Put on your combat boots if you decide to join the foray of frenzied shoppers at Passage du Havre, Metro: St. Lazare. Sale season begins the last week of June (this year (2008) June 25th and will continue through the first week of July. Actually, summer clothes continue to remain discounted until the summer inventory disappears at the end of August – but these are the ‘official’ sale dates. Zara, one of the chain stores I visited was pretty well picked-over by the second day of sales. Hitting the Paris sales is not for the faint of heart. Just ‘dive in’ to the fray, or better yet, sit by the sidelines at the strategically placed Starbuck’s Cafe. Handy Tip: Hang on to your sales receipt if you’d like to use the conveniently located Starbuck’s toilets. You need the sales receipt ticket code to unlock the doors. When the weather is good, you’ll want to take some time to peruse the outdoor racks in the pedestrian walkways located just behind the biggest department stores – Gallerie Lafayette and Printemps on Blvd. Haussman. At Sephora you’ll find plenty of perfume testers and limited editions of YSL cosmetics and perfumes (YSL Pont des Amour, for example) that may not be available in your home country.
Citadium is a huge sportswear department store located at 50-56 Rue du Caumartin, 75009 (part of the pedestrian walkway). And yes, there’s even clothes for guys here! You can easily reach this street by walking through the Passage du Havre from Metro exit: Gare St. Lazare. (You’ll also find some outdoor cafes on this walkway).