Is brick-and-mortar retail dead? A few years ago, many would have said yes. However, coworking spaces may be resurrecting these spaces.
Instead of just offering easy access to pretzels and apparel, shopping malls have now realized that what Americans want is true hospitality. This means providing easy access businesses like fitness centers, laundromats, and even workspaces for remote workers.
“We’ve all learned how to merge work and life in a way that we hadn’t before,” said Amy Nelson, president of SaksWorks, Hudson Bay Company’s new coworking company. “Now, we pop out of our office and go down to the garage for a run on the treadmill. And we no longer go to 15 different places to get things done. We want that for the next phase.”
Convenience is key to the future of society. Not only is this ideal for workers on-the-go, but eliminating the exit and re-entry into different stores makes adapting to pandemic-related routines, like touching door knobs, much easier.
Coworking companies have played a significant role in this transition. Take Industrious, which has been a leader in providing its coworking services in malls and currently has 200,000 square feet of office space in shopping centers across the U.S.
“We were a little skittish, not knowing whether a Fortune 500 company would feel comfortable holding meetings in a mall,” said Jamie Hodari, cofounder and CEO of Industrious. “But our [mall locations] have exceeded our expectations in every area, including customer satisfaction and retention.”