EDENS Announces Annual Retail Challenge In Conjunction With The 2014 smART: The Art of Retail Conference

NEW YORK, Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- EDENS, one of the nation's largest retail real estate developers, today announced that the annual EDENS Retail Challenge will take place on March 2, 2014, in conjunction with the 2014 smART: The Art of Retail Conference, March 3 and 4, 2014 in New York City. 

The EDENS Retail Challenge is a nationwide competition seeking the most innovative entrepreneurs and the next, great retail concept.  The contest will kick off in September, 2013 in 24 Universities and Colleges.  A panel of judges made up of industry experts will choose the top three retail concepts from around the country to compete at Nationals on March 2, 2014, in New York City.  All teams that make it to the finals will receive $3,000 and intense mentoring on their business plan and design.  The overall winner of the 2014 EDENS Retail Challenge will win an additional $10,000 and the chance to bring their retail concept to life.  In 2013, two different concepts won the Retail Challenge: Follain and Artis.

Follain, a beauty products store selling a curated selection of effective, healthy, wholesome skincare products, opened its first store in July, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts and intends to roll out several additional locations over the next 24 months.  Product offerings include: face cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, masks, body soaks, soaps, scrubs and butters from over 25 manufacturers.

Artis, a premium retail destination offering a new value proposition to the American coffee drinker – truly fresh, perceivably better coffee through live, on-demand roasting – won the 2013 EDENS Retail Challenge.  Artis will be a half-retail, half-coffee shop, offering everything needed to roast, grind brew, store and enjoy coffee at home, as well as beverages to enjoy in the store or to-go.  Their first location is scheduled to open November 1, 2013 in Berkeley, California.

"The great thing about the EDENS challenge is that it is very concept focused.  A lot of business plan competitions are more about the plan than the concept, but EDENS is doing a really cool thing and they're focusing on both aspects.  EDENS encouraged me to just do it now, and now is so the time to be opening Follain.  And, if it weren't for EDENS, there is no way I would be doing this," said Tara Foley, founder Follain.

The EDENS Retail Challenge is sponsored in conjunction with the second annual smART: The Art of Retail Conference.  smART will bring together a host of influencers in the retail world, and was created as a vehicle by which small business owners from around the country could learn best practices from some of the most innovative, creative and successful business minds in the industry today.

For more information about the EDENS Retail Challenge, please visit www.edensretailchallenge.com/ or smART: The Art of Retail Conference, visit www.edenssmartretail.com.  For more information about EDENS, visit www.edens.com

About EDENS:
EDENS develops, owns and operates community building centers in primary markets throughout the East Coast. Focusing on innovative development and redevelopment together with key acquisitions in urban areas, the Company has built an institutional-quality portfolio of 111 retail centers. EDENS has Regional Headquarters in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Miami and Columbia, SC. For additional information about the Company and its retail real estate portfolio, please visit www.edens.com

SOURCE EDENS



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