Joe Mimran is known for his unique ability to create visionary brands from scratch. The retail magnate helped grow Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, and Alfred Sung—some of the industry’s most recognizable brands—into the global successes they are today. Having spent two seasons as a Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den, Mimran now serves as the chairman of the venture investor firm he co-founded to back the next generation of entrepreneurs. In talks, he reveals why a relentless obsession with your consumer is the key to growing a business into an empire.
A few years ago, the idea of shopping for clothes in a grocery store might have seemed bizarre. Today, with the evolution and expansion Joe Fresh, its expected; even desired, for its unique accessibility and affordability. The man to thank for this new boundary-pushing category of fashion and business is Joe Mimran. Armed with a vision of well-designed, well-priced clothes for a broad audience, Mimran conceived Joe Fresh for Loblaw Companies, and grew it into the country’s second largest apparel brand. Originally launched in 2006 with 40 supermarket locations, Joe Fresh has over 1450 retail locations today, including 350 Loblaw stores, 11 stand-alone stores, and 200 J.C. Penney stores. Overseas, it is sold in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Previously, Mimran co-founded Club Monaco, a cult brand that became known for its distinctive minimalist style, and has 150 stores across North America. He also founded Joseph Mimran & Associates, a consulting firm that works with global retailers, such as Woolworths in South Africa, Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States, and Coles in Australia. Mimran designed home products for President’s Choice, followed by all general merchandise categories for Loblaws.
During his time as Chairman of the Fashion Design Council of Canada, Mimran helped grow Toronto Fashion Week into a global platform. He was the honorary Chairman of the inaugural Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards, and the recipient of the Canadian Style Award. Mimran has also been recognized with The Design Exchange award along with his wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran, the co-founder of Pink Tartan. He’s been featured in publications including The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and The Globe and Mail.
Turning Your Niche into $100 Million Dollars
Basic, affordable, stylish, accessible. Joe Mimran took the “Chic Cheap” niche and grew it into a hundred million dollar empire. How? By fastidiously researching trends, believing in what he sells, and understanding his customer’s “journey to purchase” inside and out.
And the journey for Joe Fresh was unprecedented in Canada: high-fashion, of-the-moment designs that a consumer can buy at the grocery store. Mimran was intrinsically involved in every step of the process, from product design to marketing to casting for campaigns to selecting store locations and interiors. In this enlightening keynote, Mimran explains how—and why—keeping your core customer at the forefront of your mind, envisioning exactly what they want, and how they want to buy it, can transform a niche idea into a $100 million dollar empire.