NEW YORK, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EDENS, one of the nation's leading retail real estate developers, announced that Joe Cut, led by Michael Kliska, Paulina Bosque, Adriana Contreras and Nina Shapiro of Babson College, won the 2014 EDENS Retail Challenge, a nation-wide student competition seeking the most compelling new retail concept. The announcement kicks off this year's smART: The Art of Retail conference, taking place through Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel in New York City. smART is two days of engaging dialogue, panel discussions and keynotes as a vehicle for small business owners from around the country to learn from the brightest minds in the industry today.
Joe Cut is a mobile hair salon that brings the haircut directly to the busy college student through a mobile store and reservation App. Founded by four Babson undergraduates, Joe Cut will service primarily male customers on campuses throughout the U.S. via a mobile salon. Students and faculty will book appointments through a mobile App that will also let them know when the truck is on campus. Joe Cut will be an exclusive U.S. retailer for Joe Grooming, a multi-national line of men's grooming products.
"The Joe Cut team truly embodies this country's next generation of retail," says Jodie McLean, EDENS President and Chief Investment Officer. "They have an intuitive understanding of the consumer's need for design, style and convenience with bold ideas about how tomorrow's shopping environment will evolve."
Joe Cut receives a total of $13,000 seed money as well as additional support from EDENS' in-house team of financial, marketing and design professionals. Winners of last year's Challenge (Follain and Artis) are successfully open for business—a testament to the value of the support and resources the program provides.
Making it to the finals is no small feat—the process takes almost six months. Drawn from some of the country's top universities and graduate schools, the students are challenged to develop a comprehensive business plan – from initial vision to financials to launch strategy – for a compelling, persuasive retail concept. This year's challenge attracted 72 participants from 25 of the nation's top schools.
The final pitch, which took place this morning, was made to a panel of industry luminaries:
- Tim Carroll - Partner & Managing Director, William Blair & Company, LLC
- Lisa Kline - CEO, LisaKline.com; @lisaklinestores
- Ann Mashburn - Chief Creative Officer, Mashburn, LLC; Annmashburn.com; @annmashburn
- Sid Mashburn - Chairman, Mashburn, LLC; Sidmashburn.com; @sidmashburn
- Andy Stenzler - Co-Founder, Kidville; @kidville
The winner of the EDENS Retail Challenge receives a total of $13,000; second place receives $8,000; and third and fourth place winners receive $5,500. The other finalists were:
Kitschoppe helps expert do-it-yourselfers and novice crafters design their projects before a communal backdrop. Kitschoppe seeks to provide the artistic and social outlet young people crave in budding urban metropolises. Students from Yale University.
Cote-Armour, a clothing line and artist collective inspired by the pulse and vibe of New York City's art, music and youth scene. The company's slogan, Gnarly Never Dies, reflects the Cote-Armour lifestyle – young and free, living for music festivals, creating art, and dreaming big. Students from Columbia University.
Pragma, a fashion retailer catering to on-the-go women with practical, high-quality clothing that can be worn to the office, to dinner and on a business trip. The line features innovative, travel-friendly (wrinkle-resistant) apparel that's easy to stow and go. Students from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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.