Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman dies

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By Business Tech

Raymond Ackerman, the founder of Pick n Pay, has died at the age of 92.

Ackerman and his wife Wendy founded Pick n Pay in 1967 after buying four stores in Cape Town.

56 years later, the group now serves millions of customers across its 2,000 stores in South Africa and seven other African countries.

Ackerman – whose father founded retailer Ackermans after World War 1 – listed Pick n Pay on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1968.

He has been remembered for fighting against price regulations, which forced people to pay more than they should for groceries.

For example, in 1986, Pick n Pay launched a court challenge against the government’s coupon scheme, which gave customers grocery discounts with fuel purchases.

Pick n Pay and the government battled in court 26 times, with the retailer losing every time.

He has also been remembered as a committed philanthropist and established the Raymond Ackerman Academy for Entrepreneurial Development in 2004 with UCT, which the Univerity of Johannesburg later joined.

400 graduates from the school are now actively employed.

Many institutions also honoured him for his services to both business and society, with him receiving seven honorary doctorates.

Following their retirement from the board in 2010, Raymond and Wendy Ackerman became Honorary Life Presidents.

He kept an active interest in Pick n Pay and his philanthropy projects .

He is survived by Wendy, his children Gareth (the current chairman of Pick n Pay), Kathy, Suzanne, and Jonathan, his 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.