UPCOMING EVENTS

  • 07/22/17 - Les Beyer...   07/22/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   07/22/17 - Dotta Auction Company, inc....   07/22/17 - Enterline Auction Service...   07/22/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/22/17 - Leaman Auctions Ltd....   07/22/17 - Cabin Fever Auctions...   07/22/17 - Morphy Auctions...   07/22/17 - Probst Family Auctions...   07/22/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/21-22/17 - Larry Swartz...   07/22/17 - Crocker Farm...   07/22/17 - Michael P. & David Weaver...   07/22/17 - Kimberly Hemingway...   07/22/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   07/22/17 - Hess Conestoga Gallery...   07/23/17 - Morphy Auctions...   07/23/17 - American Antique Auctions...   07/23/17 - All Points Auction Company...   07/23/17 - Costea's Auction Gallery...   07/24/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/25/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/25/17 - Tom Hall Auctions, Inc....   07/26/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/26/17 - J. Pandur Auction Services, Inc....   07/26/17 - Embassy Auctions International...   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/27/17 - Hartzell's Auction Gallery, Inc....   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/28/17 - Tim Weaver Auction Service...   07/29/17 - John Carl Auction Company...   07/29/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/29/17 - Milestone Auctions Gallery...   07/29/17 - JR's Auctioneering...   07/29/17 - Keystone Auctions LLC...   07/30/17 - All Points Auction Company...   07/28-30/17 - Brumbach's Auctioneering Service...   07/30/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/31/17 - Toomey Auction Service, Inc....   08/01/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   08/02/17 - Fry's Auction, Inc....   08/02/17 - Wilson's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/03/17 - John Coker, Ltd....   08/04/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/04-05/17 - Brumbach's Auctioneering Service...   08/05/17 - Blums...   08/07/17 - Robert H. Clinton & Company, Inc....   07/28-08/8/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/10/17 - Barry S. Slosberg, Inc....   08/12/17 - Witman Auctioneers, Inc....   08/12/17 - Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers...   
  • 07/22/17 - Les Beyer...   07/22/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   07/22/17 - Dotta Auction Company, inc....   07/22/17 - Enterline Auction Service...   07/22/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/22/17 - Leaman Auctions Ltd....   07/22/17 - Cabin Fever Auctions...   07/22/17 - Morphy Auctions...   07/22/17 - Probst Family Auctions...   07/22/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/21-22/17 - Larry Swartz...   07/22/17 - Crocker Farm...   07/22/17 - Michael P. & David Weaver...   07/22/17 - Kimberly Hemingway...   07/22/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   07/22/17 - Hess Conestoga Gallery...   07/23/17 - Morphy Auctions...   07/23/17 - American Antique Auctions...   07/23/17 - All Points Auction Company...   07/23/17 - Costea's Auction Gallery...   07/24/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/25/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/25/17 - Tom Hall Auctions, Inc....   07/26/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/26/17 - J. Pandur Auction Services, Inc....   07/26/17 - Embassy Auctions International...   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/27/17 - Hartzell's Auction Gallery, Inc....   