Co-working leader WeWork forms new hospitality and retail partnerships
WeWork, valued at more than $20 billion, has transformed the concept of co-working and co-living and is now experimenting in new categories. Recently, the company announced plans for a grade school and a startup incubator, and it’s also formed savvy partnerships to reimagine the consumer experience in unexpected areas.
Samsung is aiming to improve upon Apple’s Genius Bar with its own care centers in select WeWork locations. Rather than have customers feel restless as they wait in a crowded store to get their devices fixed, Samsung shoppers can use WeWork’s facilities while waiting to make the most of their time. They can work in open seating areas, phone booths, and conference rooms and enjoy WeWork’s amenities, including coffee and fruit-infused water. The care centers are being piloted in Detroit, Miami, and Williamsburg.
Airbnb and WeWork have teamed up to streamline business travel, offering a practical solution for people attending meetings or events in cities where they don’t necessarily have an office. Corporate customers who book a place to stay on Airbnb in NYC, LA, Chicago, Washington, Sydney, and London are also able to reserve a desk and conference room at the nearest WeWork location. Through the partnership, Airbnb hopes to take a larger share of the business travel market by offering amenities typically found in hotels. If the program is well-received in these markets, it will expand to other cities.
Paying a monthly fee for an office space is no longer relevant for many workers today, particularly those in the gig economy whose hours vary from project-to-project or those who travel frequently for business. WeWork and Mastercard have joined forces to offer a more on-demand solution so that people are only charged based on the time they’re in a WeWork location. As of now, the metered payment technology is being used at a co-working space in SF with plans to expand the partnership to other locations in the future.