Gravity Active Entertainment is the UK’s biggest name in active entertainment and provides experience-led leisure in settings that department stores and retail behemoths once dominated. RLI spends some time with Harvey Jenkinson, Co-Founder and CEO and Michael Harrison, Co-Founder and CGO to discuss how the company has evolved since 2015 and how they are looking to change the high street.
Founded in 2014 by Harvey Jenkinson, Michael Harrison and Simon Whicker, Gravity provides safe and exciting family fun on a mass scale. Recognising a gap in the market, the founders brought the first Gravity park to the market in 2015 and have since remained committed to their values, and built a strong brand that reflects their desire to create high-quality leisure experiences for all ages.
“We have consistently grown as a business and have now diversified into 30 different product offerings with everything from crazy golf to climbing walls and E-sports, as well as F&B,” explains Harvey Jenkinson, Co-Founder and CEO of Gravity Active Entertainment. “While trampoline parks are still the core of the business, we see ourselves now as the leading active entertainment company in the UK and we are looking to innovate the leisure sector.”
The company currently operates 16 sites in the UK, with two more under construction, one site in the Middle East and are about to launch for the first time in Europe with a park in Leipzig, Germany. Last month saw the launch of their most ambitious site yet in Wandsworth which has brought the first ever e-karting track to a high street environment, as well as incorporating bowling, crazy golf, digital darts, bars, restaurants and e-gaming into one exceptional location.
The venue will be a family-focused one during the day, with live music and a high-end cocktail bar designed to attract a younger crowd in the evening until closing time. The aim of the site is to bring together children, friends and work colleagues through interactive fun.
Jenkinson feels the business has emerged stronger from the pandemic, during the crisis they opened two new sites, increased employment and maintained the backing for the newly opened Wandsworth location, and they are well positioned to take advantage of the changing high street.
“We have always been strategic about the locations we choose, this is now even more key to our strategy for the coming months. We are in talks with landlords across the UK to find out what offering we could provide to fill space that they are struggling to let with many retailers closing and this represents an exciting time for our business,” says Michael Harrison, CGO of Gravity Active Entertainment.
The brand will continue to look for growth, they are not a ‘one size fits all’ approach and so they like to see what would work dependent on geography, local population and local entertainment offerings.
While they are looking to expand even more on a global scale, particularly in Europe and the Middle East, Jenkinson feels they still have a lot to deliver in the UK. He goes on to say that some of the products Gravity are launching are the first of their kind, bringing technology to a sector that has not really progressed in the last decade and he feels this could put the country on the map as one of the most innovative leisure places in the world.
At the core of Gravity’s offering is good customer service and a high quality experience. People who visit one of the sites will get everything from friendly employees to high quality products and access to a range of food and drink.
“From the moment they enter they are looked after and I feel this is how you create customer loyalty,” Jenkinson highlights. “I also think that through our innovation, and being at the forefront of changes in the sector make us stand out for customers who want to try something different,” says Jenkinson.
On the subject of social media, Harvey explains that the community is at the heart of everything they do and that the brand strongly believes that if the content they produce does not resonate closely with their audience then it is not worth producing at all.
“We are an energetic brand and we deliver that through the social media channels, whilst influencers play a key role in our product delivery Gravity Active Entertainment itself is an influential piece of the retail industry,” explains Harrison. Experience, insight, a strategic approach and hard work are the keys behind the success the company has enjoyed to date, and Harvey feels that through the combined efforts of himself, Harvey and Simon and the separate strengths they each brought to the business at the outset, they are now in a strong position to keep themselves at the forefront of leisure trends.
“As we look to the future, we are aiming to achieve continued growth, to establish the Gravity brand as the go-to for active entertainment. We will look to fundraise next year and we have recently appointed a new Chair, Vanessa Hall, who will be integral in our next stage as a business and we are delighted to have her on board,” Jenkinson explains.
“We are really excited about where leisure is at the moment, and see the UK as having a great opportunity at the moment to lead the way in terms of leisure offerings and we hope Gravity can be at the forefront of this growth and development,” Harrison concludes.