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IndustryCash and carry
HeadquartersDüsseldorf (Metro AG), Utrecht (SHV)
ParentMetro AG, SHV Holdings
WebsiteMetro AG site
SHV site
Makro UK
Makro America
Makro Venezuela
Makro in Kraków, Poland
Makro in Reading, England
Makro in Spain

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.[1] 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,[2] 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, Cambodia 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.[citation needed]


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 1968, the first Makro store opened in Amsterdam.

In April 1971 the first Makro in the UK opened in Eccles, Manchester.

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 1998, all European Makro stores were acquired by Metro AG, the German retail and wholesale giant.

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; and Makro-Habib in Pakistan became Metro-Habib.

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

In 2014, Metro sold the Makro Greek business to Sklavenitis.[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 spread as far as South Africa, Thailand, Cambodia 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 Venezuela operates 37 [4] Warehouse club stores across the country, 01 distribution center and also have a subsidiary named Mikro in retail format with 19 stores.[5][better source needed]


Makro Netherlands operates 17 stores across the Netherlands, with seven of the stores also containing a fuel station.[6] 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.[7] Revenues for 2015 were 156 billion baht with a net profit of 5.4 billion baht.[8] Siam Makro shares are traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).[9]

In 2013, Siam Makro was purchased by Charoen Pokphand Group for US$6.6 billion.[10]

United Kingdom[edit]

Makro UK operates 30 branches across the United Kingdom.[11] Since 2012 Makro UK has been owned by Booker Group,[12] and 11 of the Makro branches now operate as a combined Booker/Makro.[13]

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" [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.[12]


  1. ^ Makro South Africa History Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  2. ^ "K mart absorbs Makro, boosts clout in clubs. (warehouse membership clubs) - HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared". Archived from the original on 2 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Germany's Metro Sells Greek Cash-And-Carry Ops". AFP. December 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Makro Stores". Makro Comercializadora S.A. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Mikro Stores". Twitter. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Makro Netherlands Store Locations". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Message from the Chairman". Makro. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Financial Highlight". Makro. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Message from the Chairman and CEO". Siam Makro. Siam Makro. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  11. ^ "About Makro UK". Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b "The Grocer - Booker swoops to buy up beleaguered Makro". Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Booker Group 2014/5 Final Results". Retrieved 25 May 2015.