Shop 'Til You Drop at Paris' Luxury Department Store Le Bon Marché

Shop 'Til You Drop at Paris' Luxury Department Store Le Bon Marché
Contributing Writer
| 2 min read

The Bon Marché, which can either be translated as “good deal” or “good market,” is the world’s oldest department store. It was opened in 1852 as a place to thrill the senses. Not only was the concept of a department store new at that time, but the building itself was truly unconventional for the mid-19th century. From the beginning, the Bon Marché strove to offer items that were unique, exotic, and luxurious. Today, the Bon Marché maintains this tradition of luxury. As such, it enjoys a world-class reputation for offering a unique shopping experience in a beautiful setting. Whether shoppers are searching for fur coats, cast-iron pans, or coffee beans from Peru, they will be certain to find exactly what they’re looking for, and more.

Admire the interior

Escalator at the Bon Marché

From the beginning, over 150 years ago, the Bon Marché set itself apart in the retail industry. Not only with its products, but also in terms of the store itself. Through a series of building acquisitions over a period of 20 years, the Bon Marché reached an enormous size of 52,800 meters squared (568,344 feet squared). Famed structural engineer Gustave Eiffel designed a space complete with art-déco ironwork, large bay windows, and a glass ceiling. His design was revolutionary as it allowed natural light to enter and illuminate the displays.

Although most of these details were destroyed in a fire in 1915, the interior was recreated in a similar manner to the original design . A large central atrium gives an open, airy impression to the store, while golden criss-crossing escalators traverse the store’s five floors.

Shop for luxury goods

The shoe department at Le Bon Marché

Known for being Paris’ most chic department store, shoppers at the Bon Marché will have no problem finding luxury goods here. French brands like Hermés, Dior, and Louis Vuitton can certainly be found, as can other international favorites like Prada and Balenciaga. The ground floor is filled with small, luxurious boutiques featuring the world’s biggest names in fashion and accessories. It is here also that shoppers can find their perfect beauty routine with the help of trained professionals. More women’s fashion can be found on the second and third floors, with more accessible, but still highly priced, brands like Paul & Joe and The Kooples. The second floor also hosts a furniture department that is modeled after a publishing house, complete with stocked bookcases and comfortable chaise lounges.

Feed your appetite at La Grande Epicerie

Macarons for sale at La Grande Epicerie

Just next door to the Bon Marché find La Grande Epicerie (the big grocery store). This is truly a grocery store above the rest. Featuring an in-house bakery, a fish market, a butcher, and a wine cellar, shoppers feel like royalty even while doing the most basic shopping. At the Grande Epicerie, you can easily find the products necessary to prepare a traditional multi-course French meal, especially fresh-baked bread, odorous cheeses, and perfectly-aged wine.

The Grande Epicerie also stocks a wide variety of international products. From Chinese noodles to Indian curry to Polish perogies, shoppers are invited to take a culinary tour of the world. This international zone is also a haven for travelers and expats from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as it is the only store in Paris offering such a wide selection of products from these countries.

Indulge your desires at this exclusive store

The Bon Marché is more than a store; it’s an experience. As soon as they enter, shoppers are invited on a tour combining history, luxury, and gourmet flavors. Even if you don’t buy anything, you will be swept away by the magic at the Bon Marché. The store is open from 10.00 AM to 8.00 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. On Thursdays and Fridays, it is open until 9.00 PM. It can be accessed by metro lines 10 or 12, getting off at stop Sèvres Babylone.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Audrey is a 25-year-old American living in South Korea and teaching English. She lived in Paris for two years as a French language student and au pair. During that time she also mastered the art...Read more

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