Shopping in Spain?

Hi, I’ve just joined this site and I must say I’m a bit surprised to see that the first thing on the first page talks about shopping in Spain. I’m not normally someone who judges but I feel a bit strongly about this point. I think that when living in one country and trying to integrate into the local community it is more than normal to help the local economy and the local populations i.e. shop in France. Even if products are a bit cheaper in Spain (though from what I’ve understood Spain is expensive now as well) I feel very strongly that it’s a bit of an old ‘colonnial’ attitude to profit from one country without investing in the local economy. If people want to ‘shop in Spain’ than maybe they should live in Spain! I’ve been living in France for 13 years and am married to a French horticulturalist and I think that anybody who emigrates over here should support the country’s economy.

only £9.99 sounds a bargain! Will you be running any BOGOF promotions?

We will shortly be launching vintage SFN deodorant. You can apply it, sniff it or drink it. And it will be yours for the very reasonable price of only 9.99.

The franchise will be rolled out shortly. Please pm me if you are interested? Or smell…

20 years in France and deodorant is still an essential UK purchase - I’m not proud I would buy it in Spain if I could but it’s a long way from Burgundy. The French do not make a decent deodorant - lets face it, they advertise deodorant that lasts 48 hours - now why would you need that???

Sorry - I’m too busy distilling my own deodorant.

I still say centimes :slight_smile:

UK Stores Delivering Overseas

Hi Nicky
I thought I’d respond to this as I believe in freedom of choice over where we shop. I run a website promoting UK shopping for people living overseas who want to buy from their favourite UK Stores. Not specifically people living in France but all over the world.
Our reasons for creating this website initially were that we couldn’t easily find the products we wanted to buy locally in France or available for a reasonable price. These goods tend not to be fresh produce but fashion & clothing, technology, babycare items & entertainment items e.g. English speaking films, books and music. Most of these items are manufactured in China and sold across the world.
Whilst it may be possible to buy some of these things in France (depends on your taste & la mode) they are often significantly more expensive than the UK prices or as we have also heard the prices in Spain & Andorra.
I will add though that I buy locally…cheese, wine, fruit & vegetables, olive oil, olives, honey…the list goes on. I try to find local bio producers, nearby or online who can deliver to me using a community service or La Poste.
BUT I am a keen internet shopper and we are able to manage as a one car family as most of my shopping comes direct to me via my friendly post lady. I can compare prices online, if it’s cheaper in France then I’ll buy from France – of course, but 9 times out of 10 it’s cheaper in the UK even with international delivery charges.
Whilst I note that you were mainly referring to fresh goods being bought in Spain, you did also imply that generally shopping overseas was not supporting the French economy and this is not always the case…If I buy online from overseas, consider… La Poste which earns a revenue stream from postal fees or the courier companies, the petroliers who provide the fuel for the vans to deliver, the likes of Citroen or Peugeot who provide the vans & the local garage who services them…there is a collection of business taxes, employees taxes & social charges being collected. We are contributing, perhaps not by getting in our cars & driving to a French shopping mall to be served but we are still contributing.

Hear hear!

“Surely if living in France it’s better to buy French products”


Can you please point me in the direction of my local bog roll producer? Or should I be making my own?

I say buy bacon locally!!

Just to finish off this discussion…Catharine if you read my second message you’ll see that I am differentiating between Supermarkets, Multinationals and small producers. I think we all make judgements on certains issues which effect us directly, but I am in general an open-minded person. Surely if living in France it’s better to buy French products. I do have to shop in a local Supermarket (which is a Leclerc) as well as using local producers (for yoghurts, cheeses, saucisson, meat…) or our own home-grown vegetables, as I have 4 kids to feed. However, I am careful about buying French products. Obviously certain products can’t be traced but I do always check country of origin. A certain number of the fresh produce sold by our local Leclerc is actually bought from local producers - being Franchises, they have the freedom to do this. I used to live in the South-East of England where I always bought from Supermarkets without thinking about the origin of products or the problems of small producers and farmers. Since I’ve lived in France I’ve become much more aware of this issue and even more so since I’ve been with my husband. Buying from small producers will always be more expensive than supermarket shopping - as already stated, taxes are high in France (higher than in Spain) as is manpower and cost of living and it’s impossible to compete with the buying-power of large organisations. So what is considered a ‘reasonable price’ for a customer may not be the same as the selling price required by a producer from which they can make a decent living from.

