Wholesalers such as Makro, Sligro and Hanos are once again open to private individuals. Due to the closure of restaurants and cafes, wholesalers hope to provide a additional place for food shopping to take the load off smaller supermarkets. Additionally, this helps to prevent food waste from the closure of the catering industry.
How long will this last?
The Central Bureau for Food Trade (CBL) announced that from October 15th, 2020 wholesalers such as Makro, Sligro and Hanos would be open to the general public and not just businesses. This is a temporary measure and will be in effect for as long as restaurants and cafes remain closed. The current partial lockdown measures are set to last 4 weeks and can be reconsidered after 2 weeks.
What can I buy at these places?
Wholesalers typically serve businesses or entrepreneurs who are registered at the chamber of commerce. They have a range of food, beverages, cleaning products and other non-food business supplies and equipment. Most items are sold in bulk packaging and larger quantities than you would find at your normal Jumbo or Albert Heijn.
If you wish to purchase tobacco or alcohol, there are still restrictions in place per wholesaler. To be certain, check with each wholesaler before you visit to purchase tobacco or alcohol. Of course, all alcohol is still prohibited from being sold after 20:00.
How does it work?
The current opening of wholesalers to private individuals only applies to in store shopping – you are still not allowed to place orders for delivery. At Hanos and Sligro you can immediately report to reception upon arrival to get a temporary day pass. At Makro, you do not need a pass to enter and will simply register as a private individual upon checkout.
It is important to note that wholesalers display prices ex VAT and apply VAT upon checking out. For reference, 9% low VAT is applied to food and beverages and 21% high VAT applied to everything else.
Since, wholesalers are often a lot larger than your average grocery store, it is easier to keep the 1.5m distance and provide a more comfortable shopping experience for customers. This helps to reduce demand on the smaller supermarkets. You might find with the spacious aisles and ceilings at wholesalers, there is a more comfortable shopping experience. As always, remember to keep your distance, disinfect your hands and wear a mask where possible.