Le Bon Marché
Shopping in Paris? Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is the most beautiful store in the city.
The Story: In 1852, Aristide Boucicaut, the son of a hatmaker, had already realised that there was a demand for a new type of store that offered consumers a wider choice. Together with his wife Marguerite, he transformed a simple stall into one single “department store" selling a vast range of items, and where customers could browse to their hearts’ content. The birth of Le Bon Marché heralded a whole new culture of commerce that included fixed prices, lower margins, home delivery, item exchange, mail order, promotional periods and sales, private concerts, a reading area and much more. This ground-breaking and revolutionary couple had come up with a commercial model that would soon be copied around the globe. The start of 1875 saw the opening of an art gallery. The store served as a free intermediary and facilitator between artists and art lovers.
Following the takeover of Le Bon Marché by the LVMH group in 1984, the new management team, installed by Bernard Arnault in 1987, decided to rebrand the store as the most exclusive in Paris. Blending tradition with modernity and enjoying a warm and convivial atmosphere, Le Bon Marché evolved into a resolutely Parisian, upmarket store whose values espousing authenticity and culture were closely bound with the joys of shopping.
Since 1988, La Grande Epicerie de Paris, a subsidiary of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, has become one of the capital's leading food stores.
In 1994, it was the turn of Franck & Fils, created in 1897 by Emma Franck, to become a subsidiary of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. A change in management ushered in a new emphasis on couture that would underpin everything achieved by this extraordinary store in the future.
Where? 24, rue de Sèvres , 75007 Paris.
Opening hours: 10am to 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays , 10am to 8:45pm on Thursdays and Fridays