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Companies in this industry display and sell original and limited-edition works of art. Two of the world's leading auction houses that handle art are Christie's (based in the UK) and Sotheby's (US). Other major establishments include Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Austria), Gerald Peters Gallery (US), Poly International (China), and the Saatchi Gallery (the UK).
Global sales of art and antiques totaled a record 51.2 billion euros in 2014, up 7% from the year before, according to The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). (Because of changes in exchange rates, total sales expressed in terms of dollars were higher in 2014 than they were in 2013.) Major markets for art dealers and auctions include the US, China, and the UK. The US accounted for 39% of global sales in 2014, followed by China and the UK (22% each). The maturing economy of China has quickly elevated that country to a leading role in the fine art world.
The US art dealers and galleries industry includes about 5,000 establishments (single-location companies or units of multi-location companies). Annual revenue for the industry is about $20 billion, according to TEFAF.
Consumer spending, interest in alternative financial investments, and home decorating trends drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective merchandising and marketing. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering unique products, providing superior customer ...
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