A List of French Department Stores. These are the best department stores with a location open in France. These retail establishments sell a wide range of products and goods. Some specialize in specific types of merchandise, such as clothing, while others can offer a wide variety of goods. The first department stores began forming during the 1800's. Today, they are often part of a retail chain. Department stores also range greatly in the quality of their goods, from expensive name-brand clothes, to discount stores where everyone can find something affordable. Suffice to say, one of the retailers on this list will be the right store for you.