pick of the bunch?
Pick n Pay regains its glory
The retailer outpaced all its competitors in volume growth in one of the worst trading periods in its history, but it isn’t crowing
Fifty years ago, young Abe Gordon’s boss at Old Mutual dismissed the prospects for the about-to-be-listed retail group Pick n Pay, believing it wouldn’t have much chance competing against the strong incumbent, OK Bazaars. This was a reasonable enough prognosis, given that Pick n Pay was only 18 months old and comprised an unimpressive three stores. (Despite his boss’s view, Gordon became a long-term private investor in the retailer.) Group founder Raymond Ackerman, who is now 87, told the FM that, at the time, he thought listing was a great idea. "My brother had just completed a case study on stock exchange listings and I thought: ‘That’s just what we need’." Ackerman was chatting after the presentation of the group’s upbeat results for the six months ended August 2018. The group now comprises 989 company-owned stores and 686 franchise stores. And, in what was possibly one of the worst trading periods in its history, it managed to outpace all its competitors in achieving like-for-li...