There are some great shopping places to shop in Brittany whether your are looking for everyday groceries, the latest fashions or items for your home;
Food markets – Every village, no matter how small, will hold a weekly market which is usually well supported by local residents. In larger areas there may even be a market every day. In fact, many French people especially in the rural areas will often by the bulk of their weekly shopping at their local market leaving the supermarkets for household items such as toilet rolls and bottle water. Other markets – As well as the local food markets most area regularly hold flowers markets, antique markets and book markets. The equivalent of the British ‘car boot’, the Vide Greniers or Marches aux Puces, are also extremely popular and you can usually find many on every weekends. Supermarkets – Hyper U, Champion, E Leclerc, Auchan, Carrefour, Geant Casino, Super U, Simply, Cora, Intermarche, Ecomarche, Monoprix , Leader Price, Aldi and Lidl Department stores – Galeries Lafayette Sports goods and clothing – Decathlon and Sport 2000 Computer equipment – Boulanger Furniture, white goods – Darty, But, Conforama, Ikea, Atlas, Baskia and Fly Clothing – Kiabi, la Halle aux Vetements, DIY – Castorama, Leroy Merlin, Brico Depot, Monsieur Bricolage, Weldom, Point P and Lapeyre Garden centre – Gamm Vert, Botanic Office supplies – Retif, Metro, Top Office
Traditionally France has had strict limits as to when shops could open and shut with no Sunday trading allowed. However, in the last few years things have started to change and from 2009 shops have been allowed to open on Sundays in certain tourist areas and in the cities of Paris, Marseille and Lille. It is still extremely rare to find 24 hour opening which is now becoming commonplace in the UK.
General shopping hours are Monday to Friday between 9 am to 12pm and open 2pm and shut at 7pm which allows for the traditional French 2 hour lunch break. Some exceptions to this you may find are;
Boulangeries (Bakeries) usually open early at around 7am and banks often open on a Saturday morning.
Supermarkets do not usually close for lunch and some of the larger stores may be open until 8pm or even 10pm. You will sometimes find a supermarket which opens on a Sunday morning.
Pharmacies (chemists) usually have the same opening hours as other stores, however, in larger towns you may also find a ‘pharmacie de garde’ which opens on Sundays and in the evenings. If there are several pharmacies in an area they may take it in turns to open as a ‘pharmacie de garde’, indicated by a lit green cross outside the shop.
Most shops do accept debit and credit cards using the chip and pin security method, however, in more rural areas only cash or cheque will be accepted.
Sales in France
The sales in France are controlled by the French government who set fixed times during the year when shops may hold sales. The winter sales normally start the first week of January and the summer sales during the last week of June and last for five weeks. Shops also have a further two week sale period during which they can hold at any point of the year.