Yesterday, Bleeding Cool reported that Diamond Comic Distributors has been calling round comic book stores, asking if they were switching to Penguin Random House to provide their Marvel Comics titles. Today, we have learned that Diamond has been telling comic book shops that they are reconsidering the cost of shipping comics books – and everything else – to the comic book store market. But first a little history.
A year ago, Diamond Comic Distributors shut up shop in order to rearrange their operation to be COVID-secure. Not only did they stop distributing new comics but they also stopped paying publishers, and when they reopened instigated a gradual payment scheme. This was enough to see Marvel and DC Comics make plans. DC Comics arranged it for their two biggest customers, Midtown Comics and DCBS, to become DC Comics distributors, breaking Diamond's monopoly so that now, DC Comics are solely distributed to the North American direct market of comic stores by DCBS, as Lunar Distribution.
Recently Marvel Comics announced their own plan, moving direct market distribution to Penguin Random House – through retailers can continue to order through Diamond as a wholesale third party. Penguin Random House also offered guaranteed sales representatives, free shipping, and in some cases, better discounts. And for stores now getting worse discounts, the free shipping would make up for a lot of that.
Which is what comic book stores who Diamond have been contacting have been telling them. It's all about the shipping costs. So how can Diamond fight back? They just issued this missive to comic book stores regarding their future,
We wanted to provide a brief update about where we are in the process of presenting new terms for Marvel product. Some retailers have asked for clarification that they can continue to order Marvel product for delivery with their product from our many other publisher partners. This is absolutely the case, and we are pleased that we will continue to serve you in this capacity.
We appreciate your patience as we carefully and deliberately review how we approach not just Marvel's offerings, but our entire array of product listings. We are exploring and considering numerous changes that will allow us to best continue serving your needs and the needs of the market as a whole. This is an opportunity to make discounts easier to understand and reward retailers who increase orders and broaden the selection of product available in their stores.
Freight is a big part of these considerations, but far from the only one. All of this analysis takes time and we are working as quickly as possible to deliver new information to you. Our goal is to have new pricing schedules out within the next month and we appreciate your patience as we work through these changes. We will provide more information as it becomes available via both email updates and Diamond Daily.
In the meantime, you can always visit our Retailer Support Center to contact our Retailer Services Team with any account-specific questions or concerns.
As always, thank you for your business, your partnership and your support.
"Freight is a big part of these considerations". What answers will Diamond Comic Distributors provide?