It’s nearly that time again, when many of us normally sane people become tempted by apparently huge discounts into a frenzy of spending, often buying clothes that don’t suit us that will sit in the back of our wardrobe for several years to come.
But nowadays with the internet, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you do your research online before you buy you will already have a good idea of what you’re looking for. And who can resist the thrill of spotting a bargain. So if you’re planning some last minute post Christmas shopping trips here’s what you need to know.
Huge winter sales take place in London, with many stores starting their sales immediately after Christmas, either on 26 or 27 December and running until the middle of January. London can be overwhelming at the best of times, and at this time of year you really need to keep a cool head and plan your shopping itinerary in advance. Also note that public transport is limited on 26 December and 1 January. Here are some of the start dates for the top stores in London.
The sale periods are still state regulated in France, though this year they have been extended by a week more than previous years. This year the sales (soldes) begin 7 January and end Thursday, 17 February.
The classic department stores, include Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché and Printemps all adhere to these dates, as do the smaller boutiques.
Like in France the sales (saldi) start later in Italy and the dates vary slightly by region. For Milan in Lombardy they run for 60 days from 3 January until 3 March. Though note that some shops may start after the public holiday of Epiphany (6 January).
Rinascente sales advertising in Milan, Italy
Dubai, as perhaps the most commercially focused city in the world, has taken the concept of shopping to a whole new level by creating a festival of shopping. The annual Dubai Shopping Festival starts on 1 January and runs until the end of the month. The event, celebrating its 20th year includes shopping deals, fireworks as well as a strong line up of cultural events. On 1 January the musicians of the Welsh National Opera will perform the Dubai premiere of Kahayla, by Joanna Marsh, at a free open-air concert in Zabeel Park.
The sales (saldos) normally start in Spain on the day after Three Kings Day, so that is 7 January, and they run until the beginning of March.
The winter sales (winterschlussverkauf) officially start on the last Monday in January, but sales are allowed at other times, like early January.