Local News

Louis Joliet Mall contest provides kiosk space to winner

Louis Joliet Mall[]

JOLIET – The Louis Joliet Mall is offering free retail space to the winner of a contest seeking innovative retail concepts.

The winner gets rent-free space for four months as well as a $500 merchandising package.

Starwood Retail piloted “The Challenge: Battle of the Pop-Up Contest” at three malls last year and is bringing it to its other 27 malls, said Sandy Maldonado-Martinez, marketing director for Louis Joliet Mall.

“It’s such a cool way for people who have a crafty side business to get in here and see if the mall is for them,” Maldonado-Martinez said.

Contest entries must be submitted by March 30, and participants must be prepared to obtain a business license so they can open June 1.

Maldonado said one success story of the pilot program last year was a 17-year-old girl who crafted spirit clothing for her friends and turned it into a mall store at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, Nebraska.

She didn’t like the styles that [were] available for school pride shirts and hoodies and hats,” Maldonado-Martinez said. “She made over $100,000 and decided to start her inline store space at the mall.”

The contest winner gets a small kiosk to set up shop. The mall supplies fixtures, utilities and the merchandising package that includes interior signage, table-printed displays and graphic design services.

Maldonado-Martinez said the contest also is a way for Starwood Retail to reach out to entrepreneurs who otherwise might not consider a mall location.

“We want to bring stores to the mall, and we want to bring a diversity and range of stores for our clients,” she said.

There is no cost for entering the contest.

More information is available at the mall’s website, www.shoppinglouisjolietmall.com or at Starwood Retail’s website, starwoodretail.com.

• Applications due March 30
• Winner selected April 23
• Winner must have business license by June 1
• Mall space provided June 1 to Sept. 30 to winner