Acker Merrall Crushes Competition In The First Half of 2015, Nearly 50% Larger Than Any Other Wine Auction House In The World, #1 Firm In Both The US and Hong Kong
Jun 29, 2015, 08:05 ET
HONG KONG, June 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Acker Merrall & Condit finished the first six months of 2015 as the world's largest wine auction firm, and nearly 50% larger than its nearest competitor. This is an impressive margin in any business, made more so by Acker Merrall's new innovations in what is traditionally a staid industry. The development of a new format, 'Connoisseur's Club' live auction in Hong Kong, simulcasts in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, the unveiling of a new and constantly improving mobile App, and also monthly internet-only auctions in Hong Kong were some of the newest ventures for America's oldest wine shop. Accordingly, Acker Merrall closed the first half of the 2015 wine auction season with over US$40 million in revenue, setting 750 new world records, of which more than two-thirds were Burgundy.
"What being #1 again in both the U.S. and Hong Kong markets really means is that the World's Top Collectors continue to choose Acker Merrall," commented Acker Merrall Chairman John Kapon. "No one has a better selection of the world's finest and rarest wines on a monthly basis, and no one works harder for their clients. We work hard, and we play hard, too. We are wine lovers first and foremost, and we are very grateful to share our love with the most passionate collectors around the world, a world that continues to grow with each new day."
Greater China Still Spending the Most, Gap Closing
Collectors from Greater China (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Mainland China) accounted for over 48% of all global sales as their appetite for the greatest wines remains strong. However, American collectors snapped up 61% of all lots and accounted for more than 45% of dollars, a noticeable closing of last year's larger gap. "The internet auction business skews the data a bit when it comes to the number of lots, since that business is much more developed in America, and since we just started them here in Hong Kong," observed Kapon. "But it does show that America is buying more A to Z, collecting more wines and getting stronger in general. It also shows how much potential remains in the Far East. China is still really in its development stages yet continues to spend the most money. With four new live auctions and monthly internet auctions added this year in Hong Kong, along with simulcasts in three new major (and thirsty) cities, Greater China remains an exciting and critically important market." Brazil has become a more significant part of the New York auction scene with over 5% of sales there, but it had little impact in Asia.
Burgundy Continues to Lead the Market
The world is changing but some things remain the same – collectors want the greatest vineyards and winemakers from Burgundy in their cellars. Over 45% of all sales were Burgundy wines compared to just under 30% for Bordeaux, and over 90% of each of these categories was red wine. Two producers, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and Henri Jayer, dominated the sales floor this year, accounting for the #1 and #2 spot in overall sales and all of Acker's Top 25 lots.
Despite Burgundy holding the top two producer slots, Bordeaux accounted for places three through six via Chateaux Petrus, Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild. Domaine Leroy was next, and all of the aforementioned producers continued their status as "million dollar brands," each already achieving over US$1M in sales so far this year. Rounding out the Top Ten and sure to join the club by year's end were Rousseau, Comte Liger-Belair and Chateau Margaux.
Wines from California and Italy continue to play important roles, accounting for 10% and 5% of the market, respectively. Sine Qua Non, Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate led the way for California, in that order, all achieving Top 25 brand status. SQN's position at the top spot for the Golden State reflects a market that continues to diversify, one that is reaching beyond the worlds of Cabernet and Pinot Noir in search of new experiences. Speaking of which, Italy had two producers in the Top 25, Tenuta dell' Ornellaia and Bruno Giacosa. Another notable trend in 2015 was the emergence of a strong Spirits market, led by Scotch and Japanese Whiskey along with American Bourbon, all accounting for over 2% of sales.
SOURCE Acker Merrall & Condit
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