Not being a great shopper this wasn't something I was very aware of but it turns out that every year for the last weekend of October the shops in St Tropez have a big sell off or "Braderie" with big discounts on everything and crowds coming from all over France and beyond.
It looks like everyone likes a bargain and it was amusing to see the inhabitants of huge yachts moored in the harbour heading off bargain hunting.
The event runs from the Friday to the Monday with previews on the thursday night for the local customer of the shops.
The crowds were huge and the traffic jams getting into St Tropez were not pretty. It took well over an hour to get from the famous roundabout at la foux to parking at the port. There were many "genuine" bargains to be had with long queues outside the more established stores. 50% reductions were common.
Many people took the easier option of parking in Ste Maxime and getting the ferry across. The ferry costs about €13.50 per person for the return, Parking in St Tropez for the day would be €12-€15 and petrol to get there and back at least €10 depending on the traffic jam. The ferry takes 20 mins and is a lovely way to see St Tropez from the sea.
Finally, there was more security than usual this time with checkpoints on the way into the shopping streets where security staff were checking bags.