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Raymond Ackerman Billionaire And Founder Of Pick 'n Pay Supermarkets

Wednesday, August 09,2017
Published by Jackson Mathebula
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Raymond Ackerman born 10 March 1931 is the founder of  Pick 'n Pay stores.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 Southern African countries.

Ackerman has fought many battles with the South African government (both pre- and post-1994) in his attempts to free up the highly regulated South African fuel industry.

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