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Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman has died

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Retail legend Raymond Ackerman (92) has died, Pick n Pay, the retail group he founded, announced on Thursday morning. 

"With profound sadness we announce that Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman has passed away," the group said in a short release.

"A visionary entrepreneur, humanitarian and a great South African. Our country has lost a brilliant patriot who always saw a positive future for South Africa."

Raymond Ackerman grew up in Cape Town, matriculated from the Diocesan College (Bishops), and earned a commerce degree from the University of Cape Town.

He started his career with the retail chain Ackerman's, which was founded by his father Gus. In 1946, the chain was sold to Greatermans, which started the supermarket group Checkers. Ackerman became CEO of Checkers in 1959, but seven years later was fired following clashes with the Greatermans board.

In 1967, he bought four Cape Town stores named Pick n Pay with the help of investors. The chain quickly expanded, and by 1975, he opened South Africa’s first hypermarket – a supersized 22 000m² store - in Boksburg.

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