But whom does this innovative concept of "fixed price
and free entrance" come from .... that's
it, from a Norman pioneer !
"Born in 1810,
Aristide Boucicaut son of a hat maker in
Belleme, Normandy, decided one day to leave his
childhood village and try to find customers
along the roads of Normandy. After a few
years, selling fabrics,
and so on, he reached Paris, where he became a
drapper's assistant at the "Petit Saint
Thomas" ... There he meet the sweet
Marguerite, a lovely dairywoman who became
his wife ... After the crisis of 1848,
Aristide became unemployed and he approached
the Videau brothers who owned the "Bon
marché" a small business in the rue du Bac.
They became partners but the Videau brothers
were taken aback by Aristide's bold
commercial ideas and very soon sold him
their share in the business ...
With the support of his wife, Aristide
embarked on transforming the stall into what
would become the very first department store
where one could stroll pleasantly ! He
invented the concept of fixed price, clearly
indicated on labels, no need to haggle !
Fortune smiled upon the Boucicauts who soon
became one of the most famous pairs of their