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Brief Published: 25 May 2021

Sotheby’s NYC Store Gives Shoppers Instant, Curated Luxury

Sotheby's The Emporium

Esteemed Anglo-American auction house Sotheby’s has given New Yorkers instant access to a curation of highly desirable luxury goods by launching a brick-and-mortar store called The Emporium. The space is the offline equivalent of its Buy Now online marketplace, which has won the auction house a new customer type: 68% of Buy Now shoppers have been first-time Sotheby’s shoppers.

The Emporium is a curated selection of the 5,000+ luxury items including cars, sneakers, watches, artworks, handbags and even first edition novels listed on the Buy Now platform. Judging by the new customer cohort attracted by the online offer, The Emporium should attract a new type of consumer who may previously have shopped at luxury resellers like The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective. Its inclusion of entry-level luxury goods (such as sneakers) should also appeal to next-gen Sotheby’s clients - a pair of Nike Road Runners is on sale for $1,500.

The space, which occupies the basement of Sotheby’s Upper East Side auction house, is purposely minimalist to highlight the objects it houses to greater effect. Concrete pillars and floors along with white walls and spotlights recall a typical modern art gallery.

To attract further foot traffic, it will showcase high-profile releases and the auction house’s collaborations with leading brands. It is currently showcasing artisan objects including woven bags and Galician ceramic chestnut roasters from its partnership with Spanish fashion house Loewe.

The Emporium will be curated by a different luxury industry tastemaker each month. First up is American makeup artist and cosmetics entrepreneur Gucci Westman, whose clean beauty brand Westman Atelier counts A-list actresses Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow (both American) as clients.

For more shifts in luxury retail, see Gateways to Luxe, Recalibrating Jewellery Retail: New Luxury Opportunities and The Brief.