The Bon Marché department store was founded in England in 1878. It was modelled on a Parisian store of the same name and featured fashions, perfumes and accessories from France. There were Bon Marché locations in cities around England, each with its independent history.
The Bon Marché store in Brixton, London, was the first purpose-built department store in the country. It closed down in 1970 and the building is now occupied by a variety of shops and offices.
The Bon Marché store in Gloucester was the first department store in the city. Today it is a Debenhams department store.
The Bon Marché store in Liverpool became renowned for its sense of style and its encouragement of the arts and, in 1927, a gallery was built where a series of exhibitions, lectures and concerts were staged. During the 1950s the fortunes of the store declined and in 1961 it was acquired by the John Lewis Partnership, who merged it with George Henry Lee stores.
Today, Bon Marché is the UK’s largest womenswear retailer catering for women over 50 years.
Each Bon Marché store had its own overprint, though the Brixton and Gloucester overprints seem to be much scarcer than the Liverpool ones.