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From Home Furnishing Business

Sotheby’s Expands E-Commerce Program, Acquires Viyet

Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) has announced the acquisition of interior design online marketplace Viyet to strengthen their position in the market for vintage and antique furniture, and decorative objects and accessories.

The acquisition will help advance strategic priorities for Sotheby’s including growing sales at a more accessible price point, the company said.

Launched in 2013, Viyet serves private individuals and the trade in the U.S. through its New York headquarters and a growing network of "curators" in 13 markets around the country.

Viyet’s business model complements Sotheby’s existing suite of high-end auction and private sale services, providing clients with fixed price opportunities in consignment services for pre-owned luxury designer furniture, vintage, and antique home goods. For consignors, Viyet offers a full-service solution encompassing all steps of the selling process.

"Sotheby's is the perfect partner to help take Viyet to the next level.  We are thrilled to introduce Sotheby's exceptional product assortment to our audience of savvy design buyers, as well as to align ourselves with the trust and design authority of the Sotheby's brand," said Viyet's CEO Elizabeth Brown.

The model offers buyers and sellers the opportunity to transact immediately, rather than wait for an upcoming auction. It also provides Sotheby’s a low-touch model to handle more moderately priced items.

The site generally offers items priced at $5,000 and below, although some have sold for as much as $100,000.

The Viyet team, led by Brown, will join Sotheby's while maintaining their brand and business operation. They will report to John Auerbach, general manager of Sotheby's North American Art & Objects Division.

"Our collectors buy across category and price point, and Viyet reflects how they shape and refine their everyday environments,” said Auerbach.

“Across all of Sotheby's businesses, our goal is to maximize value by matching property with the best possible audience of buyers. Alongside Sotheby's successful auction and private sale platforms, Viyet provides yet another venue for the sale of furniture and decorative objects.”

Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO said, "Sotheby's has centuries of experience and tremendous expertise, and Viyet is a digitally-native brand that knows how to leverage technology to serve today's consumers."

Smith added, "And together we share a passion for client service at the highest level. We are delighted to have Elizabeth and her team on board and look forward to broadening the range of property we handle as well as expanding the services we can offer to existing and new clients."

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