Auctionata Realigns New York Staff Following Launch Phase
Online art and collectibles seller Auctionata has laid off a significant number of its New York staff, possibly more than half of them, artnet News has learned.
The company describes the change as a “realignment” following the completion of the launch phase, one year ago, in the US market.
“Establishing full-scale operations in New York in less than a year required a tremendous effort by a large cadre of employees, some of whose functions related solely to the launch. Going forward, Auctionata is taking full advantage of its unique technological business model to operate with great efficiency,” Joseph Stasko, COO of Auctionata, said in a phone call.
Stasko said Auctionata will look to make savings in areas like media buying, the logistics of negotiating contracts and streamlining specialist departments. He added that, as part of the realignment, Auctionata is planning gradual staff expansion over the balance of 2015 and into the future.
“We want to focus on where our strengths are,” he said. “This includes organizing fewer sales in focused categories and growing those categories over time. Auctionata wants to improve client service and the quality of property it sells at a pace that makes sense for it. The company will continue to sell items including prints, watches, and Asian art as well as specialty sales when appropriate.” (see Meteorites and Fossils At Out of This World Auctionata Sale and Auctionata Wants To Make You A Television Art Star).
The cutbacks in staff at the New York office come less than a month after similar staff cutbacks in Berlin, Auctionata’s headquarters. Even so, growth continues at the company at a rapid pace both in New York and globally, fueled by the $45 million in new capital raised this month (see Auctionata Raises $45 Million and Lays Off 30 Percent of Berlin Staff).
Though the company did not release exact figures about the layoffs or the size of its staff, the number of staffers laid off in the New York office is believed to represent possibly as many as two-thirds of the entire workforce.
Auctionata plans to continue holding live auctions in New York and is keeping its offices in the Fuller Building. Meantime the renovation of a Chelsea studio space and separate office facilities, also in Chelsea, is ongoing. Stasko says they hope to occupy the new facilities by the end of summer.
This evening, April 22, Auctionata is holding a live streaming sale, “CHRONO24 Sales”, at 6PM, which consists only of Patek Philippe and Rolex watches, followed by “Modern and Vintage Timepieces” at 7:30PM.
Among the offerings of the first sale are Rolex Ref. 2508 ‘Antimagnetic’ Chronograph from Switzerland (circa 1930), which is estimated at $22,000, and a Patek Philippe, Ref. 96 Calatrava, Switzerland (circa 1943), with a starting price of $9,000. For more information visit auctionata.com.
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