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Interest high among wanna-be Duluth retailers seeking Christmas presence

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On Monday, Duluth's Downtown Council is expected to announce the six stores that have been selected to get free rent in downtown storefronts in the hot holiday retail season.

MPR reports the council saw an enthusiastic response to its offer for no rent for the short-term, or "pop-up" stores. The selected retailers will get the free storefronts for two to three months, but the businesses will have to pay their utilities.

The Star Tribune reports that the opportunity was announced on Thursday and by Friday, 30 people had applied, with ideas ranging from selling arts-related merchandise, to clothing, to food.

“I said I’d be happy with seven or eight applicants,” said Kristi Stokes, the organization’s president, laughing. “It’s been an overwhelming response."

The Duluth News Tribune had the story about the competition last week, reporting that the vacant real estate included two locations in the skywalk and four along Superior Street. The retailers who apply are expected to open by Nov. 30 and must remain open until Jan. 10.

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