PARIS: Most French consumers plan to buy something during the five-week winter sales period, which has just started, and a significant proportion hope to see reductions of at least 50%, according to new research., an online coupon site, partnered with pollster LH2 to establish consumers' purchase intentions and strategies for the winter sales.

It found that sales were the preferred way to save money and that 95% of consumers intended to purchase during them.

But expectations were high, according to the infographic reproduced in e-marketing. Fully 43% wanted to see prices halved and only 6% said they would be satisfied with a 20% cut.

And French consumers were also practical – three times as many (37%) said they would be buying items they needed as would be buying simply for their own pleasure (13%).

Shoes and clothes were the most sought-after products with 49% of respondents looking for these, although there was a marked bias towards women. Some 23% wanted high-tech items, with purchase intent slewed in this case towards men.

Then came electronic appliances (19%), furniture (14%), health and beauty products (12%), cultural products (11%) and childcare products (5%).

In most cases consumers said they would be shopping both in-store and online, but for some categories physical stores were preferred.

For example, 50% intended to shop for shoes exclusively in-store compared to 6% who said they would only be doing so online.

A similar picture emerged with regard to clothing and accessories, with 36% shopping only in-store and 7% only online. Furniture too tended to be a largely in-store experience (49% vs 9%).

Two categories , however, saw internet shopping edge out bricks and mortar, as high-tech (18% vs 17%) and cultural products (14% vs 9%) attracted digital consumers.

Online buyers were also slanted towards the higher socio-economic groups (55%), towards men (48%) and towards the middle-aged (53% of 35-49 year olds).

Geographically, internet buying was skewed towards the south east of the country where 21% expected to make over half their sales purchases online, compared with just 12% in the south west.

In terms of budget, six out of ten French consumers (63%) planned on spending at least €100. One third expected their outlay to rise above €200 and this was especially true of the Paris region.

Data sourced from e-marketing; additional content by Warc staff