In its quest to find the retailers of tomorrow, Starwood Retail Partners has launched "The Challenge: Battle of the Pop-Up," a contest that will award two entrepreneurs rent-free space, use of existing fixtures and free utilities for six months at four centers around the country.
The contest is being held at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, Neb.; Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted, Ohio; Rimrock Mall in Billings, Mont.: and Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Va.
"Retail is always being reinvented, and so are our centers," said Catherine Loy, vice president and head of specialty leasing for Starwood Retail Partners. "In addition, we consider our 30 malls and lifestyle centers to be the hearts of our communities. We can think of no better way to help our hometowns than to give local business owners a start, offering the support of our experienced staff. Some of the concepts we've seen among the applications so far have great potential to be the major retailers of tomorrow."
To enter, participants must obtain a business license by November 1, 2017, and be prepared to operate their business during mall hours from November 1, 2017 through Monday, April 30, 2018. Mall staff will send the top applications to Starwood Retail's Chicago headquarters, where senior management will select two winners for each center. Entries will be judged on business strategy, concept creativity, and likelihood of profitability, among other criteria.
The deadline for entries is Monday, August 21. Winners will be contacted via email or phone the week of Monday, August 28. There is no cost to enter. Applicants may enter one of three ways:
- The malls' websites: Gateway Mall; Great Northern; Rimrock Mall; Stony Point Fashion Park
- Drop off their entry at the mall's management office or
- Email this completed PDF to TheChallenge@StarwoodRetail.com
See the full list of rules and regulations here.