A 200,000-square-foot self-service wholesale center, with more than 35,000 items in stock, will open Wednesday in the Hampton Industrial Park in Largo, Md.
The facility is operated by Makro Self-Service Wholesale Corp. and is the first of four centers planned for U.S. cities. The firm has 35 outlets worldwide.
Makro said it expects 25,000 to 30,000 customers its first year. Eligible customers will gain admittance to the facility, which will not be open to the general public, by using a special "Makro Passport."
The wholesale center is designed to serve businesses such as grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, caterers, hotels, offices, associations and retailers. Companies will be able to buy at wholesale prices exactly the needed amount of a particular product without having to wait for regular deliveries.
The center will carry more than 45 major types of products. These will include meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, paper products, office supplies and shoes. Customers will pay at the time of purchase. In order to further reduce operating costs, Makro has instituted a policy whereby customers will load and move purchases themselves.
"Products will be clearly displayed so that customers may compare and choose items best suited to their needs," said J. W. Jeurgens, president and chief executive officer of Makro. "We also plan to maintain an inventory that will include products new on the market as well as established brand names."
The facility also includes a 200-seat self-service restaurant and a self-service gas station.