Online auction platform Whisky Auctioneer has opened an office in Germany to minimise the impact of Brexit on its business.
Whisky Auctioneer opened the office in Ratheim, Germany, as a result of ‘increased interest and passion for whisky across the continent’ and in response to the UK’s planned exit from the European Union in 2021.
Iain McClune, founder and managing director, said: “Our European customer base is constantly growing, with over 60,000 website users from Germany alone active in the last year. Launching a German office is key to our strategic aims and we’ll use the new base to build on our solid foundations, facilitating our ongoing growth on the continent and offering our valued European consumers a continued high level of service whilst minimising the impact of Brexit.”
The German office will be managed by Neil Porter, who previously worked for Whisky Auctioneer in Scotland and has a background in project management.
Porter and the team will initially focus on supporting European customers, overseeing bottle pickups, and providing logistical support for private collectors. The team will provide free bottle valuations and can offer advice and guidance on how to sell whisky at auction.
Whisky Auctioneer said the services offered will ‘develop over time in line with the needs of customers and the unfolding situation around Brexit’.
Johannes Augustin, senior representative Germany, Scottish Development International, said: “It is great news that Whisky Auctioneer will be opening an office in Ratheim and we look forward to working with the company as it establishes a presence in Germany.
“Germany is a vital commercial partner for Scotland. It is Scotland’s fourth largest export destination and our third largest investor in terms of foreign direct investment. The decision by Whisky Auctioneer to expand into Germany will further enhance the economic ties that bind our two countries.”
The online auctioneer was founded by McClune in 2013. Its UK office is based in Perth, Scotland.
Whisky Auctioneer had its largest sales month in value and volume terms between mid-October and mid-November. The site’s sales for the period included a £375,000 (US$500,000) hammer price for a Bourbon and American whiskey auction, £3.3 million (US$4.4m) in sales during its October auction and £218,000 (US$291,000) raised through a specialist Glenfiddich auction.
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Author: Owen Bellwood