Monoprix

Monoprix: urban chic made in France

“Monoprix: Not your Everyday Everyday.”

In France, if you live in a city of 50,000 people or more, you probably shop chez Monoprix. Born in Rouen in the 1930s after the Great Depression, Monoprix may have been modeled after successful American chainstores like Woolworth’s, it remains a French success story. La marque Monoprix (the Monoprix brand) has changed since its humble beginnings as a commerce de proximité (neighborhood store) offering basic, affordable wares in French city centers. It fought, and eventually absorbed its main competitors, Uniprix and Prisunic. By the year 2000, only Monoprix remained. To survive cutthroat competition from suburban hypermarchés (superstores,) the company reinvented itself. Ubiquitous in French urban areas, it has now achieved near iconic status, in and outside of France with a range of stores servicing different market segments: Monoprix, Monop’, Monop Daily, Monop Beauty, Monop Station. In 2018, Monoprix partnered with Amazon Prime to deliver food and beauty products in France and abroad. 

Monoprix

Monoprix: French urban chic

How do you go from being an affordable store selling convenience products, to a trendy franchise catering to affluent {female} urbanites with a taste for la mode (fashion,) la beauté (beauty,) and la déco (interior design?) You go back to the drawing board, and you shake things up. When competitors slash prices to appeal to the masses, you focus on more affluent market segments and increase your prices in return for quality, more choices, and innovation.

Monoprix
La Confiserie: Better brands than at the local Auchan or Leclerc, irresistibly displayed.

New logo, new image, new look, new partnerships with en vogue designers:  You surprise your customers every day (“la surprise au quotidien.”) Forget the French malaise: Food shopping after work can be convenient and fun, even at 10:00pm! Yes, the local store can offer an aesthetically pleasing, welcoming environment where one can leave not only with the basics, but also a few finds (made in coton bio, organic cotton, bien sûr.)

Monoprix

Monoprix
Sacs patriotiques (patriotic bags)

Products with broad appeal

Your prices are at least 15% higher than most other supermarkets? Pas de problème: Build it, and they will come! Stroke of genius: Make sure your products appeal not only to your well-traveled, well-heeled French clientele, but also to foreign visitors, who can’t believe their eyes and fight to get their hands on that elusive French style magic while in Paris. In the US, Nordstrom is more high-end, and some people compare Monoprix with Target. Yet Target remains a mostly suburban affair, and however hard you look, you will not find a deli counter at the store, or bio (organic,) fair trade, chichi sandwiches, snacks or beverages during your lunch hour. Sure, it can be fun to browse the aisle chez [Tar-Jay] but a lot of the Monoprix trademark humor would likely get lost in translation there. Such complicity with your customers doesn’t get easily achieved.

Monoprix

Toilet paper ad: “For you we unroll the {pink} carpet.”
Monoprix
Mayo ad: “Everyone in their bathing suits!” (“maillot” in French, get it?)

Basics and more: for you, or for someone else

We have all seen photos of the well-stocked French supermarket yogurt aisle. When you visit Monoprix, you know your French taste buds will get charmed.

Monoprix
Le beurre (the butter aisle)
Monoprix
Need I say more?
Monoprix
No, it is not “like cottage cheese”

For a successful French-style apéro (aperitif,) swing by the wine aisle, then place a few of these classics in your basket…

Monoprix

Monoprix

Et Voilà: L’apéro est servi! 

Looking for gifts for friends back home? Monoprix has you covered. Save and be cool by choosing Monoprix-branded products and their edgy packaging.

Monoprix
Les tisanes (herbal teas) Monoprix look better.
Monoprix
Old-fashioned eau de toilette packaged by Monoprix (left:) Prettier. Cheaper.

Monoprix

Traditional French brands may cost a little bit more here, but these are time-tested products anyone will be happy to enjoy (or receive as a gift.)

Monoprix

It is hard to imagine French urban life without you, Monoprix. You may be the most expensive supermarket chain in France, everyone visits your stores, including my retired, frugal father. You score big because you dreamed big, and you excel at keeping life fun, pretty and surprising. Let’s face it: Who does not like fun, pretty and surprising? Pas moi. 

Happy {Monoprix} shopping!

A bientôt.

 

Monoprix
Was Audrey a Monoprix customer?

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What did you think about this article? Let me know in the comment section below, (I love reading your messages and reply to most.) Don’t be selfish and share with a friend! Merci. Véronique (French Girl in Seattle)

36 Comments

  • Bonjour Véronique, j’adore ce post que je vais partager, c’est tellement vrai. J’habite dans une petite ville et le Monoprix est vraiment le poumon de la ville. On a failli le perdre et tout le monde s’est mobilisé pour qu’il reste. De ce fait, de gros travaux ont été réalisés et c’est devenu un magasin très tendance où on trouve tout, de l’habillement, de la déco à l’alimentation. Très bon rapport qualité prix, et articles très “bobo” qu’on ne trouve que chez Monop’,de bonne qualité. Mes enfants petits ont beaucoup été habillés chez Monoprix, c’était très bien. Ils ont su se mettre dans un créneau très centre ville qui correspond à une demande et même si c’est plus cher qu’ailleurs on y va. Et vous avez raison c’est très très français ! A bientôt Nathalie

  • Can’t do without Monoprix! I recently picked up some towels there, which were better quality and cheaper than at a fancier house-linens store. Yes, they are great on the quality-price ratio.

