South African retail legend Raymond Ackerman has died at the age of 92, Pick n Pay confirmed on Thursday.
Ackerman is survived by his wife Wendy, children Gareth, Kathy, Suzanne and Jonathan, his 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Who was Raymond Ackerman?
Raymond Ackerman born on March 10, 1931, was a South African businessman, who purchased the Pick ‘n Pay supermarket group from its founder.
He purchased four stores from Jack Goldin in the 1960s. Raymond Ackerman was chairman until he stepped down in 2010.
After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce, he joined the Greatermans group in the Ackermans division in 1951 at the age of 20 as a trainee manager.
Ackermans had been founded just after World War I by his father Gus, but was sold to the Greatermans group in 1940.
Ackerman was eventually offered a position at Greatermans head office in Johannesburg. In the early 1950s, food retailing supermarkets first began to appear on the scene in South Africa.
Norman Herber, chairman of Greatermans decided to start a food retailer called Checkers. Ackerman was eventually put in charge of Checkers, making a resounding success of the business.
Ackerman won the Outstanding Young South African award in 1965, along with Gary Player and by 1966, at the age of 35, he was the managing director of 85 Checkers stores; however, he was fired in the same year.
In response, using his severance pay and a bank loan, Ackerman bought four stores in Cape Town trading under the name Pick ‘n Pay.
Under his leadership, Pick ‘n Pay eventually grew into one of Africa’s largest supermarket chains, with a thirty seven billion Rand turnover (2006 figure) and more than 124 supermarkets, 14 hypermarkets and 179 franchised outlets.
The Pick ‘n Pay Group employs more than 30,000 people in several African countries.
Raymond Ackerman death
On September 6, 2023, the Managing Director of the Katale Partnership, Nicky Bicket, announced that Ackerman had died at the age of 92.
His death occurred in Cape Town on Wednesday evening, as confirmed by Tamra Veley, a family spokesperson, during a phone interview with Bloomberg.
Raymond Ackerman cause of death
The cause of his death was not disclosed in an emailed statement.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the death at the age of 92 of visionary South African, and founder of Pick n Pay, Raymond Ackerman,” the company said.