Cannes: How to Score a Bargain On and Off the Croisette
With the euro at a 12-year low against the greenback, there are good deals to be had at Cannes' luxe boutiques.
This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Even the most haute luxury buys will be more affordable during the festival this year. After teasing shoppers with a signature orange gift-wrapped construction site for more than a year, Hermes finally opens its 4,000-square-foot shop (17 boulevard de la Croisette) May 8. The brand’s coveted Kelly watch is a bargain here at $2,393 compared with the U.S. price of $2,925.
Roman luxury house Fendi’s Cannes outpost (44 blvd. de la Croisette) has had a little work done. Reopened April 27, the store will host a soiree to celebrate its new look May 21. Its popular Peekaboo bag is a steal here, with the large embroidered style only $3,960 compared with $5,600 in the U.S.
Off the Croisette, tip your hat to local style with a fishing cap from the family-owned Chapellerie Tesi (56 rue Meynadier), in business since 1884. Or choose from a selection of designers including French milliner Jean-Pierre Dalet.
The multibrand concept store Projecteurs (135 rue d’Antibes) opened in August, bringing the Cannes shopping scene an injection of fresh style; Russian owner Margarita Kiseleva has curated such designers as Dries van Noten, Roksanda and Marni.
With the French tax rate at 20 percent, claiming the VAT refund on your haul is worth the hassle: You’ll need to have your passport when you shop, only purchases of more than €175 in the same store on the same day qualify, and goods are not supposed to be used before you leave France. Luxury retailers like Hermes and Louis Vuitton have staff dedicated to helping customers fill out forms properly, and Galeries Lafayette has a special desk on the third floor for handling the documents.
Cashing in at the airport will get you 12 percent cash back, while using a private company such as Global Blue or Premier Tax Free will net you 10 percent after they take their commission.