Business is best if you are at the top of the tree, according to the latest survey published by the British Antique Dealers’ Association.
Just published, the survey reveals a number
of trends, headlined by the news that growth in the past year has
been at its highest, on average, among BADA members who turn over
more than £2m a year.
That is against an overall drop in the
estimated turnover across all members, down from £855m ($1.4bn) to
£822m ($1.2bn) over the period.
BADA tend to get a very clear picture of
what is going on via these surveys as they are answered by a high
percentage of members; in this case 53%.
The growing importance of the internet for
trade continues, with 60% of members displaying stock via a portal
site, 63% of members making sales via the web and around 9% of
transactions taking place online. Sales initiated via the internet,
even if completed offline, now account for £18m of business
Changing market demand reflects the varying
fortunes across disciplines: Asian works of art, which saw the
highest increase in sales at 7% in 2011, have seen a more modest
rise of 1% in the past year as the market has softened a
Fairs still account for 28% of all sales,
down a single percentage point on 2011, a timely reminder of just
how important this platform is for trade as London hits the height
of its busiest fairs season.
Meanwhile sales overseas dominate trade in
the south of the country, with 55% of all sales being to customers
in other countries compared to only 31% for members elsewhere. The
total proportion of sales overseas remained steady at 52%, with the
US still the most important destination, accounting for a quarter
of all sales.
"Analysis of the results showed that smaller
dealers are the ones who have found things to be toughest," said
BADA secretary general Mark Dodgson. "At the same time, those
members who have the resources to take the higher-risk,
higher-reward approach of targeting international clients, for
example at fairs, have done some good business."