Monoprix: The Parisians’ favorite store

Monoprix: The Parisians’ favorite store

When I fly home every year, friends ask: “What is your favorite Parisian store?” Dur, dur. Tough call. There are so many wonderful boutiques and department stores in Paris, it would be impossible to choose just one. One problem, when shopping in France, is that sales are a biannual event by law. It may be hard to find deals the rest of the year, even if many stores bend the rules by organizing des promotions or des ventes privées (private sales.) There is a chain store famous for offering real finds year round, and at affordable prices, Monoprix. The much beloved chain boasts over 200 locations in France, and is owned by the powerful Casino group. Other Casino stores include giant hypermarkets typically located in the suburbs, or less-than-glamorous but convenient neighborhood supermarkets like Franprix. Most are just stores; and that’s why Monoprix is special, and a success story. As a die-hard urbanite, I can only love a store that I can walk to, especially if it offers an irresistible combination of convenience (one-stop shopping) and fun. As I tell my friends before they visit Paris: “If your hotel or apartment is within walking distance of at least one Metro station and a Monoprix, jackpot!”

MonoprixFacade

What does one find chez Monoprix? Tout. Everything. Food. Wine (great selection, including Champagne.) Clothing (love the lingerie and socks!) Toiletries (le Petit Marseillais shower soap, and any product in the Monoprix line.) Make up. Books. Music. Postcards. Gifts. Housewares, and more. Not all Monoprix stores are created equal. They vary in size, appearance, and selection. Parisians always have a favorite boulangerie, café terrace, and a favorite Monoprix. C’est comme ça.

Storage in my American apartment is limited; and I have to pace myself when shopping in France. So I purchase smaller, easy-to-pack items. Monoprix fits the bill, in more ways than one. I always find something there.

Elle Make up
Fun make-up line by ELLE
Filet a provisions
The old-fashioned “filet à provisions.”

My favorite department? Easy. L’Alimentation (Food.) Les Yaourts et desserts. This is the stuff French expats’ dreams are made of.

Things I leave behind

Danette

Mamie Nova 2

La Fermière

That’s not all. Discoveries await in every aisle au Monoprix. The toughest decision: Should I get these for myself, or for friends?

Les Parisiennes Confiture
Très Parisian jams
The Tatin
Tarte Tatin flavored tea? Count me in!
Piment d'Espelette
A taste of the Basque country
Rillettes
A taste of Gascony

You may ask, “Do you do all your shopping au Monoprix, then?” Mais non. There are so many boutiques in Paris, and so little time. Redingote-style coats were popular, for men and women, this winter.

Redingote GL
See?

In a small boutique near la Place des Ternes (17th arr.) I found mine; and I have been wearing it a lot since I returned to Seattle.

Boutique Ternes

Redingote
Le manteau

The French love fine paper and fine pens. I must be French. For Christmas, I treated myself to a brand-new agenda; and I found it in a very elegant boutique in the 17th arrondissement, le Stylo d’Or. This is the kind of place where people return year after year, where the sales person calls regular customers by their last name. Beautiful products, impeccably presented. We are in Paris, ya’all!

Le stylo d'Or

Agenda Mignon

I also went vintage-card hunting while exploring the Left Bank with relatives. Cards, vintage or not, make such wonderful gifts, or decor for my apartment or office at home.

Bucci News
This small shop has “fun” written all over it!
Cards
My nephew and sister-in-law showing off their special finds, Marché Louis Lépine, Ile de la Cité

Is that all? Of course not. There are many things I could not bring home with me. Too expensive, too big, too heavy. Still, le lèche-vitrine (window browsing) is a great Parisian pastime.

Eiffel Tower Lamp
Can’t get enough of la Tour Eiffel
La Grande Vadrouille
Who recognizes these guys, spotted in a puppet shop on Ile St Louis?
fromage
Award-winning Brie de Meaux. That big wheel would never make it across the border.

 

A bientôt.

J'aime Paris souvenirs

26 Responses to Monoprix: The Parisians’ favorite store

  1. Monop is always my first destination in France! I head straight for the skincare aisle and stock up. Love just browsing in there…

    I’ve bookmarked this to make a point to visit le stylo d’or when we’re in Paris this summer. (We’ll be there for les soldes, which should be interesting.

    Thanks for sharing these.

    • You’re welcome, Susan. Life would be drab, indeed, without Monoprix! :-) One thing I have always loved getting there is “l’eau micellaire” my favorite make-up remover. They have several brands, including Barbara Gould. They make very affordable alternatives to my favorite brand, Caudalie, which is a lot pricier. I can’t understand, for the life of me, why “l’eau micellaire” has only just popped up on the shelves at my local Target over the last few months, after all these years. Now I see it everywhere. Ah, marketing…

  2. We were very lucky to discover the Monoprix 2 blocks from our apartment in the Le Marais. I loved all the new things to try there and while I was trying to speak French, the checker was delighted to try to speak English! We shopped there several times during our stay. We love to explore grocery stores when we travel to new places!

    • I am like you Stephany. I have always enjoyed visiting grocery stores when I travel. I remember my first visit to an American-size supermarket, Kroger’s I believe, over thirty years ago. I could not believe the size of the cereal aisle. This was before cereal became popular for breakfast in France as well. 😉 Are you referring to le Monoprix located on la rue de Rivoli, near St Paul? If that’s the one, I used to go several times a week as a grad school student. My university was right around the corner. Memories…

  3. LOVE the Monoprix in Chartres, where I’ve gone a number of times. I helped facilitate pilgrimage groups. We used to have receptions catered at a high end hotel until we realized that what was in Monoprix was better, and far less expensive. I bought a pair of socks there and I wish I had bought more than several. They were all time favorites and I never found anything even close. I love the clear photigraphs of the dairy shelves… All those yaourts… (Is this a word where the circonflexe would be removed? I always forget, so just as well we don’t need to remember any more).

  4. I love your blogs–always wonderful memories of France. I invite you to check out my website, pronouncingfrench.com; my love for France shows up as helping English speakers overcome their difficulties in sounding French. I would love to have your feedback. Merci

  5. For some reason, I just saw this post. I love it. Monoprix was one of my husband’s favorite stores in France (well, mine also). We would walk there every evening for a bottle of wine. I wanted to buy everything. I also loved the Buci News. They were so kind there. I saw something in the window I wanted to buy for a friend, and the clerk couldn’t find it in the store, so he climbed into the window to get it for me. I love the postcards from Paris. Oh my, I could go on and on. I always love your posts and your facebook posts! Thank you! Jane

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