IWG has signed its first franchise deal with the Adams Group in Australia to open 10 new coworking spaces under its Regus brand.
The Adams Group, which owns Queensland convenience store NightOwl Convenience, will see the Regus brand open locations across the state in Townsville, Cairns, Noosa, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, the Sunshine Coast and Airlie Beach.
“The franchising or partnership route has been coming for a number of years,” said Damien Sheehan, country head for IWG Australia. “We’ve really just cemented that and started to roll that out more aggressively here in Australia.”
According to Mark Bhardwaj, head of partnership growth for IWG Australia and New Zealand, this model will allow the company to expand its footprint outside of big cities, without the use of its own capital or additional risk.
This news follows IWG’s challenging year of its occupancy falling by up to 30%, as well as inquiries for its services and products being cut by about half due to the ongoing pandemic.
However, Sheehan added that inquiries for their suburban centers have increased. Still, whether there will be a mass exodus from major cities is uncertain.
“I think it’s too early to tell, but what we absolutely know for sure is that no longer do companies have to try and source employees from within a 25-kilometre radius, and have them commute into a central hub … and that’s the biggest upside here,” said Sheehan.