Last week, my family and I had the good fortune to visit Paris. There may have been some shopping involved. Actually, quite a bit. One day, I even set my wife and daughter up with a guide (Farhi at www.shoppinginglamparis.com) to go to the off-the-beaten track boutiques. We talk about “experiential” retail here in the US. But, the whole Paris shopping experience is truly “experiential.” You want to go shopping in Paris.
Farhi was excited that we would be there during the summer sales. I was clueless about “Les Soldes” – Sales Season – in Paris. The government limits sales to periods, six weeks long, twice a year. Apparently, there has been some additional flexibility added since 2009, allowing two additional weeks, but most retailers have stuck with the tradition of the two six-week periods. And, honestly, it looked like old school Black Friday every day that we were there.
I know that I cannot extrapolate a week’s visit into an entire year, but there is no doubt that physical retail – even department stores – can still thrive in the digital world.