When DC Comics announced that they were dropping Diamond Comic Distribution entirely, in favour of two new US distributors Lunar and UCS, set up with comic stores DCBS and Midtown, Bleeding Cool instantly spotted a problem. What about international distribution, especially to the UK which represents 10-15% of the sales of the direct market? Costs of direct shipping from the US to the UK could double or triple the price of DC Comics titles in stores, as Diamond used the Diamond UK warehouse in Warrington to receive bulk shipments from Manchester Airport, then sent round the rest of the country. Shipping directly to each store from the US would increase costs dramatically.
We have continued to ask DC Comics and the new distributors about this situation. Repeatedly we have been told that a) UK retailers have to use one of the new distributors, b) that DC can't continue to use Diamond UK and c) something will be arranged.
As of right now there has, at least, been a stay of execution, and DC Comics will continue to be distributed via Diamond UK until the end of the year. The statement just released reads;
In-stock Reorders and Distribution from Diamond UK
Diamond Comic Distributors and DC Comics are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement to extend some aspects of Diamond's distribution of comics and collected editions.
In the US, Diamond and DC have extended the agreement to fulfill reorders of in-stock comic periodicals previously offered for sale, fulfilling reorders through July 31. Graphic novels and collections previously offered for sale on Final Order Cut-off June 1 or prior will be available for replenishment reorders through December 16 and Direct Ship reorders through December 22.
For our Diamond UK shops, we will continue to distribute new and backlist DC Comics products through December 31 and will be working with DC Comics to offer products with an FOC date of June 15 to retailer customers as usual.
"The recovery of our retailer partners is of utmost importance to Diamond and DC as stores reopen amid many challenges," said Steve Geppi, Founder of Diamond Comic Distributors and Chairman & CEO of Geppi Family Enterprises. "With respect for our long partnership with DC Comics, we are happy to work on a smooth transition.
Now… what about Canada? Continue our coverage of the New Distributor Wars of 2020 at this link.