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Lauritz.com - concept and profile

 

History
Lauritz.com is an international auction concept with its roots in Denmark.

In 1998, Lauritz.com's founder and owner Bengt Sundström purchased the small, traditional auction house Lauritz Christensen Auktioner, established in Copenhagen back in 1885. In December 1999, Sundström launched www.lauritz.com, making Lauritz.com the first auction house in the world to go over to purely online auctions. With his background in the traditional auction world with the Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen, Sundström's guiding vision was to put focus on the customer and take auctions from the physical saleroom and move them online.

In 2001, Mette Rode (now Sundström) was hired as COO and later in 2003 became CEO. She held this position until September 2017. Mette Rode Sundström was responsible for structuring the Lauritz.com concept, organizational development, communication and realization of Bengt Sundström's ambitious growth targets. Bengt Sundström and Mette Rode joined forces as a couple too in 2005, and today are married with two children together as well as Bengt Sundström’s daughter from earlier. They continue to play a major role at Lauritz.com and the Lauritz.com Group. Bengt Sundström as Chairman of the Board and Mette Rode Sundström as a very active member of the Board.

Business concept, vision and mission
Lauritz.com's business concept is to combine the best elements from the traditional auction world – expertise and viewing – with modern information technology and the reach and accessibility of the internet. In a friendly and welcoming manner, Lauritz.com strives to revolutionize the auction business internationally by removing the somewhat elitist air, democratizing the auction concept and engaging the modern consumer. It is Lauritz.com's vision to inspire everyone to sell and buy at auction.

The ultimate goal is to establish a Lauritz.com auction house in every country where there is an IKEA – understood in terms of the aim for accessibility and a close relationship with the customer. Lauritz.com's mission is to hold quality online auctions of art, design classics, antiques and collectibles. This is the framework within which we continually introduce new lot categories.

Turnover
Lauritz.com has become Northern Europe's largest auction house and is now among Europe's leading quality auctions. Turnover for the Lauritz.com group increased from EUR 2.7 million in 2000 to EUR 119 million in 2017.

Local auction houses
Lauritz.com has 27 auction houses located in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and Belgium. Sellers can consign their items with the specialists in the auction houses daily and buyers can view items for sale in the showrooms of the auction houses. All bidding takes place online*. All items are valued, described and photographed objectively by Lauritz.com's own specialists and photographers.

Assortment
The diverse assortment comprises everything from luxury flea market finds to costly international works of art and design, antiques and collectibles – from EUR 100 and up. These can be modern or older paintings, sculptures, furniture, lamps, carpets, ceramics, silver, designer electronics, jewellery and much more. In 2017 we had more than 305,000 sold lots both online and from physical auctions.

Customers
Lauritz.com's customer profile stretches from trendsetters to pensioners, students to top executives. The customer profile is diverse and determined by what people find interesting within the wide assortment. Customers can therefore be better grouped by their shared interests rather than by gender or age. Lauritz.com strives to create a universe that appeals to everyone, whatever their taste, budget or age. Customers come from over 200 countries, so the lots at auction are given global exposure. We have approx. 3.1 million registered customer numbers and approx. 5 million visits a month. Since its launch the app has been downloaded more than 510,000 times. Today around 50% of customers visit Lauritz.com from mobile devices.

*In 2014 Lauritz.com acquired Stockholms Auktionsverk (the world’s oldest auction house, from 1674), Helsingborgs Auktionsverk and Kunst- & Auktionshaus HERR. Today, all three companies sell items in online auctions, and Stockholms Auktionsverk and HERR continue to hold a number of physical catalogue auctions each year where bidding can take place both physically and online.