Makro this week showcased its vision for the future with the opening of a new concept depot in Charlton, London.
A complete refurbishment, from lighting and racking through to new shop-in-shop areas, includes a 5% increase in sales space to 11,285 sq m.
Key developments include a fresh fish counter, a new meat room, a revamped Wine Cellar and a better assortment of fresh food. Makro has also overhauled and increased its non-food offer and introduced a plasma screen wall in the TV department.
The cash and carry is the first to include a covered car park area, because customers often spend time packing goods into their cars and vans in the rain.
Managing director Philipp Dautzenberg said the work at Charlton was more than a mere refurbishment but a “concept change”. “It is the format we want to roll out to our other stores in coming years,” he said.
He added that a major investment had gone into staff, with dedicated and knowledgeable personnel in both food and non food.
Six customer consultants have also been recruited to give c-store operators and caterers better service.
John Bridgeman, former boss of the OFT who headed an inquiry into the grocery market in 2000, has called for a new investigation. Bridgeman said that the market had changed so dramatically since then that a new investigation was needed. His comments came as the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group meets the OFT to discuss the market next week.
The APPSSG is due to publish the report of its High Street 2015 inquiry on December 13.

Marks and Spencer has beaten analyst expectations to record a 19.6% increase in pre-tax profit to £308.2m in half-year results to October 1. Food sales were up 5.6%, or up 1.6% on a like-for-like basis. M&S said the increase was down to its plans to broaden the reach of its food business. UK sales fell 0.2% to £3,302.3m, and international sales rose 8.6% to £348.5m.

Waitrose’s first store in Warwickshire is part of a regeneration scheme in Kenilworth. The 25,000 sq ft new-build will anchor the £20m development in Talisman Square and opens in two years.

Sainsbury has adopted a novel way of fighting retail crime. It has asked shop staff to make a short detour via the health and beauty aisles when returning to staff-only areas in the hope that their increased presence in the department will deter shoplifters.

Asda’s retail business boosted its turnover by 7.2% to £14.2bn in 2004. Accounts filed at Companies House show its retail business grew operating profit by 5% to £670.3m. But the group, which also includes a property business, saw pre-tax profit fall 5% to £638.3m after interest payments.
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