Christie’s Closes Regional Offices, Boosts Investment in Southern California

The shift comes amid an uncertain market.

The Christie's logo is displayed over the entrance of the auction house July 13, 2001 on Old Brompton Street in London, England.
Photo by Sion Touhig/Getty Images.

It’s no secret that major auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s have recently been going through major changes, with both houses under new management and trying to figure out how to maximize profitability amid a pullback in the global art market.

Christie’s plans to close three of its regional offices—in Boston, Palm Beach, and Philadelphia—and clients from those regions will now be served from New York, according to Bloomberg. While these cities are hardly major business hubs for the auction house, the move nonetheless reflects ongoing attempts to increase efficiency amid pressured profit margins and intense competition.

A spokesperson from Christie’s notes in a statement that the house wants to “ensure proper alignment” and “optimize…engagement” with its clients. The result will be a focus on “a new Christie’s branded space in Beverly Hills to service Southern California” while a “regional office in Miami will continue to provide best in class service to our clients in the Southeast region and South America.” This means there will be eight offices nationwide, after the three spaces in Boston, Palm Beach, and Philadelphia are shuttered.

This past January, Christie’s reported a five percent decline in global sales, a statistic that was surprising given a year that saw record prices and new market highs for blue-chip artists including Amedeo Modigliani ($170.4 million) and Pablo Picasso ($179.4 million).

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