Makro is planning to refit a further eight depots in 2010 as part of its multimillion-pound refurbishment plan.

Speaking exclusively to The Grocer at Makro's first Christmas show for suppliers and customers, held in Bolton last week, MD Hannes Floto said the ongoing scheme showed the wholesaler was "fully committed" to the UK.

"It is very much a long-term plan," he said.

The refit of its Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield and Glasgow depots were all completed this week. They have been revamped to reflect Makro's increased focus on its hotel, restaurant and catering customers, split 60% food and 40% non-food. A greater proportion of store space has now been dedicated to 'ultra-fresh' food such as meat, fish, fruit & veg and grocery, as well as a more professional non-food range. Cold rooms for meat have been installed, as well as a fresh fish department, while the Glasgow depot has had wines & spirits relocated to fit new Scottish licensing requirements.

Makro launched a new own-label coffee range, Rioba, at the Christmas show. It comes in three blends and gives customers the option to buy, lease or hire a coffee machine package. Makro claimed that by adding a bean-to-cup coffee machine, businesses such as pubs could make an extra £25,000 profit a year by selling just 50 cups a day. Makro has also converted its in-store cafés to Rioba.

"We are working hard to increase our customer loyalty and with campaigns like Rioba we also show our support to independent businesses," Floto said.