Paris determined to be mecca for shoppers

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The Independent Online

Paris is determined to out-gun rivals London, Milan or Dubai next winter as the world's shopping capital, city authorities said Thursday.

Launching a campaign to attract shoppers to the city for the post-Christmas New Year sales, organisers of "Soldes by Paris", or Sales By Paris, said the charm offensive was aimed at boosting tourist numbers in January, when visits tend to drop.

The campaign, involving the city council, chamber of commerce and tourist authorities, first launched in 2007, offering special events combining shopping with sightseeing as well as travel discounts and logistical help.

This year's promotion of the city's winter sales sees its high point from January 6 to 9, peak of the month-long sales period.

Some 300 to 350 hotels, restaurants, travel firms and cultural venues are involved in the campaign to bring shoppers to Paris, which each year sees 29 million visitors and claims to have more small shops than Britain and Italy.

A shopping guide with itineraries to suit different tastes will be offered to potential buyers who can also consult www.shoppingbyparis.com from November 23.

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