Raymond Ackerman is a 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, Ackerman began his career in the retail industry in 1951, working for the Greatermans department store.
He later joined the Checkers supermarket chain in 1966, where he served as managing director and transformed the company into one of the largest retail chains in South Africa.
Ackerman is known for his innovative and customer-focused approach to retail, which helped Checkers become a household name in South Africa.
He introduced several initiatives, such as the “Money Back Guarantee” and “No-Name” brands, which helped Checkers gain a competitive edge in the market.
Ackerman also championed the cause of black economic empowerment in South Africa, and under his leadership, Checkers became the first major South African retailer to appoint a black director.
In addition to his contributions to the retail industry, Ackerman is also a well-known philanthropist.
He founded the Ackerman Family Educational Trust in 1986, which provides scholarships and bursaries to disadvantaged students in South Africa.
He also established the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development, which offers training and mentorship to young entrepreneurs in South Africa.
Who was Gus Ackerman?
Gus Ackerman was the father of Raymond, the founder of the South African supermarket chain Pick n Pay.
He is said to have founded the Ackermans clothing group after World War I with two army buddies.
The identity of Raymond’s mother is unknown at this time of writing.
Raymond did not grow up knowing that he would start a successful chain of supermarkets.
After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce, he joined the Greatermans group in the Ackermans division in 1951 at the age of 20 as a trainee manager.
Ackermans had been founded just after World War I by his father Gus, but was sold to the Greatermans group in 1940.
The Ackerman family’s support for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital dates to Gus’s involvement in funding its establishment in 1956.