Record sales for auction house due to number of firms going bust due to coronavirus crisis

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An online auction house has reported a massive rise in sales as a result of the high number of firms going out of business due to the coronavirus crisis.

John Pye Auctions, which is based in Nottingham, said it has recorded its highest auction figures in its 52-year history, with sales up by 79% compared to pre-lockdown

The company, which also has sites in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, South Wales and Scotland, said it had seen “unprecedented” levels of liquidations with corporate insolvencies, product returns and failed deliveries, from the biggest names in e-commerce and high street retail to millionaire bankruptcies.

In the last two months the firm has cleared out more than 240 retail stores across the UK, after being appointed exclusive agents by the administrators of Caversham Finance Limited (trading as BrightHouse) to value, clear, transport, securely store, data wipe, process, market and sell more than 22,000 asset and stock items.

The online auction house has also seen a 94% increase in bidders per auction lot, with new bidder registrations up by 34% as shoppers look for a bargain.

John Pye has been selling off a range of items and assets from businesses who have fallen victim to the coronavirus crisis

Adam Pye, managing director at John Pye, said: “This is the sixth recession John Pye has supported clients through.

“We had thought the great recession of 2008 was the deepest, but this is proving to be bigger.

“Locking down a whole economy for the best part of three months has had a huge effect on restructuring and insolvencies.

“We have been inundated with client requests for support. Fortunately, we have a more robust infrastructure to be able to cope compared to last time around, as our network now spans the UK with almost one million square foot to handle the inflows.

John Pye was appointed to clear and sell off items at BrightHouse stores across the country

“It’s bitter-sweet as some of our long-standing regular retail clients have gone into administration, such as BrightHouse.

“However, it’s a sad fact of business and economic cycles. It is tough now, but we always see the phoenix from the flames rising from the ashes; new entrepreneurs, businesses and innovations are born from these situations, which breathe life into the economy.

“After all, small to medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the economy.

“The fall out of times like these and the stock and asset auction sales like ours are a huge opportunity for such fledging businesses, as well as end-user bargain hunters looking for best value.”

Inside John Pye's Staffordshire site in Marchington
Inside John Pye’s Staffordshire site in Marchington

Once John Pye has taken the stock, it enters one of it sites across the UK, where it is checked, processed, and uploaded to the firm’s online platform ready for bidding.

The online auction house has sold 230,000 lots during lockdown, with 94,600 in June alone.

Among the top items bid on during lockdown include a Rolex Sky Dweller and a Hitachi hydraulic excavator.

Adam said: “As an online auction house we were well placed to weather lockdown.

“Our showrooms had to close for three months. However, it gave us time to liaise with clients and hit the ground running once measures were eased, which has clearly payed off.”


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