South African billionaire Raymond Ackerman, the founder of Pick n Pay, has passed away at the age of 92. The cause of his death was not disclosed in the company’s announcement. In an email message, the company expressed deep sadness at the loss of the visionary entrepreneur.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of visionary South African, and founder of Pick n Pay, Raymond Ackerman,” the company stated.
“He was an enduring optimist about South Africa’s future, and his passing leaves a great void for us all.”
Raymond Ackerman began his journey in the retail industry 56 years ago with just four stores, eventually transforming Pick n Pay into one of South Africa’s leading grocery retailers.
He gained a strong reputation as a consumer advocate, fiercely combating supplier cartels in various sectors, including bread, petrol, and cigarettes.
In 2010, Ackerman retired and passed the chairman’s responsibilities to his son, Gareth. At that time, Pick n Pay was operating 20 hypermarkets and 402 supermarkets throughout South Africa, with a group turnover of nearly 50 billion rand ($2.60 billion).
Forbes estimated Ackerman’s net worth to be approximately $500 million in 2015. Today, Pick n Pay boasts an annual turnover of 106 billion rand and owns more than 2,000 stores across South Africa and seven other African countries.
Raymond Ackerman is survived by his wife, Wendy Ackerman, and their four children: Gareth Ackerman, Kathryn Robins, Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, and Jonathan Ackerman.
Ackerman’s legacy as a consumer advocate and successful entrepreneur continues to influence the retail industry in South Africa and beyond.
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