French appliances and electronic equipment can be significantly more expensive than other countries. Since you may have to buy so many of them right at the beginning, with so many Parisian apartments rented or sold with no kitchens, they can add up quickly. Nonetheless you will have a wide choice of brands and the quality can be extremely high. Most are sold with automatic guarantees (make sure to save your receipts) in case of breakage or needed repairs.
Appliances and Electronics
In addition to department stores and small quincailleries (hardware stores), these stores are practical and extensive:
- DARTY, http://www.darty.fr; This well-respected chain has numerous stores throughout Paris and is a good source for a wide range of home appliances and electronics. They will deliver and install for a reasonable fee and take away your old appliances. They will also reimburse the difference in price if you find the same item for sale for less in Paris (internet not included).
- Conforama, http://www.conforama.fr; Another chain of stores which concentrate mostly on inexpensive furniture but also have a good selection of home appliances and some electronics. Prices are more reasonable but the selection is more limited than at other stores.
- FNAC, http://www.fnac.com, in addition to an extensive selection of books, DVDs and CDs, FNAC offers electronics like televisions, computers, stereo systems and cameras.
Hardware shops are relatively expensive in France, but a good set of tools will end up saving you money if you can perform basic home repairs yourself. Also be sure to check with your gardien(ne) as s/he will be able to take care of building repairs (and lend a tool or ladder now and then).
- BHV, 55, rue de la Verrerie, 75001 Paris, 01.42.74.90.00; http://www.bhv.fr The main branch is a Parisian institution, with seven floors of everything you could possibly need for your home. The basement is a veritable treasure trove for DIY-ers, as it holds tools and supplies for just about any home repair or improvement project. It’s much pricier than comparable shops, but its convenient locations and incredible selection are the drawing cards.
- Castorama, http://www.castorama.fr Not to be confused with Conforama, Castorama is a chain of DIY stores throughout France, and many shops are located within the city, making them very practical and easy to access. They have a wide selection of tools and supplies as well as helpful, friendly staff who will often help you with your selections.
- Bricorama, http://www.bricorama.fr) is similar to Castorama with 7 locations in Paris and many others in the near suburbs and in France.
- Zola Color, 64-70 avenue Emile Zola, 75015, Paris, 01.43.92.43.92; http://zolacolor.fr Zola Color has a wide range of DIY tools and accessories as well as a helpful staff. If you are looking for something specific that they do not have, they will order it for you. They are conveniently open on Sunday until 1:30pm.
- Leroy Merlin (http://www.leroymerlin.fr) and Mr Bricolage (http://www.mr-bricolage.fr) and are two large chains of DIY stores in France, often located in the suburbs of major cities with ample parking and expanded floorspace. Check the websites for the locations nearest you.