April 29, 2002
Let's get ready to rummage!!! Described by some as the "mosh pit of retail" and "combat shopping", Tati appeals to the lowest common denominator in all of us, whatever that may be. In 1948 Jules Ouaki decided to sell clothes at the lowest prices possible, displaying them like fruit in a market. Thus, Tati (and the sport of discount shopping) was born. Having said that, be prepared for a circus-like atmosphere and "the lowest prices" (their slogan) for things you never knew you needed. The pink gingham shopping bags have as much brand recognition in Paris as our Tiffany’s blue bag. Even the name is evocative, as the experience is completely tatty!
An average hectic day at the Republique store resembles a shark feeding frenzy, the "chum" being $1.99 t-shirts and $3 bras in DDD. Rummaging is de rigeur. You may find yourself in a shopping smackdown with a group of teen-age girls for the same pair of sneakers and tussling over a knock-off Jean-Paul Gaultier skirt with a St Honoré matron. The prices are so low that if you don’t really like what you bought, you can afford to throw it out.
Recently, Tati has tried to diversify by adding a gold jewelry (Tati Or) and candy line, but clothing remains the big bargain.
From journal Alt.Paris (Alternative Paris)