Makro | From wholesaler to marketplace, part III

A company in transition

In part I and part II of these series, I have explained to you why Makro Nederland decided to adapt its business model and first determined the ‘what is’ phase by empathizing with its client. This time I will take you through the answer to the customer’s needs.

A brand new proposition

With the outcome of the research done and the personas showing clearly what the needs of the entrepreneurs are, a new format based on 3 pillars was created:

Purchasing & Shopping – Entrepreneurs can combine their business purchases and private shopping. Makro offers solutions per theme, food and non food, and an improved and renewed assortment. Experts on fresh food products are available to share their knowledge with the entrepreneurs and the food can be experienced in the central food court.

Working & Networking – Makro is in the process of creating central network squares in each of the 17 stores, to offer entrepreneurs a place to work, meet and inspire each other. The virtual platform is offered by, where entrepreneurs make their knowledge and talent visible and are dynamically introduced to relevant other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are able to support each other this way and evolve even more. Makro can get in better touch with its stakeholders, and stakeholders can give their input on the future offering of Makro. Events are being organized by Makro for the entrepreneurs to get connected, gain and share knowledge and develop themselves.

Doing Business – As Makro offers several central spaces, entrepreneurs can do business anywhere at Makro: in the food court, at the network square, during events, at the shop-in-shops, at pop-up stores within the Makro shops. With lots of space in abundance in the stores, Makro is able to facilitate entrepreneurs that need a physical location to do their business.

Where we are now

The eight smaller stores have already been successfully refurbished. The high shelfs have been replaced by lower shelfs, giving you as a customer more the feeling of shopping in a supermarket. The fresh food departments are manned by experts, able to tell you all about the origin and the quality of the fish, meat, vegetables and bread. At the food court a chef is preparing gourmet food for you for at a great price and on a regular basis you can enjoy masterclasses or wine tastings in the stores. The network squares offer workspaces and meeting spaces and lots of interesting workshops and network events.

This year, the refurbishment of the nine bigger stores will take place. Some already have food courts, like Makro Duiven, where you actually have to make reservations to be able to eat there. In all nine bigger stores Makro will already offer pop-up workspaces, meeting spaces and events from January 2017. As a kick off, we have programmed the TOPSTART 2017 workshops on Business Modeling, Online Marketing and Succesvolle Sales. Check out these workshops here (in Dutch).

As many of the Makro employees and other stakeholders have great ideas, coming from their daily experience with the customers, an idea generation program will be set up and small experiments will be held in all stores to test what really ‘wows’ the customers and can potentially be implemented in the future. Have some great ideas yourself? Let us know!

Coming up…

As we speak, an interesting cooperation is developing between Makro and other parties, with the highest goal to really stir up and facilitate entrepreneurship in The Netherlands. More news on that is soon to come! Keep an eye on this magazine and other news channels from January 17th on.