Scott Reyburn of the New York Times writes that Christie’s will be reducing its operations in Amsterdam and closing its salesroom in the South Kensington area of London at the end of 2017. These changes could bring about layoffs for 250 of the auction house’s employees, or 12 percent of its total workforce. Guillaume Cerutti, Christie’s chief exective, said, “The art market is fast-evolving. We have been looking at the globalization of the market in the last decade and need to be present and strong where the clients are.”
Most of those clients are now centered in the United States—where the auction house is based—and Asia. In 2016, 39 percent of Christie’s new buyers came from the the US, while 19 percent were from Asia. Christie’s opened flagship exhibition spaces and offices in Beijing and Shanghai in 2016 and 2013; another showroom is scheduled to open in Los Angeles sometime next month. Many new clients are coming to Christie’s via the internet as well, since the auction house has expanded its number of online-only auctions for less valuable objects and works.