When it comes to a secret formula for art gallery success, it’s not just about location, location, location. At least not if the folks at GE Capital have anything to say about it.
A behemoth in the consumer financing sector for more than seven decades now, if you’ve ever opted to pay for a big-ticket item in installments rather than one lump sum, chances are good that you had GE Capital to thank for that convenience. Just as the company has revolutionized the way luxury items from appliances to jewelry are bought and sold, GE Capital is now turning its attention to the fine art sector.
“Art merchants are looking for a solution and we wanted to put more effort into it,” says Regina Leadem, GE Capital’s vice president of client development. “Last year, we decided to make much more of a statement in the market, because there were so many people reaching out to us.”
One such merchant is Wyland Worldwide (www.wyland.com), the brainchild of renowned marine life artist Wyland, which operates more than 20 galleries across the country.
In February 2011, Wyland began working with GE Capital to offer financing options to its customers. Today, Wyland credit and finance manager Robin Norde-Davis estimates that “the option to finance a large-ticket item has helped close about 20 to 25 percent of our deals.”
With locations in some of America’s preeminent tourist destinations, including Key West, Las Vegas, Maui and San Diego, GE’s quick and easy approval process is a particularly great fit for Wyland.
“Many of our customers are visiting our galleries while on vacation,” notes Norde-Davis. “The option to finance their purchase means that they can easily purchase a piece of art without tapping into their vacation fun money!”
But beyond the convenience of it all (the approval process is almost identical to what you might experience in applying for a department store credit card), “The finance specials are really helpful,” says Norde-Davis. “They allow us to offer longer financing terms to our customers without greatly affecting our bottom line.”
More customers into the galleries isn’t the only traffic boost GE Capital’s partners are seeing. “Giving customers the option of paying their accounts from a link to our Website is a really great marketing tool,” notes Norde-Davis. “Anything that drives customers to your Website is a good thing!”
For more information on GE Capital’s Luxury Financing Program, visit www.gogecapital.com/luxury or contact Regina Leadem at email@example.com. You can also visit GE Capital at International Artexpo New York beginning on March 22nd; company representatives will be on-hand and will also be sponsoring a VIP Trade Lounge. ABN
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