La Grande Epicerie at Bon Marché: An astonishing remake.
- John Talbott Mar 4, 2014 09:30 AM
Forgive me for starting a new thread on a subject I think has been mentioned before but I went into La Grande Epicerie at Bon Marché for the first time since the renovation-remake is over and there's no more plastic film and duct-tape. It's really wonderfully planned out and to my eyes has much more in very much more sensible clusters - fish, charcuterie, etc etc. I easily spent 30+ Euros.
I went there for the first time after renovation a couple of weeks ago. My impression was that it was the same stuff rearranged in a more theatrical way; nothing lost, nothing gained, it took me a lot of time to locate stuff (I had the former floor plan tattooed in my brain), but the new layout will eventually soak in. Nice work but nothing to be knocked out of your socks about.
I didn't spend enough time to notice any improvement in the choice of ingredients; to me the level was already very high before. I didn't feel that the new layout and showcasing were particularly more purchase-inducing than they previously were. The place hasn't been radically transformed and that is a good thing.
That is my pre-renovation impression:
1. The range stocked is not great.
2. The space is attractive and photogenic
3. but you can't find anything if you look. You can only chance upon things.
So it is rather form-over-content if you think of it as an épicerie. But quite good if you think of it as a supermarket.
It was my local supermarket for a couple of years and it worked well for me. I found the range pretty good from surprisingly well priced basics (similar to the local Monoprix) to some interesting and exotic treats especially at Christmas (it used to have a superb range of turkish delight).
I never found it that difficult to navigate as everything was in logical areas or sections but maybe thats simply familiarity as we shopped there three or four times a week. True, I used specialist shops for many things, but thats what I do everywhere I live.
Intrigued by the "epicure" comment as I thought that it simply meant "grocers". I really don't see it failing in that respect. And be careful taking photos they discourage it as tourists stopping to take photos get in the way of the locals doing there shopping.
I know (for big shops) some are fans of Galleries Lafayette but Le Grande Epicerie was the one for us....and of course its is very left bank and very 7eme which to me was fun (great people watching especially the amazing fashionistas).
Can't wait! Our latest apartment (third of three leases...1st had too many steps and the second was too small for our guests) is very close by and we plan to eat in roughly half our meals, so this is welcomed news!!
I was there in September and it did look good. Agree with Pti that the range didn't seem to have changed that much, although from quick perusal of the wine section that seemed to be more comprehensive and laid out more logically (its also now on a lower floor so assume it has freed up more space).
I also notice they had rotated the cafe's or restaurants across the shop so lots of new options for a quick snack including some famous independent names like Rose Bakery IIRC.