July 29, 2021

From the Liberation to its reopening, the Samaritan woman in “Le Monde”

On find everything in The world ! When we search the Samaritan aisle, for example, it is the temple of abundance. Items of all sizes and for all tastes. While the Parisian department store, located between the Seine and the rue de Rivoli, is about to reopen its doors, on June 23, after sixteen years of work, delve into the archives of the World in the footsteps of the “Samar”, it is to cross a part of the history of Paris.

In 1980, Edwy Plenel, who had just joined the education department, investigated the latest trends for the start of the school year and noted that “Casimir is making a broth”.

This Art Nouveau building mixed with Art Deco has turned from a popular bazaar, as the family of the former owners still wanted after the Liberation, into a showcase of French luxury for silver tourists, such as the LVMH group dreams of today. , who acquired it in 2001. This metamorphosis tells the story of the sociological change in the capital.

For a long time, the famous address was a reliable indicator for gauging the daily life and purchasing power of the French. This label lookout was moreover very convenient, because it was quite close to the headquarters of the editorial staff of the World, at the time located rue des Italiens, in the 9e arrondissement… So, when Léon Blum, who became president of the provisional government in December 1946, decided to experience a drop in prices, a special envoy went there on January 4, 1947 and noted with satisfaction that the store “Discount on total purchases”.

A thermometer from France

During the great strikes of that same year 1947, the rallying of the employees was seen as a tangible sign of the scale of the movement. In 1949, the authorization to open on Monday afternoon, cutting back on an experimental basis the regime of two days of weekly rest, was scrutinized. La Samaritaine is not Billancourt but remains an interesting thermometer of the mood of the country.

Social news will reappear sporadically, in 1968, when the CRS evacuated the Samaritaine like a vulgar Sorbonne, or in 1979, in a case of discrimination in hiring. But, since the end of the 1950s, interest in the brand has waned. Journalists come to take the pulse of the time, this time in a contemporary version, mainly in the branch open on Boulevard des Capucines and premonitively baptized the luxury Samaritaine.

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