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Type Subsidiary
Industry Cash and carry
Headquarters Diksmuide, West Flanders, Belgium
Parent SHV Holdings
Website Metro AG site
SHV site
Makro in Kraków, Poland
Makro in Reading, England
Makro in Spain

Makro is an originally Dutch chain of Warehouse clubs, also called cash and carries. The first one opened in 1968 in Amsterdam. In the following years more stores opened in the Netherlands and in several other countries within Europe and, in 1971, South Africa.[1] In the 1970s and 1980s Makro extended its business to the Americas and Asia. The stores are not open to the general public (except in Belgium, Brazil and Pakistan), only to businesses which have to be registered members in order to gain entry to the store.

Makro expanded to the United States in the mid-1980s. In 1989, Kmart bought the American locations,[2] and converted most of them to Pace Warehouse in 1990.


The still privately owned SHV originated in 1896 from a merger between a number of large coal mining companies, some of which had been active since the 18th century.

In 1998, the European Makro stores were acquired by Metro, a German-based retail and wholesale company.

In 2010, Makro Cash & Carry Indonesia was sold to Lotte Mart and rebranded as Lotte Mart Wholesale.

In 2012, Metro sold the Makro UK business to Booker Group.

In 2013, SHV sold Siam Makro Pcl. to CP ALL, a subsidiary of CP Group.

In 1990, the South African stores were exchanged for a shareholding in Massmart. In 2004, SHV sold its Massmart shares. In 2012, Massmart became part of Walmart.[3]

Store locations[edit]

European stores can be found in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Stores have stretched as far as South Africa, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and eastern Asia, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil (76 stores across Brazil).

Makro stores formerly existed in the United States (bought by Kmart in 1989 and converted into Pace Warehouses the following year), China, Indonesia (both bought by Lotte Mart and converted into such stores), Malaysia (bought by Tesco) and the Philippines (bought by SM Prime Holdings and converted into SM Hypermarket (14 Makro branches) and SaveMore Market (1 Makro branch)).

Product range[edit]

Makro sells food and non-food products, usually located in different sections of the store. Each store also contains a hot-food cafeteria, and a cash machine.

The food section always includes a fresh fish section, a wine section, fresh meat and butchery department, and refrigerated aisles. The non-food area includes clothing, DIY, office supplies, electricals, computing, and seasonals such as garden furniture.

Special offers are featured via a printed and online fortnightly brochure known as Makro Mail.

The stores are not open to the general public, but serve the following trades:

  • Newsagent's shops and convenience stores.
  • Restaurants, hotels and caterers.
  • Schools, universities, sport clubs and associations.

Customers can shop at Makro with a membership card.

Makro UK used to have the tag-line "The UK's No.1 Discounter". This tag-line was replaced with "For Professionals". Makro has subsequently changed this to "Your business partner everyday".

Recent changes to the Makro UK structure include the closure of three stores: Wolverhampton, Coventry and Swansea. Metro have announced that the company has to be financially independent by 2011.