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Aristide Boucicaut: Wikis

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Aristide Boucicaut (July 14, 1810 – December 26, 1877) created what is considered to be among the first department stores.

Born in Bellême, Orne, at 3:00 A. M. on Bastille Day, the son of a banker, he began as a simple clerk in Bellême before he left to become a fabric salesman selling shawls. In 1829 he settled in Paris and married Marguerite Guerin in 1836.

He set up Le Bon Marché as a goods store in 1838, but his innovations in distribution became most noticeable after 1852. After this the store grew to be among the, if not the, largest in Paris, where he spent the rest of his life. The world's Fair in 1855 gave him further ideas on how to innovate. These involved the notion of browsing, greater advertisements, fixed prices and in 1856 a catalogue. His wife also played an important role in expanding the business. He also has a hospital named after him. He died in Paris.

Émile Zola's novel Au Bonheur des Dames involved research on the store and a Zola created character named Mouret Octave is said to be based on Aristide.

References

  • The Bon Marché : bourgeois culture and the department store by Michael B. Miller (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994) ISBN 0-691-03494-X
  • 1,000 Years, 1,000 People: Ranking the Men and Women Who Shaped the Millennium editors Agnes Hooper Gottlieb, Brent Bowers, Henry Gottlieb, Barbara Bowers (Kodansha America: 1998)ISBN 1-56836-253-6
  • Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern by Anne Friedberg (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) ISBN 0-520-07916-7
  • Bulletin de la Société historique et archéologique de l'Orne, Volume 26 (1907), p. 140
  • La participation aux bénéfices: étude pratique sur ce mode de rémunération du travail by Victor Böhmert, translated by Albert Trombert (Paris: Librairie Chaix et Librairie Guillaumin, 1888), pp. 557-560

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