Christie’s, as an auction house, has a history of over 250 years and has established itself as a leader in its field. They have crossed another milestone by organizing an online wine sale. The online bidders have become increasingly crucial to the success of major auctions and so Christie’s have devised Signature Cellars, their first online-exclusive sale of fine and rare wines. It was an unqualified success as the sales totaled $819,715. Steven P. Murphy, CEO of Christie’s was delighted by the response particularly of the private collectors who are now more than willing to purchase wine online. The luxury industry has been increasingly using the online medium to reach a wider audience to increase their sales and customer base.
25% of the Bidders Were New to Christie’s
Steven P. Murphy confirmed that the online-only sale attracted buyers who were completely new to Christie’s. 25% of the registrants for the sale had never dealt with Christie’s earlier. The auction house has planned a series of online-only auctions that will run in addition to the live auctions that run in the sales rooms. Signature Cellars was a two week auction and all activities surrounding the sale were conducted exclusively online. Its success has given Christie’s the confidence to go ahead and plan big for creating online sales as a separate platform that would contribute significantly to its total sales.
Christie’s Signature Cellars will Open on October 16
Christie’s had earlier done two pilots for online only sales by organizing two events for The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor and a spring charity auction of handbags by Hermès. The response to these online events was better than expected. Their CEO now sees e-Commerce as a key part of Christie’s growth strategy. They will be adding more categories to increase the range of online offerings. The Signature Cellars saw a total of 440 registrants worldwide who kept bidding ferociously till the end to defend their chosen lots. The result was that the prices remained strong throughout the sales. Domaine Tempier, Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate which have achieved cult status and are difficult to source witnessed frenzied bidding. 88% of the lots were sold and the highest bid went to a dozen bottles of 1982 Château Lafite-Rothschild that sold for $42,350. Christie’s Signature Cellars will be back with their second edition for which the bidding will start on October 16 later this year.