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Makro - The Beginning

How We Came To Be

Makro has 19 warehouse clubs in South Africa trading in food, general merchandise and liquor.

Our range includes Home Entertainment, Computers and Communication, Office furniture, Stationery supplies and equipment, Large and small appliances, Hardware and DIY, Home decor and soft furnishing, Food, Liquor and much more! Stores are located in major metropolitan areas and operate under a low cost/low margin trading philosophy. This ethos enables high volume distribution of merchandise at competitive prices. The value offering to all customers also includes quality brands and bulk volumes if required. The most differentiating feauture is true one stop shopping with everything available under one roof.

Makro Timeline


Alberton, Johannesburg


Cape Gate, Bloemfontein


Polokwane, Nelspruit, Montague


At the end of June 2007 Mark Lamberti relinquished his executive role to assume new responsibilities within the group. Grant Pattison, joined Massmart as executive assistant to the executive chairman in 1998 and took office as CEO on 1 July 2007.

Silver Lakes, Vaal



Strubens Valley


Gareth (Joe) Owens joined Makro in 1971. He worked for the Checkers Group from 1978 to 1988 after which he returned to Makro as Merchandise Director. He was appointed Managing Director of Makro in 1993, Divisional Chief Executive of Makro in 1999, Divisional Chief Executive of Massbuild in 2005 and Divisional Chief Executive of New Formats in February 2008. Joe has 39 years of mass merchant, general merchandise and FMCG experience.


Port Elizabeth


In 1988 Mark Lamberti was appointed managing director and by mid 1989 he had appointed a new management team and formulated a strategy to found and grow Massmart, a multi format major wholesale and retail group of which Makro was the cornerstone.


Customers issued new Makro Card








Makro Appoints Doug Jones BCom, PGDA (UCT), CA (SA). Doug Jones (40) has been appointed as the Divisional Managing Director of Masswarehouse & Chairman of Massmart Retirement Funds. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1998 Doug moved to Canada with Deloitte. He worked for Coca-Cola Enterprises in Toronto for a number of years before returning to South Africa to join ABI (The Soft Drink Division of SAB Limited). Doug joined Makro as Finance Director in 2007 and became Commercial Director in 2010. Doug was appointed Divisional Managing Director in September 2012, and joined the Massmart Executive Committee at the same time.


Walmart and Massmart Merger was approved with Walmart owning 51% shares. Walmart is a USA based retail company which operates in several countries around the world, including Mexico and Japan.


In 2005 Kevin Vyvyan-Day joined Massmart as Divisional Chief Executive responsible for Makro and a member of the Massmart Executive Committee in 2005. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1989, Kevin consulted at both the Strategy Group (Deloitte) and Gemini Consulting. He joined UPD as Group Operations and Systems Director in 1995 and became Group Chief Executive Officer in 1996.


In 2001, Makro introduced the SAP retail management system as well as the SAP datawarehouse, following the earlier introduction of the SAP financial module. Shortly after that the SAP customer relationship management system followed. This technological leap once again positioned Makro at the leading edge of retail information management, exceedingly well placed to manage its operations, merchandise and customers.


In 1996, Lamberti was appointed executive chairman of Massmart and from July 2003 CEO and deputy chairman of the board.




Germiston, Springfield, PMB & Centurion




Pretoria West


Makro South Africa opened its Germiston store in Johannesburg to the public in 1971, and this was to be the first cash & carry operation in South Africa. It was also the first to make use of sophisticated tracking of sales and stock using IBM technology.