Printemps Haussmann: Paris Shopping Guide

From Fire to Modern Elegance: Printemps' Story

The Printemps department store in the heart of Paris is often regarded as the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Printemps is unquestionably a haven for wealthy shoppers, with its nearly 44,000 square meters devoted to retail space, customized amenities (personal shopper, handsfree shopping, private lounges), and its restaurants.

Le Printemps Haussmann, one of the best and oldest department shops in Paris, is an absolute must-see for any tourist. The rooftop view from this department store is beautiful and well worth the trip, even if you don’t plan on doing any shopping.

Le Printemps, the precursor to modern department stores, was established in 1865 by Jules Jaluzot and Jean-Alfred Duclos. It was one of the first buildings in Paris to use elevators and switch to electric lights.

The original Printemps store opened on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.

You may get breathtaking views of Paris from the top of Printemps Haussmann. Perruche, a restaurant on the roof, is now open for business. However, the view is free of charge and may be enjoyed without making any purchases.

Printemps Haussmann
Printemps Haussmann

The top of the Printemps faces south, so you can see the Eiffel Tower, La Madeleine’s back, and the Palais Garnier.

French department store Printemps carries a greater variety of designer items than its closest competitor, the Galeries Lafayette, including luxury cosmetics, jewelry, clothes, and home furnishings.

The store’s front has been designated a historical landmark, and the view of the Paris skyline from the building’s rooftop is breathtaking. The shopping experience is second to none, with helpful sales associates and enough stylish apparel to last you days (if not weeks).

The Printemps department store in Paris has an incredible dome roof. Asking one of the security officers stationed at the buildings’ gates can save you the trouble of taking many elevator rides to the top. A breathtaking panorama of Paris awaits you at the top of an elevator and escalator trip. The picturesque views of the famous Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Coeur will make you forget about the heavy damage on your credit card.

History of Printemps

Le Printemps Haussmann was first inaugurated on November 3, 1865, by Jules Jaluzot, his wife Augustine Jaluzot, and Jean-Alfred Duclos under the name “les Grands Magasins du Printemps” (abbreviated “le Printemps”).

History of Printemps
History of Printemps

The Parisian crossroads of Rue du Havre and Boulevard Haussmann served as the site of the store. The shop had a major expansion in 1874, at which time elevators (among the earliest ever built) were brought in from the 1867 Universal Exposition.

Printemps’s strategies brought in a new era of shopping. Items were labeled with fixed pricing, and the business no longer engaged in the customary practice of negotiating with customers based on their assumed rank.

Like other French department stores, Printemps took use of economies of scale to make high-quality items affordable to the country’s growing middle class. They were also the first to utilize window models to showcase the latest designs and discount deals to get rid of outdated stock.

A fire completely destroyed the store in 1881, but architects Jules and Paul Sédille were commissioned to create a new structure for the business. With the renovation, the store was the first to employ electric illumination, and customers could see the generators via a glass wall.

Jules Jaluzot resigned in 1904 when the company came very close to failing, and he was replaced by Gustave Laguionie, who announced the opening of a second store the following year. Five years later, in 1950, René Binet unveiled his second retail space, which had a glass dome hall of 42 meters in height and an Art Nouveau stairway that was destroyed in 1955.

After another major fire in 1921, Pierre Laguionie, Gustave’s son, took over management of the business and rebuilt it. An ornate dome was added to the Haussmann department store’s main dining room during its 1923 renovation.

Printemps Haussmann store
Printemps Haussmann store

Twenty-three Printemps stores and thirteen Prisunic bargain stores were open for business by 1970. The oil price crisis in France in the early 1970s posed a serious danger to the Printemps business model. Therefore, the company was converted into a limited partnership, with a majority interest bought by the Swiss holding company Maus Fréres.

In 1997, Printemps invested $40 million in updating its flagship Haussmann shop. The makeover included a new layout, the installation of television screens and music listening stations, and a complete redesign of the store’s selection of brands.

From now on, the Printemps stores have grown over time, and more branches in different countries have risen under the Printemps name. This outlet store is one of the best in Paris.

What to expect from a visit to Printemps Haussmann?

Hidden behind its “Historical monument” label are tens of technicians and craftsmen who keep the 4 buildings, spread across 48 stories and more than 90 acres, in working order.

You’ll get a full education on the building’s design, origin narrative, and inner workings during your tour. After taking in one of the city’s greatest vantage points from the zinc roof, visitors may descend into the galleries below to explore the equipment and woodworking and mirror-making studios.

View of Printemps Haussmann
View of Printemps Haussmann

Through hidden doors and tunnels, you’ll get to witness the Printemps’ most famous features, such as the glass dome’s underside and the building’s original gates.

This tour will take you through the whole Printemps luxury temple, from the rooftops to the basement, from the Second Empire to the 21st century, and from neo-classicism to the modern age.


The Printemps Group operates the Printemps Haussmann department store in Paris’s 9th arrondissement, where many of the most popular names in clothing, cosmetics, and furnishings can be found. They are spread out over the store’s three structures (a total of 27 stories and 45,500 square feet) and organized thematically.

The former storefronts and roofs (not including the newer elevation) of the current Printemps de l’Homme are protected as historical monuments as of January 15, 1975.

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