Essential Architecture-  Paris

Magasin au Bon Marché 


A. Boileau and Gustave Eiffel


22, rue de Servres, 75007 Paris. Telephone: 






iron, glass, and masonry


Shop department store 
Le Bon Marché ("the good market", or "the good deal" in French) is the name of one of the most famous department stores in Paris, France. It is sometimes regarded as the first department store in the world. Although this depends on what is meant by 'department store', it may have had the first specially-designed building for a store in Paris. The founder was Aristide Boucicaut.

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.

After adopting the emblem in 1914, Pierre de Coubertin orders to make the Olympic flag in this store to release it in the 1916 Summer Olympics and debuted in the 1920 Summer Olympics .(2)

Recommended reading
The Bon Marché. Bourgeois Culture and the Department Store, 1869-1920, by Michael B. Miller - a history of the store; and Emile Zola's novel The Ladies' Paradise, based on the commercial life in Paris of the 1800s and on the family behind the successful Bon Marche department store, Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut.

"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)

(2)Source: Enciclopedia Mundial del Deporte tomo 1 UTEHA Madrid 1981 Coordinates: 48°51′3.67″N, 2°19′27.73″E