Freya Simms, the Chief Executive of LAPADA – the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers – recently reflected on the challenges of 2020 and her hopes for 2021.
Simms told the Antiques Trade Gazette that the restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic were very challenging for the antique trade. Dealers that have been successful in 2020 have adapted to the virtual world to attract customers through websites and social media.
The Chief Executive was encouraged to find that many customers were willing to spend substantial amounts on antiques they had not seen, and she expects this trend to continue in 2021.
Households locked down are spending less on entertainment and holidays. Instead, they are seeking ways to improve their homes. There is a trend to create ‘zones’ in the home, with dedicated home office, education and leisure zones. Homeowners are buying items like an antique desk, artwork or an antique sofa to improve the look and feel a particular zone.
The lockdowns have also meant that people can only socialise outside, and this has led to a boom in antiques suitable for placing outdoors.
Regarding the art and antiques industry, Simms said:
“The art market has proved itself to be resourceful and ingenious, quickly adapting business strategies to profit from.”
Restrictions should, hopefully, be lifted sometime in 2021. Until then, Lancashire antique dealers are still trading. You may not be able to walk into their shops unannounced, but you can see images and descriptions of their current stock online. Appointments can be made to purchase items you are interested in.
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