These are the twice a year sales, which are held France wide on dates set by the government. Outside of the set dates, it is permitted to have soldes, but you need to apply for a licence from the préfecture to do so. You can give discounts, you can have special offers, but you can't call them soldes unless you have the permit.
We are currently looking for a cooker (stove, range, call it what you will) and thought the soldes might be a good time to buy. Imagine our surprise, then, when the particular items we have in mind are listed on websites as being part of the soldes and showing discounts of 30% or more, but 10 Euros more than the normal discounted price.
One day, we will have a stove where the freezer now is.The dilemma is that items that were previously well out of our price range are suddenly only just more expensive than we are wanting to pay. Living where we do, this means we have to make a trip to either Tours or Poitiers to look at the newly almost affordable items to feel them over - see them in the flesh, work out why the oven capacity of some cookers is half the size of other cookers (even though the external dimensions are the same), and check how sturdy the knobs are. Once that is done we can make a decision about ordering online: in the local electrical stores these items are still in the "out of our range" range.
The choice looks like being narrowed to the following: