While US comic book retailers were allowed to sell this week's comic books from Monday (if they could get them) ahead of a number of lockdowns on Tuesday evenings, and able to fulfil mail orders since, Diamond UK took the matter out of British comic shop's hands, by not distributing comic books at all this week, instead storing them all up in their Warrington warehouse. Though stores will still have to pay for them as normal, Diamond UK's Mike Holman wrote to British comic stores yesterday, to clarify the issue.
Following the government's guidance yesterday evening, the Diamond UK offices and warehouse are now temporarily closed until further notice. We had been preparing for such an eventuality and consequently, we have most of our office-based staff available to reply to emails from home. They will all have an automatic out of office response but have all offered to help with any enquiries from home as best they can.
Unfortunately today I cannot answer all of the questions that I'm sure you have. What I can say is that we are all busy looking into what capacity we can reopen, and when we will be capable of doing this. We will update you all as soon as we have more information. We are busy making arrangements and plans to ensure the future and success of this business that we all know and love.
With that in mind our website currently remains open and various emails will still be sent in their normal way, we can continue to accept orders online should you still wish to place them. March 2020 Previews orders will still be accepted this week with further details to follow as to any extension to the current order deadline, whilst we know the situation is difficult we feel that by continuing with our normal practices as much as possible we will hopefully be in the best position to proceed when these current events can finally be put behind us. The dates for April 2020 Previews will now be extended and again further details to follow as soon as possible. The shipment that was originally intended for release in the UK on Thursday 26th is currently being held in our warehouse. We will not be receiving any further product until further notice. We will advise you all in plenty of time before any delivery is attempted and will also be in contact with you before any further new product is received here or picked.
As far as previous monthly Previews orders and FOC orders are concerned we have already heard from several publishers offering substantial returnability on most titles and Diamond UK will looking to extend this in some way to our accounts, a complete list will be compiled along with details of all other measures by which both Diamond UK and the Publishers can offer help and assistance. We all find ourselves in a very unique situation but do need to attempt to continue as far as possible with normal business. This does include regular March month-end invoices being due, so can we ask that you make payment as normal. Please contact Ann-Marie and her team by email to discuss payments and methods by which they can be made. Please let us know if you need help and want to discuss a plan, both in relation to the immediate amount payable and in relation to the balance that will become due at the end of April.
Once again we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our best wishes to you all and assure you that we intend to do everything possible in order to ensure our continued help and support to you as our loyal accounts through this period of instability for us all.
You can follow along with Bleeding Cool's comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic impact on the comics industry, here.