  • Love their sale on wine…2 for 1. Be ready to weigh you own produce and bag your own at check out (at least in ones I visited). I mix it up, buying from small local shop owners as well as Monoprix. If one is in the city for only a short time and want a place to find everything in one place, then Monoprix is the place.

  • Bonjour
    Will be traveling from Seattle to Paris in July, can you tell me where the closest Monoprix store is in the 20th?
    Merci🥐

    • Bonjour Mary. The 20th arrondissement is one of the largest in Paris, if not the largest. I would need to know what area you will be staying in. I just searched the Monoprix website and found at least three stores in the 20th arrondissement. I have no doubt you will find some along the way as you explore Paris. There is a big, famous one located on the Champs-Elysées for example. https://www.monoprix.fr/trouver-nos-magasins

  • I’ve only been to France twice. I luckily stumbled into a Monoprix on the first trip and was hooked! Thanks for your article. It made me smile and long for another trip to France.

  • I always look forward to exploring Monoprix during my visits to France. They all seem to be a little bit different. Such fun!

  • A nice article. I have shopped at the store in Issy Les Moulineaux, which looks a lot like the one in your picture. On a local note, the original retailing model of the QFC stores in Seattle was quite similar and even though they have been absorbed by Kroger ( along with Fred Meyer) they do still retain a bit of the more upscale flavor. Keep up the good work.

  • Merci beaucoup – what a fun and delightful post and a reminder of Monoprix. We must go there when we visit Paris in September.

  • Wherever we go in France the first place we go is Monoprix. After a couple hours there , were ready to start our vacation.

  • I wasn’t always happy with Monoprix in Nice, France. This spring I was looking for last minute items and didn’t even try looking for fresh flat-leaf parsley, or mint. There is was… in the produce section that I had overlooked. They could have changed produced managers, I don’t know, but its really been my go-to store while I am here for 3 months.

    Thanks for your article!, Debby Woods

    • Bonjour Debby. I know both Monoprix stores in downtown Nice quite well and have used them often myself. I am not sure what happened when you shopped for fresh herbs as it sounds like Monoprix did carry them in their produce department (where they should be?) Anyhow, you are lucky to be able to spend three months in year in my favorite French city! You should look up the many stories I have written about Nice in the “Destinations” section of the FGIS website if you have not already. A bientôt!

  • My favorite store for every day shopping! Variety of products and services available made my life much easier while living in the Place des Vosges over the years. My visitors quite often bought products such as Dijon mustards in crockery as gifts to take home as well as other beautifully packaged items. Loved Monoprix!

    • That’s a great store to have around the block in neighborhoods like le Marais where one can mostly shop at specialty stores. Are you referring to the Monoprix store close to l’Eglise St Paul, on rue St Antoine?

  • I have only been to Paris once (9th arrondissement) unfortunately, but definitely loved the Monoprix. There was a small one right around the corner from our hotel; but every where we went there was another one, which I could not resist going into. The clothes are tres chic. I cannot wait to go back.

    • Lol. Here’s a great way of exploring Paris: Visit all the Monoprix stores you can find! There certainly are enough around Paris to keep you busy for a while, not to mention the smaller versions, like Monop’

  • Thanks for this post; it was so fun to read. You can write more about Monoprix in the future or other stores also, as far as I am concerned!

  • Hi! I went to Paris for the first time back in May of this year. Fell in love with Monoprix! I was wondering if you knew if Monoprix ships to the USA? I saw that you mentioned it partnering with Amazon Prime, but when I looked it up, they only had one item for sale. Thank you so much! I love your blog.

    • Bonjour Tanya et bienvenue. As far as I know, Monoprix does not ship to the USA. They deliver to customers’ homes (hence the partnership with Amazon Prime I believe.) Wouldn’t it be fabulous if they did, though? 😉 A bientôt.

  • Thank you for this Monoprix homage. It’s my favorite French store! We go to Paris often and have a Monoprix in our hood (Rue de Levis) in the 17th and find ourselves finding excuses to go there several times a day. We peruse the home section on our way to the Metro. We browse the food section when we return home, and we go again when we are looking for something for dinner. No matter that we have 3 flights of stairs to go up and down each time we leave home. We just can’t resist!
    And of course we NEED to visit the other Monoprixs around the city. After all, everyone knows that the swimsuits that they stock at Saint- Paul will be different from Ternes. ; ) Plus, those foldable grocery bags with limited edition prints!!!

    • So many Monoprix, so little time! 😉 You have a nice Parisian address. I can only approve. Still, with all the outdoors merchants rue de Levis, you have access to so much fresh food, there’s almost no need to visit le Monoprix for dinner… unless you just want to have fun, of course! 😉

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