What are the items that I should bring with me because they’re not available (or are too expensive) where I am going?
You may want to bring anything you want that is typical of the culture you are leaving, such as unique dishes and specific cooking utensils. Sports equipment is also expensive in Paris, so you may want to bring a bicycle or rollerblades. CDs tend to be quite expensive. Films on DVD and videocassette are dubbed in French (VF/Version française/French version), which is quite disappointing for most English speakers wishing to rent or purchase new. Also, note that the French television system is different from others: it is PAL (Phase Alternate Line), which would prevent you from being able to watch your home videos.
Will anyone have particular trouble finding clothes that fit?
No, Paris is very well stocked with clothes for all shapes and sizes.
What grocery stores do expats in your city shop at?
A Parisian will buy from the local neighborhood market and food shops in their arrondissement (district). Each town hall or mairie has a list of local market trading days and times. You can also buygroceries at large supermarkets, of which there are many chains in France, such as Auchan, Leclercand Carrefour. These supermarkets, however, tend to be located in the outskirts of the city. Within
Paris, other well-priced supermarket chains include: Atac, Champion and Franprix. For a wide selection of gourmet and international foods, the following stores are recommended: Monoprix, La Grande Epicerie/Bon Marché and Galeries Lafayette.
Where can other household items (such as cleaning materials and home furnishings) be found?
For electrical items, DARTY and BHV and most of the large supermarkets listed above have competitive prices. FNAC has high-quality goods, but is more expensive. Castorama, BHV, Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan specialize in hardware items. IKEA has home furnishings.
What are factors that might affect my shopping habits in this country/city?
In Paris, most stores open between 9:30am and 10am and close at 7pm. Outside of Paris, many stores are closed between 12:30pm and 2 or 3pm.
Not speaking French may make shopping difficult at times, but most large stores employ sales staffs who speak English. It is wise to learn the French words for your basic necessities or any specific things you need before going shopping. If you are buying a household appliance, you may want to learn the relevant technical terms to help you understand how the items work, as very few instruction booklets include English.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.