Going, going, gone for growth

Posted on 6th December 2012

Thomas Watson Auctioneers and Valuers, the oldest auction house in North East England, has appointed its first business development manager and announced the launch of a new quarterly fine art & antiques auction and online bidding portal, as it sets its sights on growth. 

The 172 year old business, based at the Gallery Saleroom in Darlington’s Northumberland Street, has added to its seven-strong team with the appointment of David Elstob, who joined the company from a competitor auction house last week, having worked in the antiques field for more than ten years. 

Mr Elstob has been tasked with bringing Thomas Watson bang-up-to-date, with the launch of live bidding via the-saleroom.com and a specialist catalogue auction of fine art & antiques.

Mr Elstob believes that the demand is there for online and high value auctions, and expects that the business will see significant growth as a result of launching them later this year. 

He said: “Thomas Watson is an established saleroom, with a rich history and a strong reputation.  I am keen that we build upon this, but add to it a more progressive and up-to-date approach to business. 

“The aim is to grow the business – get bigger and bigger – and make sure that Thomas Watson is the name on peoples’ lips and the place they choose to come and buy their items.  I really believe that we offer something special - every client matters to us.  It’s a really exciting time to be joining the company and I am really excited to put changes in place that I am sure will help to further grow and enhance the image of Thomas Watson.”

Mr Elstob aims to have the new live bidding portal set-up in time for the next fortnightly auction on September 4.  The online bidding system will allow members of the public to submit real-time bids for items as they are presented live in the salesroom, opening up the auction to people from across the world.

He said: “Online bidding represents a significant opportunity for us to broaden our customer base and tap into customers from beyond the boundaries of Darlington and the Tees Valley.  It’s a big step forward for us, and one we believe will grow the business.

The launch of quarterly antiques auctions is another move that Mr Elstob will be overseeing, with plans to hold the first on Saturday, 13 October.

He said: “The art and antiques market is buoyant at the moment, despite the downturn, and we are in a strong position to capitalise on this.  We really do believe that by blending the good old-fashioned service we’re renowned for, with a modern approach to selling, we will be able to do just that.”

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