Decade-old family-run business looks to the future as demand for auctions increases
One of Ireland’s leading auction houses, County Cavan-based Victor Mee Auctions Ltd, is looking to the future as it marks its first decade in business with a significant investment to expand its premises to 4,800 sq. ft. and further develop online channels to meet shifting consumer demand. With the opening of its second auction house and development of the company’s website to further cater to the growing number of overseas buyers bidding online for unique items, the family-run business, –formerly Victor Mee Cloverhill Auctioners – is owned and operated by two generations of the Mee family, and provides some of the finest decorative antiques, fine arts, and pub memorabilia in Ireland and around the globe.
Having grown from strength to strength in the past ten years under the ownership of Victor Mee, who has constantly strived to improve the offering of his business, the team has seen a significant change in the local auctions market over the past two years and is responding to this shift in demand. Victor began working with antiques when he opened his first antiques shop at the age of 18 and owned a shop until 2003, when he switched his focus to auctioning. Commenting on the continued success of Victor Mee Auctions thanks to its growing online presence, Victor – who has worked in the antiques business for over forty years – said, “Ten years on, it is crucial to continue to look toward the future for Victor Mee Auctions. Whilst we specialise in unique antiques and collectables, we are conscious of how important it is to stay in tune with modern trends. The overall age of our clients is dropping drastically as young homeowners and self-builders seek unique decorative items. These shoppers are also favouring different time periods for décor, with a recent uplift in mid-century modern and industrial-inspired pieces, surpassing the previous preference for Edwardian and Victorian pieces.”
“We’ve also experienced a spike in demand on vintage pub signage and advertising memorabilia which ads a unique rustic Irish touch to any space. As Irish pubs grow in popularity around the world, we hold a growing global client base who are turning to our expertise in this field to help furnish their establishments with unique pieces.”
Helping to future-proof the business, Victor Mee Auctions is turning to the internet to grow their platform of bidders. “Ten years ago we only had buyers from across Ireland. Now cater to a worldwide platform,” added Bryan Mee, Victor’s son and the second generation in the family-run business. “Acknowledging the drop in the average age of bidders, we have embraced social media and are also working to tap in to online marketing trends including influencer engagement to help grow our brand across Ireland and beyond.”
While the company is embracing a digital future, there is still value in the reputation of a trusted family business. Bryan added, “Unlike other auction websites where the consumer cannot be guaranteed the piece he or she is bidding on is authentic or in the condition described, shopping through the online presence of one of Ireland’s most trusted auction houses helps bidders to ensure they are bidding on genuine items which come backed by our years of expertise, but also get to experience the convenience of an online auction from the comfort of their home.”
Victor Mee and his wife Shirley, together with their five children, established a unique business in the heart of County Cavan in 2003. Having experienced a significant period of growth, the business now employs 7 people locally, and the next generation of Mees are planning a more active role in the business. The family’s youngest son, Bryan, whose keen interest in antiques was spotted when he started helping out in the Antique shop at the young age of three, has worked closely with his father for many years now and will take over the family business when Victor reaches retirement.
“I believe I attended my first auction at only two weeks old,” Bryan said of his long history in antiques. “Learning from my father from such a young age, I have acquired a lot of knowledge and passion for antiques, and I hope to move our business forward and to show my son the trade just as my father showed me.”
Victor Mee Auctions Ltd hosts monthly sales from its purpose-built auction facilities in Cloverhill, County Cavan. For more information on Victor Mee Auctions and to explore online catalogues for upcoming sales visit https://www.victormeeauctions.ie/