Coworking still has a place at the mall and shopping for your dog goes experiential

Hudson’s Bay and WeWork announced a partnership to bring coworking to Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor and Petco opened its first flagship store for its brand, Reddy (cats not allowed).

November 04, 2021
  • Taylor Coyne

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Coworking heads to Saks Fifth Avenue

A few years ago, we wrote a report about the rise of coworking in retail space. We examined 75 coworking spaces that took up more than one million square feet of retail space, 21.3% of which were in malls. When the pandemic hit, I questioned how much longer we’d be able to use this report since the past year and a half has upended how and where we want to work. My outlook on coworking has already boomeranged and I think there remains a strong case for coworking in retail space as flexibility remains central to how we want to work.  

Where retail coworking spaces are located


And it’s not just me, Hudson’s Bay, owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, is partnering with WeWork to launch SaksWorks: coworking spaces that will open in existing department stores. SaksWorks will take over several Saks Fifth Avenue department stores and some previously occupied by Lord & Taylor. Hudson’s Bay hopes to appeal to those who want an alternative to a home-office or a long commute by offering SaksWorks in its stores, many of which are nearby residential neighborhoods. 

For WeWork, this is an opportunity for physical growth without adding to its existing lease liabilities. In this partnership, WeWork will not pay rent but will manage and staff the coworking spaces while sharing the revenue with Hudson’s Bay.

Photo by

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The first five SaksWorks will open next month in the New York area including one that will replace a closed Saks Fifth Avenue men’s store in Lower Manhattan and a former children’s store on the 10th floor of the Saks flagship in Midtown Manhattan. The other three will be in the surrounding suburbs of Manhasset, Scarsdale, and Greenwich, CT. There are plans to expand to Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Boston in the future.

It’s all about the dogs

Last week Petco opened its first flagship store for its brand, Reddy, in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Reddy launched in 2018 and is geared towards millennials and caters to only one animal: dogs. While I take offense to this on behalf of my almost-17-year-old diabetic cat, it’s a good move for Petco as it continues to capitalize on a period of higher pet ownership (pet adoptions rose last year when we all needed some extra companionship) and pet spending. Petco’s sales remain strong: second quarter revenue grew 19% year-over-year and 31% from 2019.

Reddy sells typical merchandise one would expect to see at a Petco dog section, but also offers several unique experiences like a fitting station for pet clothes, on-site monogramming, a nutrition station, and lounge area complete with a “treatery” for the pups.

Contact Taylor Coyne

Sr. Manager, Research