We all love shopping in France, from popping to la boulangerie for your daily baguette to browsing a DIY store seeking goodies for your new French property. This page provides a rundown of the names of French shops that you are likely to come across when out shopping in France, from specialist suppliers to big name supermarkets and DIY/homewares stores.
Specialist shops commonly found in France:
Antiques shop – un magasin d’antiquités (an antiques dealer is called un antiquaire)
Bakery – la boulangerie
Bookshop – la librairie
Butchers – la boucherie
Cake/pastry shop – la pâtisserie
Cheese shop – la fromagerie
Chocolate maker – le chocolatier
Chemist – la pharmacie
Clothes shop – un magasin de vêtements
Cobblers, shoe repairer – la cordonnerie
Department store – un grand magasin
Estate agents – l’agence immobilière
Fishmongers – la poissonnerie
Grocery store – une épicerie
Hardware/ironmonger – la quincaillerie
Jewellers – la bijouterie
Launderette – une laverie automatique
Market – le marché/les halles (indoor market)
Music shop – un discaire/ un magasin de disques
Newsagents – la maison de la presse
Post office – un bureau de poste/La Poste
Shopping centre/mall – un centre commercial
Tobacconists – un tabac (you can also buy French stamps here)
Wine merchants – un marchand de vins
Supermarkets in France
Here is a list of the main supermarkets (called a supermarché, otherwise called a hypermarché if they are larger), usually found in commercial zones on the outskirts of towns. You can also buy petrol at some of these. Such stores do not usually close for lunch and often stay open until 8 pm or later, even if other shops in the building close earlier.
There is a very wide range to choose from, but inevitably your preferred supermarket for a weekly shop in France will be dictated by price, preference and and location. Click on the company name below to find your preferred store (a French postcode may be required).
Carrefour (smaller stores are called Carrefour Market)
Intermarché (owned by Les Mousquetaires)
Franprix (owned by Casino Group)
Netto (discount supermarket owned by Les Mousquetaires)
DIY stores in France
Here is a list of the main DIY stores (le magasin de bricolage) found in France, usually in commercial zones on the outskirts of towns. For smaller everyday household items, try the more traditional quincaillerie (hardware shop) which you may find on the high street in smaller towns or large villages.
Mr Bricolage (click on Votre Magasin, top right, for a list of stores)
Garden centres in France
These is a decent selection of garden centres in France. While there are many smaller independent stores, among the big chain names are:
Gamm Vert (French website – hover on ‘Nos magasins‘, top left and type in your town)
Jardiland (also sells pet and animal goods)
Point Vert (French site, add your postcode in France to find your nearest stores)
Note that some of the big hypermarchés have extensive garden sections too.
Factory outlets in France
Factory outlets are very popular in France, more noticably in northern regions. If it’s a fashion bargain you’re seeking, head to one of the big-brand outlets, such as McArthurGlen at Roubaix near Lille and Troyes in Champagne, just 90 minutes or so from Paris. Troyes is also home to one of France’s seven Marques Avenue stores, dedicated to fashion and homewares, while near Strasbourg you can find Roppenheim Style outlets. Cité Europe in Calais and Euralille in Lille (in French) offer mall-based treats in the north, while within the Disneyland Resort near Paris there’s La Vallée Village.
Department stores in France (grands magasins)
The big names on the high street when it comes to fashion, beauty, homewares and menswear are Galeries Lafayette, Printemps while Le Bon Marché in Paris was the first ever modern department store founded in 1852 and now sells high-end goods (it’s owned by LVMH). Most of these stores also run a wedding list service.