Raymond Ackerman was a South African businessman who formed the Pick n Pay Group, a supermarket chain with approximately 2000 shops in Sub-Saharan Africa and Australia.
He died on September 7, 2023, at the age of 92, leaving a family fortune of more than R5 billion. How did he accomplish such an amazing feat? Here’s a rundown of his life and work.
Raymond Ackerman Net Worth
Raymond Ackerman’s family fortune was valued at $259.9 million (about R5 billion) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in 2023, according to Billionaires Africa. Gareth, Raymond’s son, owns 25.92% of the company, which has a market valuation of about $1 billion.
Raymond Ackerman was widely considered as one of South Africa’s and Africa’s most powerful and respected businesspeople. For his efforts and contributions, he won various accolades and decorations, including the Order of the Baobab from former President Nelson Mandela in 2001.
He also wrote a number of books about his business philosophy and personal life. Raymond Ackerman died peacefully on September 7, 2023, at his home in Constantia, Cape Town.
His wife Wendy, whom he married in 1954, and their four children, Gareth, Suzanne, Jonathan, and Nicholas, survive him. He had nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren as well.
Raymond Ackerman will be regarded as a visionary businessman who transformed the retail industry in South Africa and elsewhere. He created a lasting legacy that will inspire future generations.
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Raymond Ackerman Early Life and Education
Raymond Ackerman was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 10, 1931. Meyer Ackerman, a Lithuanian immigrant who founded the first Ackerman apparel store in 1916, was his grandpa. Gus, Raymond’s father, grew the company and rose to prominence in the retail industry.
Raymond earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town in 1951. He later joined the Greatermans company, a major retailer that owned the Checkers restaurant chain. By 1965, he had quickly risen through the ranks to become the managing director of 85 Checkers locations in South Africa.
Raymond Ackerman Pick n Pay Group
Raymond was sacked from Checkers in 1966 after refusing to participate in price fixing, which he deemed immoral and injurious to consumers. In 1967, he decided to start his own business and purchased four small stores in Cape Town under the name Pick n Pay. He paid for the transaction with his severance compensation and a bank loan.
Raymond’s ambition was to establish a consumer-friendly retail chain that provided reasonable pricing, good quality, and exceptional service. He also pioneered several novel ideas at the time, including no-name food brands, in-store banking, loyalty programs, and environmental initiatives.
He also contributed to a variety of social causes and charities, gaining him a reputation as a consumer advocate and philanthropist. Pick n Pay expanded significantly under his supervision, becoming one of the largest and most popular stores in South Africa and internationally. It expanded to Zimbabwe in 1975, Australia in 1984, and eventually to other African countries.
It also expanded into other industries, including clothing, wine, pharmacy, and internet shopping. Pick n Pay has approximately 2000 outlets and employed over 50,000 people by 2010 when Raymond stepped down as chairman and turned over the reins to his son Gareth.
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