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Here’s How It Works

  • If you are selected as a semi-finalist, you will have a chance to work with a mentor in May-August to prepare for your live pitch to the judges.
  • The semi-finalists selected by the judges will pitch their idea via Zoom or live in front of the judges at The Meadows.
  • After the live pitch, up to 5 finalists will be selected to move to the final round of voting, which will take place online. The retail business idea with the most votes will be selected the winner of RetailNEXT 2020 and will win prize outlined below.

Apply Here!!!

Winning Prize

  • The winning concept will get a minimum of 6-months free rent (square feet to be determined but no less than 1500 sq ft.), $25,000 tenant improvement (TI), and free triple net charges (taxes, common area maintenance, and insurance) at The Meadows. The tenant is responsible for his/her monthly utilities.
  • If the business has or exceeds $250,000 of annual revenue (currently), The Meadows will provide an additional TI allowance of 10% of sales of $250,000 or more, not to exceed $50,000 in total TI allowance.
  • If the RetailNEXT meets or exceeds mutually agreed performance goals, The Meadows will extend the lease for an additional 6-months.
  • At the end of 6- or 12-months free rent lease, the winner of RetailNEXT will be offered a series of ongoing leasing options and The Meadows will negotiate in good faith to ensure the tenant remains at The Meadows.
  • Winner will receive 20+ hours of mentorship from 5 participating mentors in 2020.
  • Winner will receive a marketing package as follows:
    • Press release and outreach upon business opening
    • Weekly social postings on The Meadows social media (for the duration of the free rent period)
    • Dedicated eblast to The Meadows’ email list upon opening and inclusion in monthly email for duration of the free rent period
    • Paid media package on TV, Radio, Outdoor and/or Print (valued at $5,000)
    • Single-page website ($4,000 value) from 1905 New Media


Judging Criteria

Judges will be selecting top concepts based on how business idea meets/exceeds the following metrics:

  • A new concept presented by an existing brick & mortar retailer, online retailer, or start-up
  • An idea with the possibility to be The Next Big Thing in Retail, attracting attention, traffic, and sales to the retail location
  • A concept with a high likelihood of success at The Meadows at Lake Saint Louis
  • Leader/team has relevant experience, entrepreneurial drive, and adequate financial backing to start and sustain a business
  • A sensible plan to staff the location, buy & manage inventory, and manage cash & credit card sales
  • Willingness to do whatever it takes – including bringing on investors – to make their concept grow
  • Concepts need not be traditional retail concepts, but rather ones that will do particularly well in an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment venue with both on-premise and nearby residential communities


Finalist(s) Must

  • Be able to build out concept adequately beyond Cohen Equities allowance
  • Set up all business systems (phones, web, social, etc.)
  • Have the resources to purchase inventory, staff retail location, buy insurance, etc.
  • Operate the business for 1 year or more
  • Begin operation no later than November 1, 2020
  • Comply with mall hours

Key Dates

  • RetailNEXT Call for Entries: Begins Thursday, April 2, 2020
  • Deadline for entry: Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 at 11:59pm
  • 5-10 minute presentation live for semi-finalists via Zoom or at The Meadows in front of judges: Sept. 7
  • Online voting period (top 5 finalists): Sept. 7-16
  • Announcement of winner: Sept. 18
  • Buildout: 6-8 weeks
  • Grand opening: By November 6, 2020
For questions about RetailNEXT and how to enter, please contact Craig Kaminer at 314-363-3333!