Sotheby’s — which has broadened its reach to include more fashion items targeting younger bidders —posted $7.9 billion in 2023 consolidated sales, a slight dip from 2022, when sales were $8 billion.
Along with masterpieces and high value lots in its core auction and private sales businesses, Sotheby’s saw a boost of $2.5 billion in consolidated luxury sales, surpassing the $2 billion mark for the second consecutive year.
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Single-owner auctions contributed to about $1.3 billion in sales, up 24 percent from 2022. The total number of bidders in 2023 was a record high, with 11 percent more than in 2022. Asia remains a key expansion area, and brought in more than $1 billion in sales for the third consecutive year.
“Over the past three years, Sotheby’s has embarked on a transformative journey to grow our presence in the high-end luxury market. The launch of new collecting categories, combined with digital and on-the-ground experiences have dramatically expanded Sotheby’s audience to a new and younger demographic of collectors,” said Josh Pullan, global head of high-end luxury for Sotheby’s.
Looking ahead, Sotheby’s will have a presence at ModaMiami, and it is planning the first cross-category sale of cars and watches in Dubai this March.
During the year, Sotheby’s rolled out 515 auctions from 55 departments in 10 locations around the world. The auction house has eight new locations and new categories, including classic cars through RM Sotheby’s. Watches and wine spirits have been strong performers too.
Sotheby’s is bringing in more Gen X and Millennial bidders, the group said. Gen X accounts for more than 40 percent of bidders in the $1 million-plus market, and Gen X and Millennials are keen and active in newly established categories and high-profile heritage sales.
In announcing its results, the company singled out the opening of The Sotheby’s Salon, its first ultra-luxury retail destination, located at Bucherer’s flagship store in Zurich. A second Salon also opened in London, and additional ones are planned for Paris, Hong Kong and New York.
Sotheby’s also launched Sotheby’s Sealed, for luxury sales, a digital platform that combines the discretion of a private sale with the bidding of an auction. The house also linked a multiyear partnership with the National Basketball Association that gives fans access to purchase a wide-range of game-worn NBA memorabilia.
In addition, Sotheby’s Financial Services, which provides lending options for clients using art and collectibles as collateral, wrapped up last year with 30 percent growth and its highest portfolio balance. SFS is the largest non-bank lender in its categories and added lending against collector cars last year.
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