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Covering the Nation from COVID Creates Tent Shortage

Gala Tent posts consecutive £1m monthly revenues as nationwide gazebo and marquee shortage shows no sign of letting up

If you had told the owners of Rotherham-based Event Structure manufacturer Gala Tent that their products would become the subject of panic-buying on the levels of toilet paper back in March and April, they would likely have laughed in your face. Yet, only five months later, the firm posted a second consecutive £1m+ of revenue in a single month, the first time in the firm’s twenty one year history.

It would seem especially ridiculous because at that time, co-owners Jason Mace and Mark Thompson were working for zero wages to cover furloughed shortages in their Distribution Centre for the few orders that came through their sales channels. 70% of their staff was at home as part of the furlough scheme to protect employment, the other 30% were working from home under nationwide lockdown. They were unprecedented times, but the Gala Tent Senior Leadership Team refused to take it without a fight.

Mark Thompson said, “It was tough, it really was. All of our usual markets had gone into total lockdown and we had a 60,000ft² warehouse packed out with stock for the summer season, so we had to look at where our products could help in the pandemic.”


After switching their marketing strategy to allow them to immediately react to a rapidly changing social landscape, the firm began to see dividends for the hard work going on behind the scenes, and staff members were brought back from furlough much earlier than anticipated to keep up with demand.

Co-Owner Jason Mace said, “We didn’t stop to worry about roads that were closed for one second. If you’re going to succeed as a company, you need to know that you can change direction at a minute’s notice and carry on regardless. The beauty of our products is their versatility. It’s a wedding marquee one year, but now it’s a way of pubs expanding their premises to ensure their own revenues don’t drop, or for schools to protect their children in the social distancing era, or for retailers to cover their queuing customers.”

It was reported recently that Gala Tent posted a massive 33% growth Year-on-Year for July, yet for August they went even further, posting an unprecedented 49% growth versus last August, and a massive 25% growth for their Q3, in the process posting the most successful period in the company’s history.

Regular feedback the Gala Tent team have been receiving is that very few other retailers have any stock remaining, driving more desperate businesses and organisations to the Rotherham firm’s doors, to cover their requirements in these uncertain times.

Mace said, “Our telephone lines have never been busier. Our competitors are showing as out of stock for most of their own products, as there’s genuinely a nationwide shortage on marquees and gazebos. However, because we’re the UK’s leading retailer and carry by far the biggest stock inventory, we’re still able to fulfil orders for many of our structures, with thousands of tents in stock, and new stock coming in on a weekly basis to fulfil back orders.”

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 emergency and police service, St John’s Ambulance as well as to thousands of homeworkers and homeowners nationally.

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