Gladstone Ltd pledges to drive digital solutions for the leisure sector
Gladstone Ltd, a supplier of leisure management software in the UK & Ireland, has recently announced a record turnover of £14m in its latest financial year-end results, up from £11m in 2018, representing 127% growth over the past four years.
As the number one choice for over 500 health and leisure operators, servicing in excess of 40,000 users and 8,000,000 members – including the likes of David Lloyd, Everyone Active, Fitness First, Fusion, and an array of the UK’s biggest councils and universities – the news comes following the challenging covid-19 era, and amidst an ongoing energy crisis.
That said though, and as the leisure industry continues to fight back, Gladstone have pledged to continue to invest 50% of profits into research and development, and to increase R&D spend by 10% year-on-year as the sector embraces and learns from digital solutions in the post-covid era.
For Gladstone, it is without question that while challenging, the covid-19 era has presented opportunity, but Claire Rollins, CEO of Gladstone, is keen to point out that their success has not happened overnight, nor do they take their responsibility lightly, to continue to invest to help future-proof the industry from future crises:
Rollins said: “Not everyone will know this, but Gladstone Go – the UK’s first true cloud-native leisure management consumer solution which we launched to market in April 2021 was four years in the making.
“We recognised long before covid-19 that the industry was lagging behind other industries from a digital transformation standpoint, and so we have been deliberate, and will continue to be, in investing at a level beyond that of our competitors in research and development.
“Covid-19 has inadvertently created opportunity, with the move to digital undoubtedly fast-tracked, but now isn’t the time to stand still where it has forced thinking, and we’re committed to being at the forefront of continued digital transformation.”
On that, Gladstone are projecting turnover of £18.5m by 2025 as it is predicted 90% of consumers will prefer to engage with leisure operators digitally in the next five years, and their long-term commitment to investment in research and development is arguably their greatest stimulus to achieve this.
Rollins comments: “While other suppliers have lifted old tech stacks into the cloud, to create ‘cloud enabled’ software solutions, our cloud-native solution has been developed for purpose. Elements such as efficiency, reliability and security are improved as a result, and it means long-term, we will be able to accelerate innovation at an unrivalled pace.”
That spells good news for UK and Ireland operators, as Gladstone will continue to pledge complete focus to the territories, as a step deemed necessary to most effectively service and drive the localised landscape forwards.
Rollins explains: “As an extension of our commitment to investing in the future of the sector, we’re committed to building the best possible team having in Q4 of 2022 brought on board a dedicated higher education manager, and most recently having welcomed Steve Scales, formerly of ukactive, as Chief Revenue Officer.
“Our unique UK and Ireland-centric approach is one of long-sightedness, focusing on innovative and scalable solutions which reduce friction from a consumer experience standpoint, and ultimately improve the relationship between operators and consumers.”