The founder of popular retail brands Joe Fresh and Club Monaco says the Canadian retail landscape is facing an ongoing crisis. Joe Mimran, who is currently the chairman of Gibraltar Growth Corporation, told BNN in an interview on Friday that people just don’t want as much “stuff” as they used to.

“Retail continues to have an existential crisis on its hands,” said Mimran in an interview Friday. “We’ve been seeing the demise of so many retailers over the last year and a half. The amount of announcements and the speed at which retailers are closing is actually accelerating.”

“The list is so long of retail companies that have gone into restructuring. It’s actually quite shocking,” he added.

Express, Danier Leather, BCBG Max Azria are a few of examples of retailers to shut their doors in Canada over the last 18 months. Mimran partly attributes the failures to the inability of retailers to keep up with important trends, such as the sharing economy and less mall traffic.   

“People are voting with their wallets as to how they view social issues going forward – and I think you’ve got to be very tapped into that,” he added.

Mimran also pointed out there is a lot of discounting happening in e-commerce, which is putting pressure on traditional retailers.

“Businesses are not adapting enough,” he said.  

So what does it take to avoid winding up in the retail graveyard? Mimran says you have to know your customer well.

“I think you’ve got to have a really good handle on who your customer is, for sure,” he said. “And I think playing into the various trends that are occurring. You’ve got the millennials who are changing in the way they are shopping. You’ve got the baby boomers who are sort of getting to a stage where they aren’t shopping as much.”

Canadian retail sales rose more than expected in March, mostly driven by car purchases, as well as sales at electronic and appliances stores. Excluding autos, retail sales were down 0.2 per cent.