Last summer, I was the last of my friends to leave Paris for the season — and I spent all that time alone doing the weirdest but also most interesting thing I could think of, which was documenting the exact vacation dates of all the Paris storefronts that close up shop in mid/late July through late August/early September. (I say “storefronts” rather than shops because “storefronts” includes boutiques, restaurants, and services (i.e. hair stylists) — anyone who might leave a sign in the window explaining why they’re gone).
It took a very, very long time to sift through all that data — but it’s done, and now I can tell you:
The average number of days a storefront closes shop in Paris in August: 19.15
I was a little surprised this was as short as it was — respect to the real ones who closed their doors for a solid month. The longest closure on my list was for 33 days. The shortest was seven days.
Note: This is more the average of shops taking two- or three-week vacations (i.e. 14 or 21 days), than it is shops taking 19 days off. Also, this is the total number of consecutive days off as stated by the stores, and usually included days they would be closed under any circumstances (i.e. Sundays).
For my stats nerds out there:
Median: 17 days
Mode: 16 days (i.e. Saturday – the following Sunday inclusive, reopening on Monday — so two weeks)
The average closure date was: August 3
Now you know, and you won’t be disappointed when you show up in early August and everybody’s gone.
The average reopening date was: August 23
This is true, but I would advise that things don’t really feel like they’re starting up for real until September 1.
Median & mode: 8/23
The earliest closing date in my survey was: July 19
I get it.
The latest closing date was: September 6
Slackers! Go for it, I say.
And — my favorite date of all — the date more businesses were closed than any other was: August 15
A full 98% of the stores in my survey were closed in Paris on August 15! Note that this is not solely vacation-related, as 8/15 is also the public (Catholic) holiday of the Assumption. And in the most Paris shop-hours trifecta of possible trifectas, in 2021, August 15 was a Sunday. Honestly I’m shocked that two percent of the shopfronts were open.
Unsurprisingly, the most-closed days after this were the two that surround it: 8/14 and 8/16.
All dates accurate for 2021.
Please enjoy my infographic!!!!!!!!!