Gala Tent Announces Company Growth as COVID-19 Brings Increasing Demand for Marquees
South Yorkshire marquee and gazebo manufacturer and retailer, Gala Tent, which defied the odds in 2020 to post growth during uncertain times, has once again exceeded their predicted sales figures in 2021 by posting a massive 400% growth for the month of March. This comes off the back of an impressive 91% growth for Q1.
Facing the lockdown 12 months ago, when the vast majority of the company’s usual market sectors were forced into extended closure, CEO Jason Mace refused to be beaten by uncertainty. He recalls March 2020 clearly. “When the government announced they had shut down the event industry in March, I stood on the shop floor informing my staff that we would have to close, and many of them would be furloughed. One of the first questions I was asked, was ‘will the company survive? Will we have jobs to come back to?’ I told my team yes, 100%. I predicted that a large order would land with us before long and it would kickstart our survival. A complete restructure was actioned, and new markets were targeted. It was a long and hard slog for those who remained on the team to bring the company back on track, but we did it.”
“A complete change of direction was structured, and all of the management team, me included, were picking and packing in the warehouse to send out what orders we were scraping together.”
Indeed, Jason’s prediction was proven correct, and April produced an order for almost £100,000, supplying the emergency services with much needed tents for testing stations, as well as a high-profile contract to supply the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham, and from here, the company began to see glimmers of hope in dark times.
In June, the company’s fortunes began to show real signs of recovery, with staff being recalled from furlough to manage the increase of demand and by July they had recalled 100% of staff and were proudly able to boast zero job losses from the effects of the pandemic as a phenomenal summer capped a remarkable turnaround of fortunes for the Rotherham-based company.
Marketing Manager, Ryan Bracha, said, “Right at the start, we knew there would have to be a boom of some sort when it was all over, but we didn’t predict exactly how quickly or how hard it might come. We didn’t waste a single minute of the first lockdown, everything we did was with a view to improving everything we do. We were determined to become a stronger and more resilient team, and all-round better at everything when things came back to normal. Jason set up daily video calls between us all to push us on and encouraged us to actively participate in the company improvement processes. Some of us had to perform the roles of 3 or 4 people at times, and now we’re sitting on the results of that effort with pride that we’re better placed to succeed than ever before.”
Sales Manager Darren Perry said, “During the lockdown everyone was working from home, and because of the SOTpay payment system we use, we didn’t jeopardise a single customer’s card details in that time, where others perhaps failed. The majority of the team continues to work from home, and homeworking has genuinely improved our team’s morale and productivity. We have twice-weekly video conferences where everybody can make suggestions to improve the business and our processes and feel like they remain a valued part of our continuing success.”
Founded in 1999, Gala Tent has grown to sell over 15,000 tents and marquees each year, along with around 90,000 event accessories and furniture products in the UK.
In the UK, Gala Tent is a preferred supplier for organisations including the military, NHS, the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, South Yorkshire Police Service, St John’s Ambulance and AA, as well as to thousands of homeworkers and homeowners nationally.