Household Linens: Where Does The Winter White Tradition Come From?

January is traditionally the month of "blanc" or winter white, a major promotional event for household linens and bedding sets. We invite you to discover the origin and features of this quintessentially French tradition.

What is the white sale month?

The "White Sale," also known as the "Winter White" or simply "the white," is a promotional period for household linens. Traditionally held by stores in January, right after the holiday season, this commercial operation should not be confused with clearance sales.

Because it offers significant discounts on linens and certain decorative accessories, this promotional event provides French households with the opportunity to equip themselves or renew their bedding sets, as well as bath or table linens. In short, the White Sale is an opportunity not to be missed if you want to buy a duvet, a throw, cushions, or pillowcases…

Where does the winter white tradition come from?

The tradition of the winter white sale was born in the 19th century at Le Bon Marché department store in Paris. The founder of this innovative place, Aristide Boucicaut, had the idea to offer promotions on household linens at the beginning of the year to attract female customers and fill the aisles left empty by shoppers after the Christmas holidays. This visionary merchant also saw it as an opportunity to clear out his stock and refresh the items on the shelves at the start of the year.

As household linens were exclusively white at that time and the pristine snow covered the cobblestones, this pioneer of modern retail named his promotional event "the white week."

Due to the immediate success of this marketing innovation, the event was not only repeated every year but was also extended throughout the month: the term "the white month" was born!

This invitation to shop, aimed at women, inspired Émile Zola in his novel "Au bonheur des dames" and marked the birth of the concept of sales that would later be adopted by stores around the world.

According to another theory, the origin of the winter white dates back to the French Revolution. Textile manufacturers in the town of Cholet came up with the idea for this promotional month to revive their declining business since the bloody conflicts of the Revolution. The White is a double royalist reference since this color represents the monarchy, and Louis XIV was executed in January 1793.

How to take advantage of winter white sales?

Today, it is possible to enjoy discounts throughout the year thanks to winter and summer sales as well as Black Friday from the United States.

Despite this, the tradition of the winter white sales has continued in France in January and sometimes even starting in December. Nowadays, the dates of this promotional event vary from one retailer to another. Therefore, you must monitor your mailbox and watch out for promotional emails that your favorite stores will send you so you don't miss any great deals.

This typically French custom, without equivalent in the rest of the world, is interesting for young households that need to equip themselves and for anyone who wants to renew their household linen.

The White Sale month allows benefiting from slashed prices on white or colored linen, and some retailers even extend their promotions to accessories for the bathroom and kitchen.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: PickPik
Tags: winter, White, French, bedding, Louis XIV, Monarchy, Royalist, CHOLET, town, textile, French revolution, TODAY, summer, Black Friday, United States, France, retailer, Monitor, mailbox, household linen, theory, Au Bonheur des Dames, Émile Zola, Holiday season, Duvet, The tradition, Le Bon Marché, department store, Paris, Aristide Boucicaut, Christmas, merchant, stock, refresh, snow, cobblestones, retail, marketing, innovation, Linen,
In French: Linge de maison : d'où vient la tradition du blanc d'hiver ?
En español: Ropa de cama: ¿de dónde viene la tradición del blanco de invierno?
In italiano: Biancheria per la casa: da dove viene la tradizione del bianco d'inverno?
Auf Deutsch: Heimtextilien: Woher kommt die Tradition des Winterweiß?
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