Scunthorpe auction "suits" hundreds of bargain-hunters across the UK
Hundreds of bidders from all over the country battled to buy the stock of two upmarket designer clothing stores when it went under the hammer in an online auction in Scunthorpe
The sell-off followed a decision to retire by the owner of James Wright Menswear in Hull and the closure of John Hopkinson Menswear of Newark.
Paul Cooper, of CJM Auctioneers in Scunthorpe, said: “The response to the event was just amazing. The public viewing sessions for the sale were the best attended we have seen for any auction but then almost 600 people registered to bid – and they were literally all over the country.
“That was a real surprise. Online antiques and industrial equipment auctions regularly attract bidders from all over the world but we had assumed that the interest in something like this - high end designer fashion - would probably be restricted to buyers from the region who could get along to handle it and see if it fitted.
“As it was we had people bidding from London and the South East, Wales, Scotland and even Dublin.”
Paul added: “The highest prices were paid for suits by top names such as Pal Zileri and Hugo Boss. They sold for up to £300 at the hammer - so around £400 by the time you add in commission and VAT- which may not sound much of a bargain until you consider that they usually retail for up to £1,000 a time.
“The bidding for Hugo Boss coats was so fierce that they were making £180-£200, which by the time you add on commission, is getting pretty close to full retail value.
“The auction has been a real eye-opener that will, no doubt, be clocked by other retail operations. There are occasions when it is useful to turn stock into cash quickly or to shift old stock out to make way for incoming new stock. This sale has shown beyond doubt that online auction can be a real winner.”
Paul added: “There were some bargains. Vilebrequin swimming shorts - which are just about the most fashionable pool or beachwear a man can buy and normally retail for £189 - were going for just over £30 a time, so about £40 including commission.
“Still sounded a lot to me for a pair of swimming trunks, but the successful bidders were apparently delighted.”