Christmas Day in Paris … Will you find the stores closed … ?

One Christmas Day not so long ago,

Galeries Lafayette Department Store this Christmas 2010

One Christmas Day not so long ago, I assured my house guests that we could go to Avenue des Champs-Elysèes to shop because the shops would be open. They wanted to buy CDs at Virgin and make-up at Sephora.  Both were closed; all the shops on the avenue were closed. A consolation was that the bistros and restaurants were open; they were packed however.

To prevent this happening to you, know that not one of the large stores will be open in Paris on Saturday, December 25 this year. You would, however, find some of the small souvenir shops open; those around the Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower and in Montmartre. You will therefore be able to buy as many plastic Eiffel Towers as you have friends back at home.

So which large stores and smaller stores will be open over this Festive Season?

Here is a list:

On the Sundays of December 5, 12 and 19 all the large stores will be open.  French commercial law allows shops to open on only four Sundays a year. Most of them choose to keep open on the three Sundays before Christmas; the fourth Sunday is the one at the start of the winter sales in January. Now, know that there is also legislation covering sales. Only two are allowed annually;   the January winter sales and a summer sale at the end of June. (Never have I understood why shops sells out their winter clothes in the middle of winter and their summer clothes at the height of summer.)

Amongst those stores which will be open in Paris on those three Sundays are: Galleries Lafayette, Printemps, Darty, Habitat, Bon Marché (Johnny Depp’s favorite store in Paris – he even buys his groceries there!), BHV, Decathlon, Go Sport, FNAC, VIRGIN, H&M, C&A and TATI.

Paris’ shopping malls will also be open, notably, Italie 2, les Halles, Masséna, Montparnasse, Trois-Quartiers, Okabe and La Défence.

The only stores that you will find open on Avenue des Champs-Elysées on Sunday, December 26 (Boxing Day) are FNAC, H&M and Decathlon.

Galaries Lafayette is at 40 Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th Arrondissement and close to the magnificent Palais Garnier, better known to Parisians as l’Opéra. The store is open from 9.30/19.30 Monday through to Saturday. Those will be the hours too on the three December Sundays.

The Champs-Elysèes’ H&M store is at Number 80. It opened only a couple of months ago. It is France’s 140th H&M store and Paris’ 11th. It is coldly metallic in appearance.

Sephora is at 70/72 . It is my favorite shop in Paris, but unfortunately my credit card does not agree with me.

Well, happy shopping! Christmas comes but once a year.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

5 Responses

11-28-2010 at 14:38:01

I can’t imagine wanting to shop on Christmas Day anyway. I was going to ask if Bonmarché was still open, but I see its on the list. I bought earrings for my mother there when I was 15, and not at Christmas

11-28-2010 at 15:28:13

Tourists want to shop on Christmas Day. And people like me who have no reason to stay at home to cook …

8-2-2013 at 16:39:42

Thanks for this information! Do you have any idea which shops or stores might be open this Christmas? =) i’m planning on spending Christmas in Paris and don’t want to be left hungry on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hahah! Thanks again. =)

11-17-2016 at 05:07:55

Hi! Very interesting writng. I wanna ask though, will the stores be closed around December 22nd/23rd? Because i will arrive in Paris on the 22nd. Thanks!

11-18-2016 at 15:17:29

No, the Paris shops will only be closed on CMas Day. There will though always be shops open in Paris in the tourist areas. Museums and Chateaus though will be closed on CMas Day.

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Should you wish to contact me you can do so by email: marilyn@marilynztomlins.com