On December 9, exactly 20 years ago, Lauritz.com started its first online auction. Founder Bengt Sundstrøm had bought the family-run auction house Lauritz Christensen Auctions in 1998; founded in 1885 and head-quartered in the city centre of Copenhagen. One year later, on 9 December 1999, Bengt Sundstrøm then launched Lauritz.com and and thus became the pioneer who transformed the first traditional auction house in the world to hold auctions exclusively online.

The main idea was to put the customer in the centre and move the auctions from the physical space to the internet. The plan was to revolutionize the auction industry internationally by removing the slightly elitist snob-like side effect and democratizing the auction concept. The project was successful. Thus, it remains Lauritz's vision to inspire everyone to sell and buy at auction.

In 2001, Mette Rode Sundstrøm was hired and as CEO given the responsibility to build Lauritz.com's concept, daily business and brand. Bengt Sundström and Mette fell in love working together, got married and have children together. Today, Bengt Sundström is Chairman of the Board and Mette Rode Sundström is Brand President – both continue to function in the forefront of Lauritz.com as passioned owners and driving force that they are.

You – our customers – have consigned millions upon millions of items for auction at Lauritz throughout the last 20 years. As a matter of fact, our many dedicated and enthusiastic specialists have created more than 5.5 million lot numbers of all the heart might design regarding art, design, antiques and collectables. As customers, you have placed millions and millions of bids and bought exactly what you dreamed about or needed. We love the diversity that is reflected in our customers and our item selection.

We are deeply thankful for you, our loveable, dedicated and loyal customers! In the time to come, we will investigate some more and communicate a selection of nice experiences and funny numbers that we have shared and developed throughout these 20 years.

Today, Lauritz is Scandinavia's leading quality auction house, or more correct, chain of auction houses with now over 30 auction houses distributed in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and Belgium. We are very proud of our approx. 3 million customer registrations, as we are impressed by our customers' great level of activity with approx. 4 million visits online every month on our platforms. Our visitor come from 200 countries throughout the year.

We look forward to maybe seeing you this week – and to have you with us at Lauritz.com for the next 20 years to come.