Raymond Ackerman is a prominent South African businessman and philanthropist who is widely recognized for his contributions to the retail industry and social development in South Africa.
Born on March 10, 1931, in Cape Town, he grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and went on to become one of the most successful businessmen in the country.
Ackerman began his career in the retail industry in 1951 when he joined his father’s grocery store, Pick ‘n Pay.
He quickly rose through the ranks and became the managing director of the company in 1967.
Under his leadership, Pick ‘n Pay grew from a small family business to one of the largest retail chains in South Africa, with over 1,000 stores across the country.
Ackerman is known for his innovative approach to retail, which focused on providing customers with high-quality products at affordable prices.
He introduced a number of groundbreaking initiatives, such as the use of barcode scanners and electronic point-of-sale systems, which revolutionized the way that retailers operated.
In addition to his contributions to the retail industry, Ackerman is also a well-known philanthropist who has made significant contributions to social development in South Africa.
He established the Ackerman Family Educational Trust in 1986, which provides scholarships and bursaries to disadvantaged students, and the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development, which offers training and mentorship to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Ackerman has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to business and social development, including the Order of the Baobab, one of South Africa’s highest civilian honors.
He has also been recognized by the World Retail Congress as one of the most influential retailers in the world.
Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman has died.
May his soul rest in peace 🕊️🕊️🕊️ pic.twitter.com/BGRNeQACPa
— The Instigator (@Am_Blujay) September 7, 2023
Raymond Ackerman net worth
Ackerman’s net worth at the time of his death is estimated to be at least $500 million.
According to Billionaires Africa, his family fortune had a $259.9 million (over R5 billion) value on the JSE in 2023.
Raymond Ackerman career
Ackerman began his career in the retail industry in the 1950s, working for the Checkers supermarket chain.
He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming managing director of the company by the age of 33.
In 1967, Ackerman left Checkers to start his own retail chain, Pick n Pay.
The company quickly became a success, thanks in part to his innovative marketing strategies and commitment to customer service.
Under his leadership, Pick n Pay grew to become one of the largest retailers in South Africa, with over 1,000 stores across the country.
Ackerman’s career was marked by a number of notable achievements.
In 1981, he became the first South African retailer to introduce a computerized stock control system, which helped to streamline operations and improve efficiency.
He also pioneered the concept of “smart shopper” loyalty programs, which rewarded customers for their loyalty with discounts and other incentives.
In addition to his business career, Ackerman was also known for his philanthropic work.
He established the Ackerman Family Educational Trust in 1986, which provides scholarships and bursaries to disadvantaged students in South Africa.
He also founded the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development, which offers training and support to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Ackerman’s career has been recognized with numerous awards and honors.
In 2008, he was awarded the Order of the Baobab, one of South Africa’s highest civilian honors, for his contributions to the country’s retail industry and his philanthropic work.
Ackerman has also been named a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor by the French government and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cape Town.