French Sundries #1.5: Sale Times

Here are the two facts that most surprised us:

  • The bloodline of Louis XIV is still alive. We assumed they had all been killed off. Not so, there are many descendants. They are the equivalent of Americans descending from George Washington. It’s an interesting thing to know about someone, and that’s it.
  • Storekeepers can only have sales at two times during the year.

The second was the more shocking of the two. We happened to be there during the spring sale (that’s the “soldes” sign from the last post). They simply can’t have a sale at any other times during the year, by law. That’s just crazy. How on earth can a shopkeeper compete? Maybe that’s why every store and every restaurant looked the same – they are legally constrained from differentiating themselves. (That’s just a theory. I would think that if your prices have to stay the same, the only way to get more business is to differentiate yourself in some other way, yet no one does. Culture or Law, I wonder which.)

That’s real socialism in action.