The 12th annual survey of the British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) shows the British trade was buoyant in 2000, with its highest ever annual turnover of £727 million or $1.1 billion. This was an increase over the previous year’s turnover of £703 million.
Sixty two percent of the 400 BADA dealers completed the survey, and all results were worked out on a percentage basis. While Greater London saw the highest increase in turnover it was a nation-wide phenomena with 47% of dealers in the North and 33% in Scotland reporting a higher turnover.
Overall 52% reported an increase in turnover while the comparable figure in 1999 was only 40%. Sales to overseas customers also increased. In 1998 these represented 56% of total sales and the figure has now risen to 63%. This was most pronounced in London and the South East where 68% of sales were for export. Outside London and the home counties, 74% of sales were still to British buyers.
Numbers exhibiting at overseas fairs also increased, from 21% to 23% and 70% of members exhibited at national antiques fairs. Over 52% of respondents sold more than £1 million a year and only 3% of London BADA dealers have a turnover of less than £100,000.
As is to be expected the amount of turnover varied considerably from region to region. Outside London and the South East, no members had a turnover in excess of £5 million, but there were dealers in the North and Midlands reporting turnover of between £2 and £5 million. Within Greater London, 52% of members had turnover exceeding £1 million, whereas the average for the membership as a whole is 33%.
However geographical location is not an important factor in the increase of turnover. More importantly, dealers are selling more at national fairs, sales of different categories of goods have grown at different rates irrespective of location and the quality and availability of goods are a major factor. If a dealer has the right goods he will be matched by the right buyer regardless of his location. When it comes to finding stock, 35% is bought at auction and 36% from other dealers.