Rome’s summer sales begin on 5 July

Shoppers should be wary of discounts more than 50 per cent

Summer sales in Rome begin on Saturday 5 July with discounted prices on offer for the following six weeks.

Italian business association Fismo-Confesercenti is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming sales, which they point out are the first to take place since the government began giving lower-paid workers an extra €80 in their monthly pay packets earlier this year.

However consumer watchdog Codacons predicts a decline of six to nine per cent in respect of 2013, an annus horribilus for the Italian clothing sector which lost 1,000 shops every month.

Shoppers should be aware of the regulations regarding sales and should check whether prices have actually been lowered. Codacons has warned consumers to be wary of shops advertising discounts of more than 50 per cent, as the produce is likely to be either old or with a price tag based on an inflated original figure. It says that only shops at the very high end of the market could afford to offer such a discount, and that if consumers suspect a scam that they should contact Codacons or the police.

Shopkeepers are obliged to display both the full and discounted price of all items on sale; they must accept the credit cards displayed on their windows as payment during sales; unless the item is damaged shopkeepers do not have to accept returns on sale items, nor are they obliged to allow customers to try on items.

Sales in Italy are governed by regional laws, with sales in Lazio beginning on the first Saturday in January and July every year. Summer sales in the southern regions of Campania and Basilicata began on 3 July.