Market leader opens more serviced sites
Regus has stamped its dominance of the world business centre market with the unveiling of two new serviced office locations in China - one at Hong Kong's Times Square and the other at the Yueda 889 building in Shanghai.
While Luxembourg-headquartered Regus' presence in the local market may be getting eclipsed by the rapidly growing Compass Offices, the openings affirm its mantle as market leader on the mainland, with locations in Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. It also has offices in Macau and Taipei.
This latest expansion comes as Regus shrugs off a sharp fall in profits for its British business, as the recession bit into demand for office space in Europe. While the business centre giant is geared towards international expansion, increasing competition in Hong Kong has proved tough for small and large serviced office players alike.
Now Regus is looking at an atmosphere of economic uplift, increased business optimism and demand from companies seeking more cost-effective paths to growth. This week, the 180-workstation premises on the 31st floor of Times Square's Tower One will officially open, along with 80 fully equipped offices in Yueda 889, on the eighth floor of the Yueda Plaza mixed-use development in Shanghai's fast-developing Jing'an district.
Regus says its growth strategy will continue to meet increasing demand from companies combating rising property rentals of between 20 and 30 per cent in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The latest bi-annual Regus Business Confidence Index, which tracks the opinions of 17,000 companies worldwide, found that while companies in both cities expect profits to grow substantially over the next 12 months, 77 per cent of companies in Hong Kong and 75 per cent in Shanghai are freezing or cutting workplace and property related spending.
'With the IMF expecting China's GDP to grow by 9.6 per cent this year, and Hong Kong still experiencing benefits from the mainland's development, businesses need to accommodate additional staff to cope with the pace of growth,' says Hans Leijten, Regus' regional vice-president for East Asia. 'Our inquiries are up over one fifth in Hong Kong and have doubled in Shanghai over last year, and are coming from companies of all sizes, from one-person start-ups to major corporations looking for workspace solutions that offer a smarter, risk-free choice than traditional commercial property.'
New occupants are already giving positive feedback. 'Choosing Times Square was a better choice for me as it is conveniently accessible ... close to many well-known businesses, and there are various dining options,' says Paul Lebrun, of Iris International.