Established in 1870 by Ernest Cognacq and his wife Louise Jay – a former head saleswoman in ready-to-wear clothing at Le Bon Marché - La Samaritaine evokes the Paris of the Second Empire, as modernized by Baron Haussmann, when the first department stores appeared. Individually displayed prices, the opportunity to stroll through departments and try on clothes…La Samaritaine applied operational principles that would transform traditional distribution.
Between the Louvre and Notre-Dame, La Samaritaine has become an architectural monument where Art Nouveau and Art Deco meet to form a harmonious whole.
Following the scrolls and refinements of Art nouveau, the inside of the store has preserved its wrought-iron staircases, its plant-like frescoes, as well as a sumptuous glass roof, testimony to the elegant sophistication of turn of the century architecture; while the strong influence of Art Deco is shown in the monumental façade, overhanging the Seine embankments.
La Samaritaine joined the LVMH group in January 2001 and repositioned itself with a new visual identity and a significant change in the type of goods on offer, prioritizing and developing the areas of fashion, beauty, decoration and leisure.
The department store is closed due to works for the purpose of security. In 2010 it was announced that a Japanese firm had been chosen to redesign the building as a combination- hotel, apartment complex, offices and a shopping center.
La Samaritaine is part of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy LVMH Group. Group’s brand portfolio: 10 Cane Rum, Acqua Di Parma, Belvedere, Benefit Cosmetics, Berluti, Bodega Chandon Argentina, Bvlgari, Cape Mentelle, Celine, Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau D’Yquem, Chaumet, Cheval Blanc, Cheval Des Andes, Cloudy Bay, De Beers, DFS, Dior Montres, Dom Perignon, Domaine Chandon Australia, Domaine Chandon California, Donna Karan, Edun, Emilio Pucci, Emilio Pucci Parfums, Fendi, Fendi Perfumes, Fred, Fresh, Givenchy, Groupe Les Echos, Guerlain, Hennessy, Hublot, Jardin D’Acclimatation, Kenzo, Kenzo Parfums, Krug, La Samaritaine, Le Bon Marche, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Make Up For Ever, Marc Jacobs, Mercier, Miami Cruiseline Services, Moet & Chandon, Nowness, Nude, Numanthia, Parfums Christian Dior, Parfums Givenchy, Perfumes Loewe, Royal Van Lent, Ruinart, Sephora, Stefanobi, Tag Heuer, Terrazas De Los Andes, The Glenmorangie Company, Thomas Pink, Veuve Clicquot and Zenith.