12 October 2012

Bon Marche

Currently celebrating its 160th birthday, the world's first important department store, Bon Marche, remains attractive and appealing in its wonderful building which just happens to have been designed by Monsieur Gustav Eiffel.
Yes, he of that certain iconic metal structure fame !

                We loved the black and white cutout decorations that adorned the store ...

 ... and the whimsical and creative window displays with their 3D pop up book effect.

Bon Marche has chosen the fabulous French actress, Catherine Deneuve, to be the face of their celebrations. 
Deneuve, who turns 69 next week, has appeared in over 100 films in her long career and still exudes that relaxed sophistication and seemingly effortless style managed by so many French women ...
She has lived in the St Germain area for years and recently commented that the Left Bank symbolises relaxation, freedom and fantasy. You are able to go from Cafe de Flore to the Pantheon Cinema and buy a book on the way
She also said she likes to buy her Christmas ornaments at Bon Marche each year.

Bon Marche is more intimate than the two better known department stores on the Right Bank and is worth a browse at the very least.
Don't forget to also visit its amazing food hall, la Grande Epicerie, just a few doors down rue de Sevres in the 7th arrondissement.

                     Galeries Lafayette is always crowded and somewhat chaotic in my opinion, but the tourists flock there 
and the range is huge.  

                                 It also has this stunning glass domed ceiling which is definitely worth a look.

                         Printemps is elegant and does give discounts and has the best beauty hall of them all.

So, if you are in the mood for some serious shopping on  your next trip to Paris, why not try all three and decide for yourself ...


  1. I loved seeing these photos of the venerable Bon Marche. 160 years! This is quite an achievement for a retail space nowadays... It is, of course, the oldest department store in Paris, in Europe, and for all I know, in the world too... Have you ever read Emile Zola's "Au Bonheur des Dames?" Le Bon Marche inspired it. I remember watching the old black and white movie based on the novel when I was much younger... A special place in the Parisian landscape. I don't go there often enough when I go back home... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    1. Hi Veronique,
      Although different firms in England, and even my own country, Australia, claim to have had the first ever department store, Bon Marche is certainly the first for France and Europe, as you say and still a leader in so many ways.
      Like you, I always like to visit and see what is happening on each floor...
      Enjoy the weekend, Joanna

  2. What a great blog! I love Bon Marche,
    Paris and all the department stores I will never tire of!

    1. Hi Bee Bon,
      Thanks for commenting - I also love all those individual little stores that display such creativity and originality, don't you?

  3. Thanks for stopping by PB and for the heads hp on the Bon Marche celebration!
    I'll be arriving the 27th and will rush over to enjoy the last day.
    You would enjoy Zola's novel Au Bonheur des Dames about Paris' department stores.

  4. http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2012/07/au-bonheur-des-dames.html