Summer sales to start in Milan

Fashionistas ready for two months of bargains.

Italy’s capital of fashion is preparing for the summer sales, starting on 1 July until 30 August in Lombardy (dates are different in other regions).

Shoppers should take care to see that the full price as well as the discounted sales price is visible on the tag, consumer advice associations warn. They should also check carefully that articles discounted for the sales are physically separated from those not included in the offer.

Although some shopkeepers might pretend otherwise, consumer advocates point out, even goods bought at sales prices are eligible for exchange if they turn out to be defective. Make a note of the shop’s rules for exchanging undamaged goods, for example in the wrong size, as exchange can then be at the shopkeeper’s discretion.

But shoppers can only bring damaged items back for exchange as long as they have the till receipt or scontrino. Some associations even recommend photocopying the receipts at once, as they are printed on chemical paper and likely to fade and become illegible.

Milan’s city hall has again this year published a guide in English for those who want to shop till they drop, covering everything from where to find the bargains, where to relax from the strenuous chase, to how to travel in the city and where to spend the evenings.

The subject is 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.