Traditional workplaces are dwindling in the US and Europe as the demand for new co-working formats grows. The sector is forecast to grow 21% in 2016 in the US (CBRE, 2016) – with spaces largely occupied by independent consultants, freelancers or ‘solopreneurs’ looking for out-of-home hotspots – while in the UK, self-employment has risen over 25% in the last decade (VirginStartUp, 2016).
Smart retailers are bidding to capture this nomadic market by integrating new design and technology into their stores and malls, advertising their innovation credentials in the process.
Store formats offering drop-in workspaces – either fully branded or in collaboration with established co-working providers – are proving invaluable for tapping those consumers who shift between business and leisure.
Nurturing in-house research and design within the retail realm and establishing early access to innovations, conventional retail space is transformed by malls, department stores and banks into an acceleration venue for young entrepreneurs.