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/28/17 - Tim Weaver Auction Service...   07/29/17 - John Carl Auction Company...   07/29/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/29/17 - Milestone Auctions Gallery...   07/29/17 - JR's Auctioneering...   07/29/17 - Keystone Auctions LLC...   07/30/17 - All Points Auction Company...   07/28-30/17 - Brumbach's Auctioneering Service...   07/30/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/31/17 - Toomey Auction Service, Inc....   08/01/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   08/02/17 - Fry's Auction, Inc....   08/02/17 - Wilson's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/03/17 - John Coker, Ltd....   08/04/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/04-05/17 - Brumbach's Auctioneering Service...   08/05/17 - Blums...   08/07/17 - Robert H. Clinton & Company, Inc....   07/28-08/8/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/10/17 - Barry S. Slosberg, Inc....   08/12/17 - Witman Auctioneers, Inc....   08/12/17 - Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers...   
  • 07/22/17 - Les Beyer...   07/22/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   07/22/17 - Dotta Auction Company, inc....   07/22/17 - Enterline Auction Service...   07/22/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/22/17 - Leaman Auctions Ltd....   07/22/17 - Cabin Fever Auctions...   07/22/17 - Morphy Auctions...   07/22/17 - Probst Family Auctions...   07/22/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/21-22/17 - Larry Swartz...   07/22/17 - Crocker Farm...   07/22/17 - Michael P. & David Weaver...   07/22/17 - Kimberly Hemingway...   07/22/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   07/22/17 - Hess Conestoga Gallery...   07/23/17 - Morphy Auctions...   07/23/17 - American Antique Auctions...   07/23/17 - All Points Auction Company...   07/23/17 - Costea's Auction Gallery...   07/24/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/25/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/25/17 - Tom Hall Auctions, Inc....   07/26/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/26/17 - J. Pandur Auction Services, Inc....   07/26/17 - Embassy Auctions International...   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/27/17 - Hartzell's Auction Gallery, Inc....   07/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/28/17 - Tim Weaver Auction Service...   07/29/17 - John Carl Auction Company...   07/29/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/29/17 - Milestone Auctions Gallery...   07/29/17 - JR's Auctioneering...   07/29/17 - Keystone Auctions LLC...   07/30/17 - All Points Auction Company...   07/28-30/17 - Brumbach's Auctioneering Service...   07/30/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/31/17 - Toomey Auction Service, Inc....   08/01/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   08/02/17 - Fry's Auction, Inc....   08/02/17 - Wilson's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/03/17 - John Coker, Ltd....   08/04/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/04-05/17 - Brumbach's Auctioneering Service...   08/05/17 - Blums...   08/07/17 - Robert H. Clinton & Company, Inc....   07/28-08/8/17 - Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   08/10/17 - Barry S. Slosberg, Inc....   08/12/17 - Witman Auctioneers, Inc....   08/12/17 - Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers...   
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It's Out With The Old And In With The New For U.K. High Street Antique Shops
It's Out With The Old And In With The New For U.K. High Street Antique Shops