Just a little anecdote on the poultry theme. I heard an advert on French radio the other morning advertising duck at our local supermarket at 1.5€ /kg, yes you heard right. Then you get all the speel about check conditions at your branch etc etc etc and guess what. Pays d’origine SPAIN. So even if I shop in my local I have to check.

That’s my deux centimes as Johnny would say.

No problem, I think my message was a bit unclear in the beginning as well. It is difficult to write opinions down as you say, much easier face-to-face. I think one of the attractions of France is the fact that it is still a country with a large agricultural sector and fortunately there are a large number of people, like yourself, who want locally-produced, higher quality products. Hope it stays that way!

@ Nicky
I presume you were referring to my reference in the newsletter? There have been many discussions on SFN about shopping in Spain (and elsewhere) but assuming you are referring to my comments, then I’d like to point out that you start by saying you are “not normally someone who judges but…” and then go on to do just that!

I personally have a big thing about food miles. In an ideal world we’d all shop locally and eat seasonally but this is sadly not practical for the vast number of people. Everyone has their own benchmarks beyond which they won’t go. For some this is factory farming, for others its shopping ethically etc. etc.

I support local producers by being part of an AMAP and getting my veg, eggs and poultry there. If I wasn’t, I can’t see the issue between my buying a free range spanish chicken or a free range french chicken. The chickens sold in French supermarkets aren’t produced by small scale producers any more than their spanish counterparts! Whether or not it is right to choose large versus small scale producers is a wholly different argument.

In the same way, what exactly is the difference between my going to Intermarche in France and buying my spaghetti which is manufactured in the Netherlands or going to Auchan in Spain? And the same goes for Revlon shampoo, loo roll and the like. These things are all made in the same factories! And never mind the things I can’t get here…Why exactly because I choose to live in France should I not be allowed to buy Rimmel mascara from another EU country or for that matter, get told to “live in Spain?”

I don’t think this is a remotely colonial attitude. European maybe but we do live in Europe after all.

Ah ok then in that case yes I am with you. Using small local producers works for me - might be more expensive but I buy smaller quantities knowing that the taste and quality is better. I just wish you lived closer then I would be a frequent visitor to your nursery as it’s the one thing I haven’t found local to me.
The written word is difficult when you want to make a point isn’t it. Just reread my first post and it comes over as a bit in your face. Apologies

No, I’m not saying that people should never buy anything from other countries, I just got the impression that the author of this page does a great amount of their shopping in Spain because it is, apparently, so much cheaper than in France. As I said I am married to a horticulturist and, as he has his own business, he has to pays huge taxes to the government (as with all PMEs in France). We have a shop where we sell the products he grows (which are traditionally grown and not produced by industrialised methods) and which are in some cases more expensive than the huge Garden Centre chains which obviously have the power and order-size to sell at cut-prices. This is obviously also the case for small local shops in any area of Francen who have to compete with supermarkets without the same buying power, which is one of the reasons they are more expensive. I’m really supporting small local businesses rather than the big supermarkets and companies. I certainly wasn’t suggesting that any foreigner who comes to live in France hasn’t got the right to shop elsewhere! I just hope the majority of people support their local producers and small local shops so that they continue to survive and we don’t end up with the same situation in England where there are fewer and fewer local shops and local producers. I do also believe that foreigners who adopt a country should support that country to a maximum. Many people change countries because they perceive that the destination country is going to offer them a better way of life. I think that,when being fortunate enough to be able to chose a new life in a new country, we have to accept, to a certain extent, the inconveniences of the country as well as all the good points. Apologies for any offence caused but it is a point a feel very strongly about!

I’m a little confused by your post I have to say. Are you saying it’s ok for the French to pop to Spain or Andorra for cheaper shopping but not ok for people who have emigrated to France?
Our local Troisieme Age club run 2 trips to Andorra each year to stock up on things cheaper there than they are here - we are all invited to go which,sadly, I have only been able to do once since living here - are you saying they shouldn’t? Or is it just us foreigners who shouldn’t take the bus?
The Brits in huge numbers still do the booze cruises from the UK to France to stock up on drink and tobacco which are much cheaper- should they stop? After all the UK has it’s own wine industry now and you can support your local tobacconist by paying UK taxed prices.
I pay all my taxes in France, my kids go to the school here,I do all of my shopping here and even take most of my holidays here. I reckon the French economy get their pound of flesh from me at every turn so surely I have the right to pop to Spain or Andorra or Germany or any other bordering country for a bit of retail therapy when I feel the need.
We are all Brits and have been here for nearly 8 years now. My husband worked for a French company on a CDI