Christie’s reportedly planning layoffs in the UK

Christie’s is planning redundancies, senior figures have reportedly told the Financial Times, as the auction house’s main rival Sotheby’s prepares for dozens of layoffs as well.

“We constantly review our global resourcing needs to ensure we remain commercially resilient and adaptable,” a Christie’s spokesperson told The Art Newspaper in a statement.

Christie’s told FT in a statement that the auction house’s constant review of resources “can impact roles”. Christie’s has not begun a collective consultation process, often a legal obligation before layoffs in the UK. 

Last week, The Art Newspaper reported that Sotheby’s had entered a consultation period in anticipation of dozens of layoffs in the auction house’s London office. Around 50 people are expected to lose their jobs in London, four sources said. The New York and other European offices are expected to be affected by layoffs as well, but not as much as Sotheby’s UK locations, the sources said. Employees were informed at a staff meeting held in London.

In December, Christie’s projected a 26.1% decline in sales between 2022 and 2023. During the former year, the auction house had landed the Paul Allen collection, which brought more than $1.6bn (with fees) in a single sale.

Christie’s is also dealing with the fallout of last month’s cyber attack that crashed the auction house’s website for more than a week, including during spring marquee sales. A hacker group called RansomHub claimed responsibility for the attack and claims it has access to data on “at least 500,000” Christie’s customers. On Monday (3 June), one of those customers filed a class-action complaint claiming Christie’s failed to protect personal information.