is always a sale section (or an entire store on sale) at Gap and Anthropologie back at home, it's easy to get comfortable with never paying full price (I know it makes me cringe a bit to pay the actual price). At the same time, this takes so much money away from small businesses, puts a damper on local economies and hurts the economy at large in the long haul. Maybe we should learn from the Belgians!

  2. I've noticed this while traveling in Europe - just about every European country has HUGE sales during the summer that lasts for week. It's really interesting that it's government regulated though. I'd like to see why that is, and why it's only two times a year. It makes sense I guess to get ready for new seasons. But I'm not complaining!

  3. I think it is really interesting that sales are something that can be regulated by the government. I have also noticed the big sales, but I never would have thought that the reason they are there is because it is just "that time of year". In America, sales are used to give consumers incentives to buy products. I wonder what the effects would be on the economy if sales like this were government regulated at home.