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Summer: Vacation days and "Saldi" (Sales) PDF Print E-mail
Jul 04, 2010 at 08:53 AM

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As Italian families head for the seashore and the mountains for this year's summer vacations (the so-called "exodus" begins on the first weekend of July), stores throughout most of the country were allowed to put clothing and other goods on sale. Unlike in the U.S., sales in Europe - winter and summer - are generally government regulated, usually by regions or local municipalities.

There are still no statistics indicating whether or not the current economic crisis is likely to curtail the vacation plans of Italian families; most Italians take their vacations in the summer and summer vacations have become something of an obsession. On the other hand, available data does show that clothing sales were off by as much as 20% in the first half of 2010 and shopkeepers may be hoping to recoup some of their losses by lowering prices.

Last week, the first sales were authorized in Naples and Potenza in the South, followed on Saturday, July 3rd, by Rome, Milan and Turin. Sales in Tuscany begin on July 7th, in Liguria on July 10th and in the Veneto on July 17ty. This year they are scheduled to last for all of July and August and in some cases into the first or second week of September.

According to the business organization, Confcommercio, Italians will spend something like 4.2 billion euros to take advantage of the lower prices. The organization said that on average families will spend €282 on bargains (in Milan the figure will be closer to €425), the equivalent of 12% of the year's sales of clothing, bags and shoes.

Confcommercio also reminded Italians of the rules of the sales: the original price must be shown next to the discounted one and the percentage of the discount. Credit cards cannot be refused but the policies regarding returns and exchanges policies are, instead, up to the store owner.

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