La Samaritaine department store

La Samaritaine is a department store located between rue de Rivoli and the Seine, directly above the Pont Neuf in the 1st arrondissement of Paris (France). Founded in 1870 by Ernest Cognacq, La Samaritaine, which had become loss-making, closed in 2005 to renovate its buildings and bring them up to safety standards. La Samaritaine remained, until its closure, the largest Parisian department store in terms of size, with its four stores totaling a sales area of 48,000 m2.

The reopening of La Samaritaine (reduced to 10,000 m2 compared to 30,000 m2 before 2005), initially planned for 2011, was 10 years late due to multiple twists and turns (between appeals by heritage defenders – opposed to the demolition of the old facade rue de Rivoli — and the Covid-19 pandemic) and finally takes place on June 23, 2021.

Its art nouveau and art deco style buildings are the work of architects Frantz Jourdain and Henri Sauvage; the main store is listed as a historic monument.


Architect Frantz Jourdain was originally hired to assist in the remodeling and expansion of the existing store building, known as Magasin 1. However, as the store’s success continued to grow, Cognacq decided to expand into a building across the street, Magasin 2, which became the site for the Samaritaine as designed by Jourdain.

The construction of the building was done in stages, partly because the store had to continue to remain open in order to bring in revenue. Much of the building was brought to the site prefabricated, allowing the construction to occur rapidly. The building was proposed in 1905 and after five years of construction, the building, filling the entire block from rues de la Monnaie, Arbre-Sec, des Petres, and Baillet, was complete in 1910. The original store, Magasin 1, was eventually updated with a steel and glass structure to match Magasin 2, which was located across the street.

By the time the department store was completed in 1910, new movements, such as Fauvism, Cubism, and Werkbund, had come about and devalued the style of the Samaritaine. In the 1920s, Cognacq requested for expansions of the department store. City officials allowed for the expansions with the stipulation that Cognacq follow their specifications which centered around the utilization of a more current architectural style. This was done with little opposition as both Cognacq and Jourdain were aware that the original style of the building was outdated.

During this reconstruction and expansion phase, the glass domes and decorative ironwork were removed. The new addition was a collaboration between architects Jourdain and Henry Sauvage, completed between 1926 and 1928, which featured cream colored stone and was of the Art Deco style. Similar to the original building in that it made use of the exposed steel however, its focus was much more geometry-based. At the end of construction, the Samaritaine eventually consisted of four different Magasins of department stores reaching eleven stories in total.

La Samaritaine was bought in 2001 by LVMH, the luxury-goods company that had just previously purchased Le Bon Marché.


The main fundamental difference that distinguishes the department store from other stores is its offering of low-priced, mass-produced goods of a wide variety. Unlike Galeries Lafayette, prices were able to be placed just slightly above wholesale as the volume of sales was able to compensate for the small margin.

Working hours

Tuesday 10 AM–8 PM
Wednesday 10 AM–8 PM
Thursday 10 AM–8 PM
Friday 10 AM–8 PM
Saturday 10 AM–8 PM
Sunday 10 AM–8 PM
Monday 10 AM–8 PM

Address: 9 R. de la Monnaie, 75001 Paris, France

Departments: CHANEL PARFUMS ET BEAUTÉ SAMARITAINE · Fendi Paris La Samaritaine Rtw · Piaget Boutique Paris – DFS La Samaritaine.

Phone: +33 1 88 88 60 00

Owner: LVMH

Founded: 1870, Paris, France

Architects: Henri Sauvage, Frantz Jourdain

Founders: Ernest Cognacq, Marie-Louise Jaÿ

Parent organization: LVMH

Floor area: 48,000 m².

See more:

20 arrondissements of Paris

Architecture of Paris

Museums of Paris

Entertainment in Paris

Bridges in Paris

Parks in Paris

Streets and squares in Paris

Shopping in Paris

Transport in Paris

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