The plummeting art, auction and collectible roll-up Stanley Gibbons has revealed some of the huge risks involved in trying to revamp art and antiques businesses for the digital and mobile marketplace.
In an interview with the company’s new Chairman, ATG learns that the team rolling up these various businesses had done little to integrate or rationalize them. What’s worse, in their haste to move the businesses “online,” the company piled up huge losses of £29m.
Worse still, a scheme to put a floor under stamp prices has left the company with a potential liability of £64m:
The biggest single cost to the group was the “ill-conceived, badly managed” launch of online auction platform The Marketplace. The project, which swallowed over £10m across three years of development, was closed in September as it was no longer deemed “economically viable”.
Ill conceived and badly managed new Stanley Gibbons boss savages old regime (The Antiques Trade Gazette)