If you’re visiting France and you love to shop, then the chances are you’ll be visiting Le bon Marche. This famous shop is located on rue de Sevres, having been founded by Aristide Boucicaut. Le bon Marche is generally accepted as the first department store in the world, and is certainly the most chic in Paris. At one time it sold mostly linens, table settings, and a variety of other household items. Today it is the place to go for fashionable, upscale clothing, perfume, cosmetics, and accessories. Here you will find such leading labels as Burberry, Comme des Garcons, Dries van Noten, and Sonia Rykiel. Menswear includes designs by Zenga, Yves Saint Laurent, and Paul Smith. French brand names include Athe, Mont St. Michel, Zadig & Voltaire, Manoush, Isabel Marant’s Etoile line, and Madame of Paris.
Le bon Marche began life as a small shop in 1838, which later developed into a larger scale operation. After quickly becoming a department store, larger premises were required to match the potential of Le bon Marche. A new building was subsequently constructed by Louis Auguste Boileau in 1867. Le bon Marche was commissioned to make the official Olympic flag for the 1916 Summer Olympics. The flag was first flown in the 1920 Summer Olympics. Though many prestigious brands appear in the store, it remains a fascinating place to browse without purchasing. Le bon Marche is a favourite with celebrities, and can therefore be useful for a bit of star gazing. There is also an excellent café on the premises. Right next door is La Grande Epicerie, which is the haute couture of grocery stores. There you can buy gourmet jams, nougats, olive oil, and other food items that make great gifts to take home.
Address: 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France
Open Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm