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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 art market sales totaled $63.8 billion in 2015, a decline of 7% versus the prior year, according to the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). Major markets for art dealers and auctions include the US, the UK, and China. The US accounted for 43% of global sales in 2015, followed by the UK (21%), and China (19%). 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 service, or serving a local market. The industry is fragmented: the top 50 US companies generate about 40% of revenue.
Art dealers compete with a wide ...
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