Le Bon Marché, Paris, shopping, fashion in Paris, rive gauche

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Rive Gauche vibe: Le Bon Marché

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You only need to enter this refined shop to understand why it inspired all the others!

In 1852, Aristide Boucicaut invented modern shopping as we know it by creating the world’s first department store, Le Bon Marché. 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.

New premises at the corner of rue du Bac and rue de Sèvres would accommodate Le Bon Marché’s “food counter” that opened in 1923, offering the finest teas and preserves, a first for a department store. Country-themed exhibitions and presentations were organised, with fresh produce being showcased to create a unique array. It wasn’t until 1978, however, that La Grande Epicerie de Paris was born, positioning itself as a genuine local supermarket for food aficionados on the Rive Gauche.

After the LVMH group took over Le Bon Marché, the latter adopted a new market positioning. It became a high-end, resolutely Parisian store that reflected a certain Rive Gauche vibe. 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 1999, following a complete revamp of its departments and the introduction of a new graphic identity, shopping at La Grande Epicerie de Paris gained a reputation as “an unmissable treat, an unadulterated delight and a unique experience”. A leading light in the world of Parisian gastronomy, it attracts people from all over the world in search of exceptional quality and taste.