Bo'ness auction house records its best month in 52 year history

Online auction house John Pye Auctions has recorded its highest auction figures in its 52-year history, with a 79 per sales increase compared to pre-lockdown, after handling some of the biggest cases in the fall out from Covid-19.
Adam Pye, managing director at John Pye AuctionsAdam Pye, managing director at John Pye Auctions
Adam Pye, managing director at John Pye Auctions

John Pye, which has a base in Bo’ness, has seen unprecedented liquidations with corporate insolvencies, product returns and failed deliveries from the biggest names in e-commerce and high street retail.

In the last two months the firm has cleared out more than 240 retail stores 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.

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The firm has seen a 94 per cent increase in bidders per auction lot with new bidder registrations up by 34 per cent.

Adam Pye, managing director, 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.

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"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.

"We have never been busier in our 52-year-history.“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.”

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The online auction house has sold 229,916 lots during lockdown, with 94,600 in June alone.

The top items bid on during lockdown include a variety of items from a Rolex Sky Dweller to a Hitachi hydraulic excavator.

Adam added: “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.“During this period, we have also held three charity auctions during lockdown, raising more than £70,000 for charities and organisations across the UK to help support those that need it most during this difficult time.”

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