I know there are major sales in Italy in January and July (30-70%). Other countries have bargain months?
If you google "sales periods in Paris" some interesting stuff comes up.
If you are looking for a good shoe sale, look at San Remo, Italy in January. Lovely location. When I was there several years ago the shoe stores were a mad house, boxes and shoes all over the store. The store room window display cases were torn apart and empty, chaos everywhere. By days end, the stores were an absolute mess. I had no idea Italians, maybe French too could tear a place apart so bad. I guess, they too love a good sale. Over half price on all shoes. I only wish I had had my camera!
Yes, in France too the time period of the official sales are regulated by the government and take place around the same time as the Italian sales. Everyday discounting is creeping into the culture, but not like the US yet. By law it's supposed to be regular merchandise reduced and not shoddier stuff brought in just for the sales.
@ Bets; yes, I've noticed in Italy that the merchandise is the same quality as during the non-sale periods.