Longstanding residents may mourn the passing of local businesses, squeezed out by competition from chain stores and out of town shopping centres, but every Paris quartier still has its specialist shops for bread, meat, cheese, hardware, clocks, flowers, books and many other trades.  Local businesses don’t rely on their name to attract customers, they spell out clearly what they sell or what service they offer.  Here’s an ABC of shops and services, mostly in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th arrondissements, with a few interlopers.



Z should be for zinguerie, the oh-so-Parisian trade of covering roofs and bar counters with zinc. I’ll look out for a sign and add one when I find it but I think it’s time to press ‘publish’ now, before the search for the missing letters becomes an obsession!

Click on any shop to view the gallery.