The retail industry has evolved far beyond brick-and-mortar stores. Today, most retailers need more than a physical storefront to attract customers—they must take an innovative approach to every aspect of their business, from their supply chain to product development to marketing and selling.
In today’s retail space, e-commerce is a must. So are multichannel marketing experiences to engage new and existing customers. Traditional retail models are adapting to include everything from virtual reality and augmented reality to cutting-edge mobile technology—not to mention that many popular retailers are starting out as digitally native, direct-to-consumer businesses.
The way customers develop brand loyalty is also shifting. People aren’t just purchasing products off a shelf—they’re buying into a lifestyle, a community, or an authentic experience. Companies become known for their mission and culture—and as a result, everything from how they treat their employees to their stance on social issues can impact retail sales.
In order to attract and retain top talent—ranging from software engineers to designers—retail companies need to create a strong, people-first culture. Real estate can play a huge role in helping them offer environments in which their unique culture comes to life and where teams can innovate, collaborate, and produce their best work. Many retail enterprises are leveraging WeWork as their workplace solution so they provide employees with these environments.
See how three leading retailers are benefitting from WeWork’s office solutions.
PUMA’s on-brand office
PUMA’s marketing and product design teams in Boston were in limbo while they were waiting for a brand-new headquarters to be built. Because the project would take two years, executives were worried about the impact that could have on employee experience. To ensure that there was no work interruption, PUMA enlisted WeWork to provide a temporary space in the short term that could keep staffers energized and inspired as they developed big campaigns or launched new sneaker and athletic-wear lines.
The 60,000-square-foot interim office was built out on two floors at WeWork 33 Arch St to accommodate 250 PUMA employees. The PUMA logo and “Forever Faster” slogan are key design elements in the space, and custom paintings inspired by street art hang throughout. Large windows offer plenty of natural light and great views of downtown Boston. A space befitting creative teams, there’s also a conference room that doubles as a sneaker showroom, a photo studio for marketing shoots, quiet nooks and phone booths for heads-down work, and lounges for casual brainstorm sessions.
“What we found impactful was the time that WeWork spent with us learning about our business, and how that translated into a design specific to PUMA,” says Tom Coen, vice president and deputy general counsel at PUMA. “WeWork understands what our designers need to make footwear and what marketers need to foster creativity.”
Brooklinen’s thoughtful space
When Vicki and Rich Fulop founded direct-to-consumer linens brand Brooklinen, their mission was to create high-quality, affordable sheets. After their idea took off, they knew they needed to move their operations into a space that could accommodate a growing staff, plus product samples and materials. Without knowing exactly how much room for growth they would require, however, they needed an office that could scale with them at their pace. WeWork turned out to be the right move. As Brooklinen grew from two to 32 employees in three years, WeWork expanded their space at WeWork Dumbo Heights in Brooklyn so they could continue operating without disruption.
“We moved in when we were only two people. Now, we’ve scaled up within the same building,” says Rich. “We are now one of the biggest teams here.”
Brooklinen’s space has also helped them recruit talent to the company. Candidates know right away that employee experience is important to Brooklinen after taking one look around at the workplace amenities and thoughtful design, which prominently features the company brand.
“When people are assessing job offers, they’re not just looking at the offer they get at the end—they’re thinking about the entire experience,” says Jaime Petkanics, vice president of people at Brooklinen. “Space is a major part of that decision-making process.”
Amaro’s collaborative workspace
Amaro is one of Brazil’s first digitally native fashion companies. They sell directly to consumers via an omnichannel buying experience, with the ability to purchase clothing online, via apps, and in stores.
Amaro needed an office that would allow employees to share ideas and innovate. But their original office setup—with employees split between various rooms in two different buildings—wasn’t ideal. Company leaders decided that it was time for a new headquarters that would bring everyone together and capture the branding and spirit of the company.
They chose WeWork to design and build a new space for 170 employees in São Paulo. With over 95,000 square feet, the office has ample room for a variety of work activities from cross-functional collaboration to focused tasks including open meeting spaces with couches along floor-to-ceiling windows as well as individual workstations.
“By collaborating with WeWork, not only were we able to create a truly cool office with great design that helps us collaborate, but also develop an office that exemplifies Amaro’s brand and culture,” says Lodovico Brioschi, cofounder, CFO, and COO of Amaro.
WeWork offers companies of all sizes space solutions that help solve their biggest business challenges.
Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer who covers work, personal finance, and higher education. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Family Circle and monster.com. Follow her on Twitter.