WeWork to Operate Coworking Outposts in Saks Fifth Avenue Stores

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Sections of Saks Fifth Avenue stores around New York will be turned into coworking outposts operated by WeWork, the companies announced Tuesday.

WeWork entered into a partnership with Saks owner Hudson’s Bay Company to run SaksWorks-branded coworking locations in five Saks stores in the area, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

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“The pandemic has changed so much about our lives, including how we work and where we live,” Amy Nelson, president of SaksWorks, said in a statement. “We created SaksWorks because the millions of Americans who now work remotely from their suburban homes or who find themselves as part-time commuters in this hybrid world deserve a beautiful place to work and gather.”

The plans call for adding SaksWorks locations to Brookfield Place and Saks’ flagship at 611 Fifth Avenue, along with spots in Long Island and Scarsdale, N.Y., according to WeWork. The locations plan to open next month, then will roll out to other Saks outposts in the country.

SaksWorks isn’t the first time retailers have turned to coworking operators to fill up vacant brick-and-mortar space, with Industrious partnering with Macerich in 2018 to add locations to its malls around the country.

The Saks-WeWork deal comes as demand for flexible workspaces nationwide increases, but more and more companies are delaying their return to the office over concerns about the especially contagious delta variant strain of COVID-19.

Even so, on Monday, brokerage Cushman & Wakefield and WeWork announced plans to start a partnership to help tenants and landlords develop a flexible workspace strategy, with C&W investing $150 million in WeWork’s upcoming special purpose acquisition company merger.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.