July 14, 2017

It's Out With The Old And In With The New For U.K. High Street Antique Shops

By David Jinks

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ParcelHero’s new report on the impact of home deliveries on United Kingdom brick and mortar stores, “2030: The Death of the High Street” reveals that e-commerce will have captured 40 percent of the overall retail market in less than 15 years’ time. The antiques trade has been far from immune from the continued growth of online auctions and marketplace traders – although it is arguably one of the retail sectors that has had to adapt the swiftest to the arrival of new e-commerce technology. From the local antique shop to Christie’s South Kensington auction room, the impact of the internet has taken a heavy toll.
Back in 1984, Lovejoy was soon to turn everyone into an armchair “expert,” and the antiques industry was enjoying boom times in the United Kingdom, thanks to the fad for period-style rooms. Who would have believed that, in the same year, a 72-year-old named Mrs. Snowball, buying some groceries from her local Gateshead Tesco online, would sow the seeds for the complete shakeup of the thriving antique shop and auction house market scene. But, Mrs. Snowball’s groceries were the world’s first e-commerce sale, and the new technology would soon be shaking up the world of retail, and antiques and collectables in particular.
Back in the 1980s, the trade was dominated by High Street antique shops and local auctions. The clever dealer who had the right connections and could drive to estates their customer didn’t know about was able to command high prices. Indeed, the antiques profession was very much driven by location; antiques on sale in fashionable and chic areas commanded considerably more money than in less wealthy areas, reflecting the number and spending power of local collectors and tourists to the area.
The arrival of the internet broke down such geographical barriers, which had both a positive and a negative impact on traders. The internet increased the number of potential customers greatly, no longer were buyers limited to those who actually visited the shop or auction, yet drove down many prices by increasing the easy availability of items that may have been locally scarce.
So what impact has the arrival of the online marketplace, eBay, or sites such as invaluable.co.uk, which links to live auctions, had on the antiques industry and overall has their arrival been a boon or a curse?
It seems at the moment that the High Street’s future is turning into a cul-de-sac. The planned changes to Business Rates threaten many High Street retailers with significant rate rises just as they are battling to take on online retailers. The cap of £50 per month for this year for businesses coming out of Small Business Rate Relief is welcome, but what happens to those businesses in two years’ time?
And antique dealers with large premises face a second challenge - changing customer tastes mean they may be stuck with large amounts of stock and slow turnover thanks to the decline in demand for “brown” furniture. The most recent figures from the Antique Collectors’ Club reveal Victorian and Edwardian furniture have lost more than two-thirds of their value since 2003, while Georgian and Regency period furniture is worth 30 percent less than 10 years ago. That means there is a lot of unsold stock clogging up High Street premises at a time when it has never been so expensive to maintain large properties.
In contrast, mass-produced smaller 1950s and ’60’s furniture – more likely to be sold online through the likes of eBay, Etsy or even Gumtree than in a traditional High Street antique store - is enjoying something of a boom, due in part to the craze for chic created by “Mad Men” and other still-popular period series and movies.
The same holds true for auction houses. Who would have predicted back in 1984 that Christie’s historic South Kensington salesroom would be closing in 2017? Last year, Christie’s held 118 online sales, far outnumbering the 56 traditional auctions. Even the flagship Picasso ceramics sale moved online. Back in the 1990s, when I was a regular visitor to Hugo Marsh’s toy collectables division at Christie’s, the South Ken buildings were a treasure trove, groaning at the seams with everything from Old Masters to 18th century sedan chairs.
Traditional antiques stores have been similarly impacted. Things started to come to a head following the recession of 2008. To take just one example, Stow in the Wold, once the very epitome of an antiques destination, lost 20 antique shops in the five years leading up to 2010 alone – driven out by increasing rents and sluggish sales of Georgian and Victorian dining and bedroom furniture. It’s a trend that shows little sign of slowing.
The United Kingdom scene is remarkably similar to the U.S. collectables market: where low-end and high-end items continue to sell, but mid-price items are not budging in antique stores. For example, the small town of Hastings in Michigan has lost six antique shops within a few years. Many antique store owners on both sides of the Atlantic have given up on High Street fronts, instead pooling together in less central, cheaper antiques centers, or dispensing with stores altogether.
Yet in the U.S., like the U.K., online antiques stores are thriving. The market is growing by 3.5 percent currently. Key to success in this busy market is having a diverse range of customers and the ability to quickly adopt new technology. Of course, internet technology can also be a boon for brick and mortar antiques stores. The right product on their website or online marketplace store will sell as rapidly as on any other traders site - it is the overheads that are the issue.
Surviving auction houses have enthusiastically embraced sites such as invaluable.co.uk, which can live stream the auction as it happens. And embracing the philosophy, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, many brick and mortar shops also have an eBay presence.
So can the High Street antique store survive the collapse of town center shopping? Those stores with a multichannel approach to sales, positioned in towns that are on the tourist trail and unencumbered with large premises full of heavy, unfashionable furniture do look to have a future. But it means embracing the e-commerce revolution, maintaining their own online site, having an eBay strategy and keeping a flexible approach to changing fashions.

About ParcelHero
ParcelHero is an online parcel broker with extensive experience shipping sensitive items such as antique coins and fashion items.

About the author
David Jinks MILT is the Head of Consumer Research at ParcelHero and lead author of the report “2030: Death of the High Street.” He was previously publisher of logistics and transport focus and has been editor of numerous collecting titles such as “Model Price Guide,” “Model Collector,” “Coins Market Values” and “Area 51: Sci Fi Collecting.”

For more information, visit www.parcelhero.com.