This day in SA history: Raymond Ackerman was born

Raymond Ackerman is one of the wealthiest men in South Africa.
Raymond Ackerman is one of the wealthiest men in South Africa.

On this day in South African history, Pick ‘n Pay retail giant Raymond Ackerman was born in Cape Town in 1931.

Ackerman graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce. He was a trainee manager for the Greatermans group in 1951 at the age of 20.

The company had been founded just after World War I by his father Gus, but was sold 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. Greatermans chairman Norman Herber, started food retailer Checkers and Ackerman was eventually put in charge of the store and then fired in 1966.

He bought four stores in Cape Town under the name Pick ‘n Pay. It eventually grew into Africa’s largest supermarket chain with a R37 billion turnover 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.

Happy Birthday Mr Ackerman!

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