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Saldi Season Is Here – What You Need to Know About This Italian Shopping Ritual

22 May 2024
by Giadzy
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Twice a year, Italian stores join together to celebrate the Saldi season.

If you've ever been in Italy in mid-summer, you may have noticed something unusual in the shops: big signs with the word Saldi decorate every window. This festive display is not limited to one brand or chain—you can find it in every type of shop, from small artisans to high-end designers. This coordinated display is how Italy does sales. 

Here in the U.S., sales may happen any time a retailer feels like it—to commemorate a holiday, the launch of a new product, or just because! But in Italy, when sales happen, everybody takes part. Sales in Italy are strictly regulated, and by law, a government body in each region determines when the Saldi period will happen. Generally, though, Saldi happens in January and July, for a period of 30-60 days. It's actually illegal for a retailer to hold a sale outside of the official Saldi dates!   

Giada shopping in Italy

The reason for this coordinated approach to sales? Because Italian shops tend to be more artisanal and produce just as many items as they feel they need to follow the seasons, these sale periods allow them to move out older items so they don't have to store lots of extra stock. In the July period, you'll see spring/summer styles, while the January sale will be fall/winter items. The cooperative nature of the group sale period helps even the smallest mom-and-pop shop owners stay in business, as it ensures that no one business can gain an unfair advantage.  

If you're in a bigger city, the first day of Saldi season can be quite an event. Lineups snake down the street, and some people even wait overnight outside the shops to get the item they've had their eye on. Some stores even hire extra security to help manage the chaos of the day. But those who wait are rewarded with even bigger discounts! At the start of the Saldi period, products are usually discounted by 20-30%. As the weeks go by, that number drops to 50%, and could end up as steep as 80% the original price. The only risk is that popular pieces could sell out before the price gets that low, so every Italian has their own personal Saldi strategy. 

Giada in the Milan Galleria

Other European countries have a similar practice, some mandated by law, like Italy, others simply by tradition. In France you'll see Les Soldes; in Spain it's Las Rebajas. If shopping is one of your main goals for the next time you travel to Italy, consider planning your trip to line up with a Saldi season.

And if you can't wait, we're bringing our own Saldi to Giadzy this year! Shop our Saldi section to get in the spirit and save 10%, or 15% if you're part of The Membership. Don't worry, you won't miss out on anything by shopping early! 

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