Roger Drake Now Worth $827 Million

Roger Drake, a former Coles trolley collector turned Adelaide supermarket magnate, has ascended to the upper echelons of Australia’s wealthiest individuals. Despite being in his 70s, Drake remains actively involved in his business empire, Drakes Supermarkets, which spans 60 locations across South Australia and Queensland.

Ranked at a formidable 173 on The Australian’s prestigious list of top 250 rich personalities, Drake’s fortune is estimated at a staggering $827 million. This impressive feat stems from Drakes Supermarkets’ remarkable success, boasting a revenue of $1.18 billion in 2023, as reported to the corporate regulator.

Drake’s entrepreneurial journey began humbly in 1974 when he inaugurated his inaugural store, Jack and Jill’s, in Mitcham, Adelaide. From these modest beginnings, Drake’s steadfast dedication and strategic vision have propelled Drakes Supermarkets into a formidable independent chain, rivaling industry giants like Woolworths and Coles.

In an interview with SALIFE magazine, Drake recounted his unconventional path to success. Originally harboring aspirations of becoming a doctor, financial constraints redirected his trajectory. Undeterred, he seized an opportunity at Coles, starting as a trolley collector. Determined to carve his own path, Drake ventured into entrepreneurship, purchasing his first store for a mere $29,000.

Drake’s approach prioritised community engagement and customer satisfaction. Driven by a desire to challenge the dominance of multinational chains, Drake’s Supermarkets distinguished itself as a beacon of quality and reliability by fostering relationships with local suppliers and exceeding customer expectations.

Although Drake momentarily slipped from the ranks of Australia’s wealthiest, his resurgence on the list underscores his enterprise’s enduring prosperity. Bolstered by a robust financial performance in 2023, which saw a 3.3% increase in annual sales and a net profit of $36.85 million, Drake reaffirms his status as a titan of the supermarket industry.

Among South Australia’s elite luminaries, Chris Thomas, proprietor of Thomas Foods International, is a formidable figure. Thomas Foods International is Australia’s largest family-owned meat processing company, commanding an annual turnover exceeding $2.7 billion, solidifying Thomas’s standing as one of the state’s wealthiest individuals.

The wealth landscape continues to evolve as Australia experiences a surge in billionaires fueled by diverse industries such as cryptocurrency, lithium mining, and retail. Notable additions to the billionaire ranks include Nicola Forrest, Adrian Portelli, and the pioneering minds behind household brands like Chemist Warehouse, Kennard’s Hire, and 7-Eleven.

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