Milan, Lombardy winter sales to start 5 January

Milan shops offer bargain prices.

It’s time for winter sales again, and Milan’s shopping district will be packed with bargain hunters from Friday 5 January looking for those special items which are the first to disappear.

Fixing the date, the Lombardy regional administration also reminded shoppers that they have the right to exchange faulty goods even during the sales, or to obtain a refund by presenting the till receipt (scontrino).

And they also warned shopkeepers that there would be checks to make sure the discounts are genuine, by comparing the sales price with prices noted by vigili in the weeks before the sales start.

Sales are seen as so important for the city’s image and reputation that the municipal police force starts photographing shop displays well in advance, in a move to catch those who advertise false “reductions” during the sales period. There are hefty fines to discourage cheating.

Any sales outlet offering both discounted goods and goods at full price must keep the two categories clearly separated and signposted.

Milan’s tourist bureau has even produced a guide in English for foreign shoppers visiting Italy’s fashion capital.  This year’s sales will continue until 28 February, but the very best bargains are usually snapped up during the first few days.