Advantages Some bargains can be found
Disadvantages Need to buy in bulk
Makro is wholesaler which only offers its products to its registered cardholding customers. It sells a wide range of food and non-food products and has a nation-wide network of stores across the UK, which are usually located out of town in the major cities. According to its publicity people it is a unique concept, offering a wholesale solution to professional business needs.The Origins of Makro
SHV Makro was established in Germany in 1964. It was acquired by the Metro Group on 1st January 1998 and currently has 416 outlets in 24 countries operating under the Makro and Metro trade names.
Metro Group is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Makro opened its first store in the UK at Eccles, Manchester in 1971 and Makro UK now operates a network of 33 purpose built cash and carry outlets across the country.
The success of Makro is based around the concept of bulk buying so most of what you will find in the stores will be either in large multi-packs or in large containers. The food department sells a vast range of products and even has its own unique value for money brand called “aro”
The food department does offer real value for money, as most of the items here are zero VAT. This is not however the case with most of the other items where you will need to add 17.5% vat on top the prices before you decide if you are really getting a bargain or not.
The food department includes butchery, bakery, fish, rotisserie, fruit and vegetables, frozen food, grocery as well as wines and spirits.
The non-food department includes office zone, tech shop, garden centre, fashion, sports, and DIY as well as household goods.
All stores have toilets, and a café, both of which are usually located near the entrance.
There is no charge for getting a Makro card but you either have to have your own business or work for a business, which is considered to be suitable with regard to the items sold by Makro.
You can obtain an application form from any store or via their website. Once this has been completed a red and black Makro tradecard will be posted out to you within the next few days.
When you visit a Makro store you will need to present your card at the check-in desk where the card will be swiped, you will then be asked to sign your name on a piece of paper and the signature on the card will be checked against their records. A cardholder can sign one non-cardholder into the store at any time.
But please be warned if you forget your card no amount of begging or pleading will get you into the store.
The idea of the Makro trade card is obviously designed to keep out the general public but it does seem that it can be used to make things awkward for the sake of it. I have had problems trying to get access to other stores other than the one where I have registered and on two separate occasions I have been told that my card has been suspended because it has not been activated within the last 3 months. To un-suspend my card I have had to fill in a form at the check in desk.
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