Switzerland-based IWG, a provider of flexible workspace, has announced its first U.S. franchising deal, which will open Regus locations in metro Detroit.
Regus is owned by IWG and provides flexible and virtual office workspace, co-working facilities, meeting and training facilities, and commercial office alternatives.
The seven-center deal is planned to open at the end of the first quarter in 2021 with the first location set for Birmingham. Other locations are planned for Farmington Hills/West Bloomfield, Auburn Hills, Utica, Rochester Hills, Warren, and Livonia.
“We are excited about our first deal in the US and see franchising as a vehicle for growth, as more turn to flexible working options,” says Wayne Berger, CEO of the Americas for IWG. “We’re seeing that the demand for workspace flexibility is becoming increasingly urgent, driven by employees and employers, particularly in suburban markets.
“Traditional franchises such as fast-food restaurants, gyms, and hotels have reached saturation in many markets. Our franchise offering provides an opportunity for professionals to diversify their portfolio and invest in a market that is projected to grow significantly.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for workplace flexibility is increasing. Employers are looking to enable work-life integration and empower people to work independently or collaboratively in a safe environment. PwC polled office workers and found that 55 percent of employees would prefer to work remotely at least three days a week once pandemic concerns recede.
“We’ve had such a positive experience working with Regus, and building this partnership has been essential as we look to further develop our property investment portfolio,” says John Schmidt, CEO of Megatron Inc./Megatron Equity Partners LLC/Megatron Workspaces Inc. “We are excited to chart the path forward as the first franchising deal in the U.S.”
The U.S. expansion follows IWG’s launch of its global franchise opportunity in 2019. IWG also partnered with Standard Charter, a banking company in London, which is looking to provide all 95,000 employees worldwide with the option of working in an IWG flexible workspace close to their home or any 3,500 locations globally.
Regus franchises are typically no smaller than 10,000 square feet in stand-alone or multi-let buildings and have more than 130 workstations. Only one or two people are needed for oversight.
Ideal IWG franchise partners have the ability to operate and grow within a branded framework and open multiple centers across the contracted territory over a two- to five-year period.
Regus has 2.5 million customers and offers a range of office formats. It was established in 1989 and has more than 3,000 locations worldwide.