The major French hypermarkers appear to have got this market sussed, with a wide selection range and prices that you'll struggle to beat. There are many chains around France, but probably the best two are rivals Carrefour and Auchan. Both of these hypermarkets have been in direct competition for the last few years and now provide an extensive selection of the following:
They are however, not the place to go for indoor furniture, carpets and curtains - they only appear to have a limited choice of these items.
Darty are also a good choice, well known for their after sales service and their prices are close to those of the hypermarkets. They have stores in the 'drive to' shopping centres and inside towns and have a good choice of TV/Audio equipment and telephones.
The IKEA stores are reported to provide great value for money furniture which is sold from their huge warehouse stores. However, if your looking for something less Swedish then Conforama is a good place to start.
There are three main stores offering competitive prices which sell the complete range of carpets and flooring. They are St Maclou and Mondial Moquette whose stores are generally found on the edge of towns.
Unless you have just bought yourself a new build house, you will definitely need to visit a DIY store in the very near future. In our local area we have both Weldom and Mr Bricolage. We have used both extensivly and the staff in both of these shops have always been very helpful. Others around France include Bricorama and I am told that if you need to hire tools then pay a visit to Kiloutou.