Bleeding Cool broke the news that UCS Comic Distributors would no longer be distributing DC Comics to comic book stores from January 2021, and that as a result Lunar Distribution would be distributing all of the DC monthly titles in North America. We also learned that this was UCS' decision rather than that of DC Comics. We look to bring you more reasons for that over the weekend.
But Lunar has been making plans and, now with a much larger market to service, they are bringing in restrictions. It is likely that these are imposed by DC Comics, and it could even be a reason that UCS declined to go forward. Firstly, Lunar states that they have leased a new warehouse and are "currently beefing up our warehouse and CSR staff to handle the influx of new retailers from UCS." They also confirmed Bleeding Cool's account that stores will now to make a minimum of $125 worth of orders a week or $500 per month. With new details that those retailers who don't make a weekly total will have their order suspended until the following weeks, and those who don't make $500 a month over a three month period will see their account suspended.
But the big change is that Lunar Distribution will now be enforcing certain other requirements for stores to keep their accounts. They must meet one of the three criteria listed:
- Brick and Mortar store
- Dedicated direct to consumer website with a functioning shopping cart
- Online platform selling direct to consumers in a format other than auctions
Lunar states that they will be auditing accounts and that retailers "may be asked to provide proof that you have satisfied one of the three criteria". What does that mean? It means those who order solely for eBay will be cut out. Will that include those who just use Amazon Marketplace? We'll see if that counts as their own "online platform". But it also cuts out buying clubs, where fans group together to buy comics at retailer discounts.
This news should be welcomed by many comic book stores who see such activity as undercutting them in a way they can't match. Lunar states "the Direct Market doesn't exist without you, the retailers, who are out there everyday on the frontlines selling to your customers. So, we are committed to keeping the Direct Market thriving and constantly striving to better every aspect of our business to help you and your employees."
It's never dull around these parts, is it? Also, Lunar, any change you could design yourself a logo?