Chairman and CEO of Toronto-based Joe Mimran and Associates, and former head of fashion labels Alfred Sung and Club Monaco
BEAT THE 1981-82 AND 1990-91 RECESSIONS
ACQUIRE STRATEGIC ASSETS ON THE CHEAP
By his own estimate, Mimran has braved several "traumatic" downturns since launching his Canadian fashion empire in the late 1970s. Still, his businesses have resisted recessionary pressures, thanks, he says, to consistent investment in marketing. But during the 1990-91 recession, the entrepreneur who is now the "Joe" in Loblaws' Joe Fresh Style fashions, turned his attention to strategic acquisitions. Mimran's main target: prime real estate in major retail markets such as New York and Toronto. "Real estate prices were so depressed that it was a great time to start to accumulate good locations," he says. "These are the times that can set you up for the next big move in the marketplace. In 1994, we got our Club Monaco space on Bloor Street in Toronto, and the rent then was probably 12% to 15% of what space goes for today. There were shopping centres where we would go back and get a second space or an expanded space, because the former occupants had gone out of business. If you have the ability to go out and make some key, strategic acquisitions that you wouldn't be able to make at any other time because they're too expensive, now would be the time to do it."