Bleeding Cool just ran the news that DC Comics is to quit Diamond Comic Distributors, in favour of their newly created distributors UCS and Lunar. This comes after twenty-five years of Diamond being the exclusive distributor of DC Comics – at least until the shutdown, DC Comics has provided retailers with a Q&A – but one in which they ask the questions and give the answers. I get the idea that some other people may have some other questions – especially everyone in the UK. Diamond has a Diamond UK warehouse and operation, there's no sign of either UCS or Lunar having such an operation yet.
Why is DC doing this now?
DC has been analyzing its Direct Market distribution for some time, long before COVID, specifically in light of sustained stagnant market growth. The timing of the decision to move on from Diamond was ultimately dictated by the fact that DC's contract with Diamond has expired, but incidentally, the disruption by COVID to the market has required DC to forge ahead with its larger growth strategies that will benefit both the Direct Market and DC.
How do I order my books next week?
Retailers will need to contact Lunar Distribution, UCS Comic Distributors, or Penguin Random House to receive books with on sale dates beginning 06/30/20 and forward.
What about the books I've already ordered through Diamond's ordering system? Will I still get those?
Retailers who have already ordered titles with a 5/18, 5/25, or 6/1 FOC date should still expect to receive their books through Diamond. Titles with an FOC date of 6/8 are being moved to 6/15, and all DC titles with FOC dates of 6/15, 6/22, and 6/29 (and beyond) will need to be ordered through one of the three distributors listed above.
I have books to return — where do I send them?
All DC periodicals and graphic novels that were sold to comic book specialty store customers with in-store dates between 4/28/20 – 6/24/20 are returnable to the distributor from which they were ordered. Each of these titles shall become eligible for return during the 30-day window of time specified here, and such titles must be bundled together in shipments as follows. Titles returned after the applicable 30-day window shall not be accepted.
- Return titles with in-store dates of 4/28, 5/5, & 5/12 should be sent in together beginning 6/26 and received no later than 7/26;
- Return titles with in-store dates of 5/19 & 5/26 should be sent in together beginning 7/10 and received no later than 8/9;
- Return titles with in-store dates of 6/2 & 6/9 should be sent in together beginning 7/24 and received no later than 8/23;
- Return titles with in-store dates of 6/16 & 6/23 should be sent in together beginning 7/23 and received no later than 8/22.
Distributors will provide electronic return authorization labels to cover returns shipping costs.
Customers will receive full credit from the applicable distributor for the return of the titles. U.S. customers must return full copies in salable condition to the distributor from which they were ordered. DC will accept affidavit returns from customers located outside the continental United States. All returns must be accompanied by a Return Authorization Form from your applicable distributor. DC shall have the right to audit such returns as DC deems necessary.
Which distributor should I use?
Retailers may choose from these three distributors as they like, but we suggest that U.S. and Canadian retailers on the west coast choose Lunar Distribution and those on the east coast choose UCS Comic Distributors to maximize shipping timelines. For retailers outside North America, please choose any of the three distributors.
How does this impact my discount structure?
Your current discount plateau will remain the same with Lunar and UCS. This discount structure is based on the volume of your purchases.
What about my credit terms?
Credit terms are set with your distributor.
Why is DC committed to having books on sale on Tuesdays, instead of Wednesday?
DC is committed to Tuesday on sale dates so that all our product is offered on the same day in all retail channels.