Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV Marais)

Opening Hours:

  • From Monday to Saturday : from 09h30 to 20h00
  • Sunday: from 11h00 to 19h30

BHV MARAIS Celebrates 160 years ( September 13th 2016)

BHV Marais

  • The Bazar de l’Hôtel-de-Ville (the “bazaar of city hall”) is located in the historical and fashionable Marais neighborhood. It is facing the Hôtel de Ville and it is served by the Metro station Hôtel de Ville.
  • Opened in 1856, four years after the “Bon Marché”, The Bazar de l’Hôtel-De-Ville is one of the very first department store of the capital.
  • In 1991, the BHV is bought by the Galeries Lafayette group.
  • In 2012 the bazar de l’Hôtel-De-Ville was rebranded BHV Marais.The Gallerie Lafayette group undertook major renovations in order to give a new identity to the store
  • The store slogan is “style as a lifestyle”.

The success story of François-Xaviel Ruel

  • Xavier Ruel was an ironmonger from the city of Lyon. In 1852, he decided to settle in Paris to seek fortune.
  • He recruited street vendors to sell his stock of hosiery and he noticed that the best selling point was in the city hall area.
  • Therefore, François-Xavier Ruel and his wife Marie-Madeleine decided to open a hosiery shop at the corner of rue de Rivoli and rue des Archives.

The anecdote (The stroke of luck !!)

  • In 1855, Empress Eugenie’s horses are racing right in front of his shop and Xavier Ruel quickly mastered them. His act of bravery was financially rewarded and he decided to expand his shop.
  • François-Xavier Ruel diversified  in the hardware store and sale of toys and trinkets and acquired adjacent shops just two years after the opening of his business.

Xavier Ruel : A philanthropist

  • Department stores were popular in Paris during the second empire, the best known was “le Bon Marché” whose founder was Aristide Boucicaut.
  • Xavier Ruel took a close interest in social issues which will set him apart from his competitors.
  • In 1866, the bazar de l’hôtel-de-ville was the first store in Paris to offer labeled items sold at fixed prices and low enough to attract popular and middle class.
  • He created pension funds for his employees and a free clinic.
  • During the Paris Commune (revolutionary government) he distributed bread to the poor.