VIMOUTIERS ... yesterdays


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 of Pays d'Auge


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Norman Scenes - Le Grand Bazar - The clogs - Cotton bonnet - The domino game - Notgeld - the bus - the horse-drawn carriage - Sand quarries



" Grand Bazar de  Vimoutiers - FIXED PRICE - FREE ENTRANCE "



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, cretonne, 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 time ..."


Goodness, Boucicaut did it this way in Paris, why won't we do the same in Vimoutiers !


Seriously, Boucicauts gave a very large part of their fortune to charity organizations, they helped Pasteur and founded the Hospital ... Boucicaut in Paris.


So there ... enjoy shopping !


Fixed price - free entrance

     ► Aristide Boucicaut    ► Marguerite Boucicaut   Le Bon marché



Perhaps you didn't know that in his novel Au Bonheur des Dames -The Ladies' Delight/The ladies' Paradise-,

Emile Zola modeled the main character named Octave Mouret after Aristide Boucicaut !

The novel is set in a department store, modeled after Le bon marché.


Au bonheur des Dames-exhibition BNF


Aristide Boucicaut


Marguerite Boucicaut