Le Bon Marché

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This article is about the French Department store. For the former chain of American department stores, see The Bon Marché. For the British clothing retail chain owned by Sun European Partners, see Bonmarché.
Le Bon Marché
Aristide Boucicaut (1810-1877).
"Au Bon Marché"

Le Bon Marché ("the good market", or "the good deal" in French; French pronunciation: ​[lə bɔ̃ maʁʃe]) is the name of one of the best known department stores in Paris, France. It is often incorrectly cited as the world's first department store, as that honour actually goes to Bainbridge's of Newcastle upon Tyne in England.[1] Although this can depend on the definition of 'department store', it may have had the first specially designed building for a store in Paris. The founder was Aristide Boucicaut. Le Bon Marché is the property of LVMH Luxury Group.


The store was founded as a small shop in Paris during 1838, and was a fixed-price department store from about 1850. It was a successful business, and a new building was constructed for the store by Louis Auguste Boileau in 1867. Louis Charles Boileau, his son, continued the store in the 1870s, consulting the firm of Gustave Eiffel for parts of its structure. Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, the grandson of Louis Auguste, worked on an extension to the store in the 1920s.


Le Bon Marché has hired Sofia Coppola to design its window displays of the unveiling of the a new version of the SC bag.[2]

Recommended reading[edit]

  • The Bon Marché. Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869–1920, by Michael B. Miller – a history of the store.
  • Au Bonheur des Dames, Émile Zola, 1883. The eleventh novel in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series. Documents the birth of modern retailing, changes in city planning and architecture, considers feminism, deconstructs desire in the marketplace and tells in a Cinderella format the life of the Boucicauts who, in the novel, appear as Octave Mouret and Denise Baudu. One of Zola's more positive novels about the changes in society during the Second Empire.
  • Bernard Marrey, Les Grands Magasins des origines a 1939 (Paris: Picard, 1979)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Yaffa Draznin (2001). Victorian London's Middle-Class Housewife: What She Did All Day. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-313-31399-8. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Diderich, Joelle (24 September 2013). "Sofia Coppola Designs Le Bon Marché Windows". WWD. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 

Coordinates: 48°51′3.67″N 2°19′27.73″E / 48.8510194°N 2.3243694°E / 48.8510194; 2.3243694

Further reading[edit]

  • Miller, Michael B. Bon Marché: Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869-1920 (1981), scholarly history

External links[edit]