Jan and Anita Meurs opened on October 18, 1979 the first Jumbo supermarket in a former church building in Tilburg. It was named after the elephant Jumbo as an act of one-upping the name of a local rival store called Torro, which belonged to Van Eerd. In 1983, Van Eerd bought the Jumbo store from the Meurs family and subsequently embarked on a series of expansions, first in the southern provinces, then nationwide.
As of May 2006[update], 77 establishments have been opened throughout the Netherlands. Together they have a market share of 3.4% in the Netherlands as of 1 January 2006. Jumbo's marketing claims that the chain has "7 certainties" with which they, among others, claim to have the greatest choice for the lowest prices.
The head office and distribution centre are situated in Veghel. Jumbo has 3 regional distribution centres: Beilen, Drachten, and Den Bosch. With the opening of Jumbo in Valthermond, Drenthe in October 2005, there is now a Jumbo in every province of the Netherlands. Until the acquisition of C1000, relatively few Jumbos were in the Randstad.
In September 2011 CVC announced that they would sell the C1000 supermarket chain. CVC received biddings from several groups; Jumbo, Sligro Food Group, Edeka and Sperwer Group. On 23 November 2011 it was announced that Jumbo would take over all C1000 stores. As a consequence Jumbo became the second largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, after Albert Heijn.