The first Makro
In 1968, SHV launches a revolutionary concept in wholesale consumer goods in the Netherlands: the ‘cash and carry’. Large warehouses, divided into clearly signposted aisles, allow retail and wholesale customers to browse a huge selection of products in the same way as high street consumers. Makro represents a daring move for SHV - and a leap into unknown territory.
A new wholesale formula
It’s the 1960s, the economy is booming. Shopping malls, warehouses, and supermarkets are quickly emerging to keep pace. Consumerism is big business – and SHV sees an exciting opportunity to branch out.
The concept of self-service wholesale is already proven in Germany, where METRO has been operating a chain of efficient cash and carry stores. SHV and METRO form a partnership to open a similar wholesale chain in the Netherlands, with METRO retaining a minority share in exchange for its market expertise. And so SHV introduces cash and carry to the Netherlands under its own brand: Makro.
Makro represents a completely new field of business for SHV. It’s a risky step, with even renowned consultancy McKinsey advising against it. But accepting new challenges is an integral part of the company’s DNA.