Thursday, September 10, 2015

Life Hack: Parisian Stores and their American Equivalents

Here's a simple list of what I've found in Paris to be the American equivalent of stores I'm used to. I'm by no means an expert on France's offerings, but so far in my quest to find the convenience of home this is what I've discovered. 

Best Buy: Darty, FNAC
Academy/Sports Authority: Decathalon
Target: Monoprix or Hema
Ulta: Monop Beauty
Home Depot/Lowe's: Castorama
Bed, Bath and Beyond: Conforama (but with furniture)
Walmart: Tati
Whole Foods: Naturalia

Unfortunately I have yet to find the equivalent of a Ross or Homegoods (the bin stores on Boulevard de Rochechouart? but I've never stopped and browsed). If for some reason you really miss shopping at a mall (why?) you have Beaugrenelle (15th), Forum des Halles (1st), Italie 2 (13th) and Les Quatre Temps (La Defense). For department stores, Galleries Lafayette (8th and 14th), Printemps (8th), BHV (4th) and Le Bon Marche (7th).

Parisians Don't Buy Brooms

Shopping for clothes and shoes is easy enough because those stores are everywhere, but coming to Paris when you're used to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Homegoods or Target is a real pain. It's hard enough getting used to new clothes stores (because you're not going to find a lot of your favorite American brands), finding out where to buy sheets, towels and duvets is a little bit harder.

Of course you have IKEA, but they're all located outside of Paris, and if you don't feel like taking the metro, much less the RER, then you'll have to suck it up and find a few of these places.

I'm Rive Droit so I can't give a lot of advice on what's in south Paris but so far if you live near Ledru Rollin consider yourself lucky. Not only does Faubourg Saint Antoine (towards Bastille) have the best mile of shops, you also have stores like Casa (mostly outdoor), HEMA and giant Monoprix (French call those hypermarches). 

If you need dishes and kitchen stuff, unfortunately you won't find a Williams Sonoma, but there are a few little unassuming home stores. I never remember the names but if you walk Saint Antoine from Bastille towards Saint Paul, there's a nice little place that sells cute bowls and glasses and things. Across the street you have Confordeco. And for a cheap little linen store, from Chateaudun towards Saint Lazare (I want to say metro Trinite...), there's a place that sells duvets, towels, robes, etc. Unfortunately stuff like towels, while being super cheap in the US ($6 for Ralph Lauren from Ross anyone?), they're a bit more expensive here. You're going to spend anywhere from 10-20€ for one normal sized towel (but at Hema a bath sheet is only 13€, bargain!).

If you're into getting your pillows, carpets, sheets, and clic clac all in one place, try stores like Habitat, Conforama, and if you don't mind a department store, BHV. It's going to be more expensive, but I guess it beats going to many different places. If you live in the 13th or the 18th, try Tati (cheapest). 

If you're interested in an Anthropolgie aesthetic and want something a little more fashionable, try Madura or Zara Home. Yes, for some reason Zara has a home store. I didn't even know such a thing existed before I walked down Rivoli one day and saw it.

If for some reason you need a Home Depot/Lowe's, Castorama is located at Place de Clichy, near Montmartre cemetery. For a Best Buy type store look for Darty or FNAC. 

As for the hyper Monoprixs, so far the ones I know of are Ledru Rollin (11th), Saint Augustin (8th), there's one on Sebastopol near Chatelet (4th), the 7th near Rue de Bac or Solferino? and the 15th on Commerce. Carrefour in the 13th at Place d'Italie (inside the mall) is also a hypermarket. It's also the biggest grocery store I've ever been in (in Paris).