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WPP has moved nine of its Belgian marketing agencies into a new 22-story building in Brussels that will serve as its regional headquarters.
The move is the latest in a series of office footprint reorganizations WPP has announced over recent years. It previously carried out similar initiatives in Paris, London and Atlanta: in each case, WPP brought several agencies that previously worked at separate locations under one roof.
In Belgium, the move affects about 600 employees. WPP’s new Brussels headquarters, which is located in a building the firm shares with a hotel chain, includes meeting and event spaces with panoramic views of the city skyline.
There are several reasons why WPP is making such major changes to its real-estate footprint.
The first is that operating one large office is often less expensive than running multiple small offices with the same amount of space. When a firm is buying or renting one big building instead of several small ones, it can benefit from economies of scale that lower the cost per square meter.
There’s also a strong marketing element to WPP’s new centralized corporate hubs. Inviting potential clients to a large, multi-store office makes a better impression than hosting meetings at a small corporate branch location with more limited resources.
The generous amount of event space in WPP’s new Brussels facility means it will have plenty of opportunities to put the office’s marketing value to use. The firm can host not only clients but also potential partners and suppliers: making a strong impression is important in those business relationships, too.
Lastly, there’s the collaboration element. The nine WPP marketing agencies that are moving to its new Brussels office will be able to collaborate much better than before, which can be useful in large client projects involving a large number of staffers.
WPP boss Mark Read commented that “the launch of our new campus in Brussels demonstrates our commitment to fostering even greater creativity, collaboration and innovation for the benefit of our clients. By uniting our talented teams under one roof, we’re creating an environment that nurtures ideas and drives sustainable growth for international and Belgian businesses.”