Avatar photo

By Editorial staff

Journalist


Ackerman had vision – and more

He revolutionised large-volume retail operations in South Africa.


Whether it’s true or not, the legend around Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman is that he was fired as the then managing director of the Checkers group for wanting to lower prices in the company’s supermarkets. Ackerman, who died yesterday, aged 92, then bought four Pick n Pay stores in Cape Town and began the retail giant it would become. In the process, he also revolutionised large-volume retail operations in South Africa. ALSO READ: From Mandela to lower petrol prices: How Raymond Ackerman may be remembered He claimed that he put pressure on suppliers to bring down prices and…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

Whether it’s true or not, the legend around Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman is that he was fired as the then managing director of the Checkers group for wanting to lower prices in the company’s supermarkets.

Ackerman, who died yesterday, aged 92, then bought four Pick n Pay stores in Cape Town and began the retail giant it would become. In the process, he also revolutionised large-volume retail operations in South Africa.

ALSO READ: From Mandela to lower petrol prices: How Raymond Ackerman may be remembered

He claimed that he put pressure on suppliers to bring down prices and put a dent in what he said were cartel-like practices at the time in the sector.

He was, even his opponents would acknowledge, a canny and hard-as-nails businessman – who made iconoclastic business stands in the process, typified by his often quoted remark that “doing good is good business” and “poor people need low prices, rich people like low prices”.

Ackerman was, above all, a positive man, who believed that, as he wrote in 2021, on his 90th birthday: “In South Africa, we have a sound future. You all have the strength and ability to make it a great one.”

ALSO READ: Retail icon Raymond Ackerman has died

Sadly, it’s difficult to be optimistic these days when contemplating those very prices Ackerman tried to keep down.

Read more on these topics

Raymond Ackerman

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits