|Industry||Cash and carry|
|Headquarters||Düsseldorf (Metro AG), Utrecht (SHV)|
|Parent||Metro AG, SHV Holdings|
|Website||Metro AG site
Makro is an international brand of Warehouse clubs, also called cash and carries. Ownership of the worldwide chain of stores is split between two companies: Metro AG in Europe and SHV Holdings in Latin America. SHV opened the first Makro in Amsterdam in 1968. In the following years more stores opened in the Netherlands and several other European countries and, in 1971, South Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s Makro extended its business to the Americas and Asia. Makro had also expanded to the United States in the mid-1980s. In 1989, Kmart bought the US locations, and converted most of them to Pace Warehouse in 1990. The Asian stores were also eventually sold out to various firms and are no longer banded "Makro". In 1998, owner SHV Holdings sold the Makro stores in Europe to Metro AG.
Makro stores are not open to the general public (except in Belgium, Brazil and Thailand. Non-members not eligible for discounts), but only to businesses which have to be registered members in order to gain entry to the store.
In 1968, the first Makro store opened in Amsterdam.
In 1971, the first Makro store outside Europe opened in South Africa (the South African stores were subsequently in 1990 exchanged for a shareholding in Massmart and in 2004 SHV sold its Massmart shares).
In 2010, Makro Cash & Carry Indonesia was sold to Lotte Mart and rebranded as Lotte Mart Wholesale.
European stores can be found in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Stores have spread as far as South Africa, Thailand and eastern Asia, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela (37 stores and 19 detail stores across Venezuela), 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), the Philippines (bought by SM Prime Holdings and converted into SM Hypermarket (14 Makro branches) or SaveMore Market (1 Makro branch)), and in Pakistan (Makro-Habib).
Makro Netherlands operates 17 stores across the Netherlands, with seven of the stores also containing a fuel station. Makro Netherlands is owned by the Metro Group.
Siam Makro Public Company Limited was established in 1988. At the end of 2014 there were 77 Makro stores and five Siam Frozen Food stores in operation, serving a registered customer base of 2.6 million. Revenues for 2015 were 156 billion baht with a net profit of 5.4 billion baht. Siam Makro shares are traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).
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:
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" [sic].
Recent changes to the Makro UK structure include the closure of three stores: Wolverhampton, Coventry and Swansea. Metro announced that the company has to be financially independent by 2011, and in 2012 Makro UK was sold to the rival wholesaler Booker Group in an agreement valued at around £140 million.