IWG Accelerates Global Franchise Rollout As Demand For Hybrid Work Increases
- World’s largest flexspace provider sees a 350%+ increase in new locations committed by franchise partners in H1 2021 compared to H1 2020
- 110 new centre commitments added to IWG’s franchise network in the last six months
- Deals signed in three new countries – USA, India and Malaysia
- 12 franchise partnerships in the UK will see flexible workspace arrive in more than 70 locations
July 06, 2021 // Franchising.com // IWG, the world’s leading provider of flexible workspace including Regus and Spaces, has announced that it has more than tripled the number of new franchised centres around the world in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
The company has signed 20 new franchise partners globally in the first six months of this year that will see more than 110 new centres added to its international network. This compares to seven new deals and 30 centres agreed during H1 2020, showing an acceleration in demand for flexspace worldwide in the past 12 months.
The pandemic has had a dramatic impact in accelerating the changes in the way in which we are all working and companies are indicating that hybrid work is here for the long term. This demand has been driven by a desire from employees to live and work locally following an extended period of working from home during the pandemic, where commuting long distances was no longer necessary.
Businesses of all sizes are listening to the needs of their workforce and embracing the shift to hybrid working. In March, IWG signed an agreement with leading Japanese telecoms firm NTT providing global membership access for its 300,000 staff around the world, in addition to financial services giant Standard Chartered for its 95,000 employees.
IWG has added one million new customers to its network already this year, with a further million customers committed in the pipeline.
Recent research has reinforced the growing popularity of flexspace as an investment for franchisees. More than half (56%) of business leaders interested in franchising are now considering becoming a flexible office franchisee or are actively looking to in the next 18 months, topping more traditional franchise industries like coffee shops (49%) and gyms (43%).
Mark Dixon, Founder & CEO of IWG commented: “Multiples studies have shown that businesses of all sizes are planning for a hybrid future. In fact, our own research of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 has shown that three times the number of listed businesses are looking to use a hybrid office model compared to those looking to carry on in the same way as pre-pandemic. A new centre was added to our network every day last month and with the signing of a growing number of franchise partners, we anticipate a greater number of openings as we move into the second half of the year.”
In the last six months, IWG has formed franchise partnerships in new territories including the USA, India and Malaysia.
In the USA, where demand was up 43% in June compared to pre-pandemic levels, two franchise cluster deals including in Detroit for seven centres and five new centres to Ohio and Indiana.
In addition, IWG has signed a new franchise partner to bring four new centres to the North Indian town of Zirakpur as well as in Malaysia to open three new flexible workspaces in the coastal city of Melaka.
The company also recently announced the expansion of its franchised centres in the UK, where it has now formed 12 partnerships in total across 72 city and suburban locations. The increased demand from professionals to continue working close to home beyond the pandemic will see new centres opening in areas including Wolverhampton, Ipswich, Cambridgeshire and London.
SOURCE IWG, International Workplace Group
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