Stage manufacturer swaps events for e-commerce to stay afloat

Sydney company Stagekings has made a swift pivot in its core business model to stay afloat in the coronavirus downturn.

Stagekings is used to manufacturing large scale pop-up stages for the likes of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Commonwealth Games. But the ban on gatherings and events forced the company to switch to designing, manufacturing and selling “isolation” office furniture, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“The no public gathering edict ruled out about 95 per cent of what we do,” managing director Jeremy Fleming told The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Melbourne Grand Prix was the first big event on their books to cancel. All their other forward bookings then followed suit, with $2.5 million worth of business wiped out in 48 hours, forcing it to lay off its 23 full-time staff.

Fleming then decided to put the company’s large computer cutter to another use rather than let it stand idle.

“So we have decided to produce work-from-home desks – let’s call them isolation desks,” he wrote on the company’s website.

The company set up a new ecommerce site, and within a little more than seven days had sold, packaged and delivered more than 1100 units, including desks and acrylic screen guards.

The move allowed the company to re-employ its old staff, and another 10 or so people from the entertainment and events industry.