BHV, that other Parisian store!

In my rounds in Paris I came upon this building once again. I have written very briefly on it in previous post and deserves better indeed. Maybe because it is next to the city hall I have been here briefly over the years in Paris. However, back in my old home of Versailles we did went several times to its branch there at Parly II shopping center (see this post).

I like to write a bit more on the wonderful BHV or Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville or city hall market bazaar…. It is more than that, very sophisticated as the other better known stores which have their posts in my blog as well.


It is indeed on a wonderful street rue de Rivoli right over the esplanade or parvis of the Paris‘ city hall; and with its great dome commands attention indeed. A Paris landmark to be visited.

The Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville, operated by BHV Exploitation under the name BHV Marais since 2013, is a general department store belonging to the Galeries Lafayette group. It is located in Paris, rue de Rivoli, in the 4éme arrondissement or district, in front of the Hôtel de Ville or City/Town Hall, but also occupies several other neighboring buildings. This establishment was at the origin of a chain of stores centered on the DIY do not count any more than a shop outside Paris at Le Chesnay Parly2 Yvelines dept 78), yes my shopping center of old! Abroad the group is based in Beirut, Beijing, Berlin, Dubai and Jakarta under various names.


A bit of history I like

The shopkeeper Xavier Ruel, arrived from Lyon, and began by selling some hosiery articles by hawkers, in large umbrellas. He notice that, even by turning the sellers, the best sales are always made at the corner of the Rue de Rivoli and rue des Deux-Portes-Saint-Jean (nowadays Rue des Archives). He decided, in 1856, to establish his store there.

Xavier Ruel died in 1900, and his grandson Henri Viguier, took over the BHV. He completes the work of his grandfather. It is notably he who directs the vast works carried out in 1912 , giving the building its famous rotunda and most of its modern structure. The store covers 1,300 meters of galleries built on 11 floors, it becomes one of the Parisian department stores of fashion. Henri Viguier is the man of all the great achievements of the store such as the BHV became a limited company in 1931 to its entry in the stock market in 1960. The BHV adopts all the innovations of the trade with in 1954,inaugurates a first elevator/lift and then, in 1971 , a public car parking with direct access to the store.

In 2007, the BHV Homme (Men’s) opens at rue du Temple. The main store focuses on women’s fashion, DIY, decoration and furniture. The basement is totally renovated and modernized. In 2013, the property is renovated again. It’s name is changed, becoming  BHV Marais. The DIY (do it yourselves) shelving is kept in the basement. Above, two floors, instead of one, are allocated to women’s fashion. A new shoes area is created on the first floor. The sections furniture are removed to make more room for leisure and clothing. In 2016, after an agreement reached between the unions, the BHV became the first Parisian department store to open on Sunday

The BHV Marais is organized in different sections such as :

in the basement: DIY; on the ground floor: jewelery, perfume, women’s fashion; on the first floor: women’s fashion and shoes; second floor: luggage, stationery, culture and creative hobbies; on the third floor: the culinary arts and 2 restaurants (Marlette and the Artisans de la Truffe); fourth floor: decoration and lighting; on the fifth floor: toys, children’s fashion, lingerie and restaurants; on the sixth and top floor: the bathroom, bedding and linens; a five-storey neighbor’s shop (rue de la Verrerie); a pet shop; a cycle shop; a floor carpet and parquet shop; and Eataly an Italian restaurants and groceries at rue du Temple.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official BHV Marais store

Official group Galeries Lafayette on the BHV store

Tourist office of Paris on the BHV store in English

And there you go another Paris landmark to be visited and for your shopping pleasure of my eternal Paris. Hope you enjoy BHV Marais as the others and do some serious shopping in Paris::)

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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