This particular question and explanation frustrate me a bit because I've seen it so often in other "teaching" apps. It seems to me, perhaps incorrectly, that the lessons should be geared toward the student in NOT assuming that the student knows or will stop to look up the many nuances of what type of shopping one is doing, especially since it often will not be indicated. Since there are two such distinct intents for these "going shopping" phrases, it seems to me that neither "faire les courses" nor "faire les magasins" should be marked incorrect. "The sales are on" does not exclude non-personal-goods locations. In this instance, perhaps a hint needs to be included.
The lesson clearly states that you will use 'faire les courses' for food (grocery) shopping and 'faire les magasins/faire du shopping' for other things like clothes.
In the case of 'the sales' in my mind, it would be clothes or house items like furniture or a television set which would entail the visit of several shops to find a bargain, so only -
faire les magasins/faire du shopping would be accepted.
Hope this helps!
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