Great Shop Showdown Competition & Business Space Giveaway

UPDATE! Due to the overwhelming response, the Downtown Development Authority has decided to extend the deadline for video submissions through Wed., Aug. 31st to accommodate a wider pool of applicants who have expressed interest in participating as a result of recent (and upcoming) national media attention. This also gives previous submissions even more time to continue to gather support for their concepts.

We appreciate all your support of the Great Shop Showdown and Downtown West Palm Beach! Stay connected to us on facebook as the contest progresses. For more information, please contact the DDA office at 561.833.8873.

View a complete listing of contest guidelines here


Grand prize winner will receive free rent for a year at prime Clematis Street retail location

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2011) Clematis Street in Downtown West Palm Beach may turn out to be a “street of dreams” for a creative retailer who is selected as the grand prize winner of “The Great Shop Showdown” competition and retail space giveaway. Sponsored by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Great Shop Showdown is an extraordinary opportunity for new and established retailers to get game-changing exposure for their business or new business concept, plus a chance to receive a year of free rent and invaluable business development assistance, such as grants, incentives and complimentary marketing services.

“Innovative marketing strategies like the Great Shop Showdown can deliver the opportunity to bring either exciting new retail concepts or top-of-the-line businesses to Downtown West Palm Beach during the still challenging – although improving – retail climate. We hope to encourage entrepreneurs to consider opening up a location in the Clematis District, but also drive business by keeping interest in the area high among consumers,” said Raphael Clemente, interim executive director of the DDA. “For our grand prize winner, it also means a very big head-start in opening up a business in the heart of one of the most vibrant dining and shopping areas in South Florida.”

Entrants can submit a wide range of retail concepts – from clothing boutiques or gourmet grocers to home décor, sporting goods or other specialty stores. The contest’s grand prize winner will receive free rent for the first 12 months of a five-year lease term − excluding common area maintenance (CAM) expenses, utilities and taxes − in the prime retail space at 218 Clematis St. In addition to free rent, the winner will receive a one-year advertising package; complimentary retail marketing services provided by the DDA and its public relations agency; start-up business consulting and loan of up to $25,000 from First Bank of the Palm Beaches; monthly retail mentoring services; a one-year membership with the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches; hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Place; and invaluable exposure to various media outlets during the competition and announcement of the winning submission.

The competition kicks off July 1 tied to National Independent Retailer Month, an annual event established to recognize the importance of the locally owned small businesses within our communities. To enter the contest, retailers should submit a 30 to 60-second video to the competition’s Facebook page explaining their business concept and why they want to be in Downtown West Palm Beach. All entries must be received by July 31. A committee will review the applicants and select a pool of semi-finalists, who will be asked to submit a business plan. Three to five finalists will then be chosen to present their concepts and retail plan to the committee during a public panel in the Clematis Street space, giving the community a voice in choosing the grand prize winner, which will be announced in fall 2011.

“Having a space like this is working with a blank canvass. It lends itself to creative retailing and marketing,” said Jonathan Satter, principal of WGCompass Realty Companies and managing partner of 222 Clematis, LLC, which owns the location open for the giveaway. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the ideas put forth by the potential retailers and will work with the committee to select a retailer who will utilize the space to its fullest potential and add another exciting dimension to the Downtown shopping experience.”

Leading up to the announcement of the semi-finalists, the Great Shop Showdown space will be transformed into a pop-up shop from July 22-31, as part of Independent Retailer Month. Created by Nolcha, a global platform for independent fashion designers and retailers, the temporary boutique furnished by Design Within Reach will showcase the space to the public and give Downtown shoppers the chance to make the up-and-coming fashion part of their own wardrobe.

The Great Shop Showdown is sponsored by the West Palm Beach DDA, with partners WGCompass Realty Companies, First Bank of the Palm Beaches, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, SCORE, O’Donnell Agency and Hyatt Place – West Palm Beach/Downtown.

For more information or to submit a video entry to the Great Shop Showdown, visit For more information on the DDA, call (561) 833-8873 or visit