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 founded in 1964. The Non-European Makro stores are still owned by except for the ones in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
It has been announced that as of 1st January 2007 the Today's Group (the wholesale arm of the Nisa-Today's buying consortium) and Makro Cash & Carry, the UK division of German retailing/wholesaling giant Metro, have joined forces in a buying alliance aimed at achieving mutual benefits through the combination of their respective negotiating and buying power with suppliers.
Makro is the third largest cash & carry wholesaler in the UK with a turnover of £1.1bn and a portfolio of 33 depots nationally; the Today's Group has 330 members (the largest of which is Dhamecha with a turnover around £300m), which together operate around 350 depots, and overall have a combined turnover of £5bn. The Today's membership comprises a wide range of different types of wholesalers including cash & carry operators, delivered players as well as foodservice specialists.
On 31st January 2007, Makro Malaysia was acquired by Tesco. All 8 stores in Malaysia will be converted to Tesco Extra.
European stores can be found in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In the UK, as of early 2006 there are 33 locations and annual turnover was more than £1 billion. The UK stores are located in the following locations (in the order in which they opened):
The UK head office is located in the Manchester store.
The food half always includes an in-store bakery, a wine section, fresh meat & butchery department, and refrigerated aisles. The non-food half includes clothing, DIY, jewellery, 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 sectors:
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".