Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Co will convert parts of some department stores into co-working spaces, which will be managed by office-sharing start-up WeWork, the companies said, at a time when many employees are negotiating remote-work policies.
Hudson’s Bay will open its first five co-working offices, named SaksWorks, across the Tri-State area including Fifth Avenue Flagship in Manhattan next month. The luxury retailer plans to launch more office spaces to target people who work remotely from the suburbs.
The work-from-home lifestyle has weighed heavily on WeWork by reducing occupancy and increasing operating costs, while low traffic at brick-and-mortar stores hurt sales at department stores in the United States.
Like many retailers, Hudson’s Bay has also been trying to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by bolstering its digital business as well as forming new partnerships, including one with fast-fashion brand Forever 21.
WeWork, meanwhile, said on Monday that it partnered with real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield to help landlords and businesses create a hybrid, flexible workplace.
In March, the start-up had agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal that valued it at $9 billion.
By Praveen Paramasivam; Editor: Sherry Jacob-Phillips
As vaccination rates rise, offices re-open and employee expectations around flexible working models grow, business leaders everywhere are asking the same question: what’s the role of an office in a post-Covid world?