Officials said the explosives were found in the restrooms of the Printemps department store, a favored shopping destination for tourists and a Christmas season attraction because of its festive window displays.
Police and judicial officials said five sticks of explosives were found together. Officers cordoned off streets around the building. Anti-crime brigades and bomb squads were called in.
French news agency Agence France-Presse said it received a letter from a group calling itself the Afghan Revolutionary Front saying that several bombs had been planted in the store.
Further details were not immediately available. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the case publicly.