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monidaw1
Friday, June 05, 2020 1:05:51 PM
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Quote:
Dear DC Direct Market Retailer,

First and foremost, we hope this finds you safe and well especially during what has been an incredibly challenging year. We are writing today to share with you that DC's long-standing relationship with Diamond Comic Distributors is coming to a close effective following Diamond's distribution of product offered on DC's FOC list of June 1st. We want to thank Steve Geppi and the great people at Diamond for all the years of service.

We recognize that, to many of you, this may seem like a momentous decision. However, we can assure you that this change in DC's distribution plans has not been made lightly and follows a long period of thought and consideration. The change of direction is in line with DC's overall strategic vision intended to improve the health of, and strengthen, the Direct Market as well as grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide.

In the near term, Diamond will only be fulfilling orders placed through June 1 Final Order Cut-Off and will not solicit the sale of new DC titles further. To ensure a smooth transition for retailers, DC will suspend Final Order Cut-Off for June 8, making those books available to order on Final Order Cut-Off on June 15.
MoonKnight1
Friday, June 05, 2020 2:38:11 PM
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Wow. My mind is boggled right now.

How will DC be distributing their comics going forward? Does anyone think that other companies will follow suit and split from Diamond?

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Spider-Man
Friday, June 05, 2020 2:48:32 PM
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monidaw1 wrote:
Quote:
Dear DC Direct Market Retailer,

First and foremost, we hope this finds you safe and well especially during what has been an incredibly challenging year. We are writing today to share with you that DC's long-standing relationship with Diamond Comic Distributors is coming to a close effective following Diamond's distribution of product offered on DC's FOC list of June 1st. We want to thank Steve Geppi and the great people at Diamond for all the years of service.

We recognize that, to many of you, this may seem like a momentous decision. However, we can assure you that this change in DC's distribution plans has not been made lightly and follows a long period of thought and consideration. The change of direction is in line with DC's overall strategic vision intended to improve the health of, and strengthen, the Direct Market as well as grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide.

In the near term, Diamond will only be fulfilling orders placed through June 1 Final Order Cut-Off and will not solicit the sale of new DC titles further. To ensure a smooth transition for retailers, DC will suspend Final Order Cut-Off for June 8, making those books available to order on Final Order Cut-Off on June 15.


The next sentence in the above quoted notice is:

"Moving forward, we will continue our distribution relationship with Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors for distribution of periodicals and graphic novels, and Penguin Random House for distribution of graphic novels, worldwide."


That explains what they are going to do now.
MoonKnight1
Friday, June 05, 2020 3:45:09 PM
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Oh. I see. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The industry is certainly going through strange times along with everyone else.

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monidaw1
Friday, June 05, 2020 3:56:33 PM
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Sickening. Sick
We're expected to apply for credit terms with two of the biggest comic book dumpers undercutting our business and funnel all our purchases to them.

Seriously considering dropping DC entirely since the lower margins paying higher shipping per book rates should eat up any real profitability potential.

DC already stopped their printed catalog they've been charging us for, for the last year or so Marvel gives away free in unlimited qty.

No significant number of posters to promote DC product where Marvel's sending more than I can get hung to advertise on the windows.
HeroComics
Friday, June 05, 2020 3:58:22 PM
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another AT&T corporate bungle!

I just dumped AT&T as a service provider and now this...

If you want to kill comic shops, make AT&T the leader of the migration away from making them available.

I knew about this for some time, but September was the projected rollout.

It's 'Heroes World' all over again.

Peace to you guys.

-JC
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monidaw1
Friday, June 05, 2020 4:10:45 PM
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The thing I don't get is why they can't set up their own distribution? Take out the middle man instead of forcing us to improve the strength of one's we don't like or even trust?

Watch them go all digital next shutting off them off from product as well.

Having stores that have been economically impacted from shut downs, riots and other things forcing them to have to apply for credit all over again at a time they've been forced to tap reserves and bottom out their credit scores just to survive when they're already approved for Net-7 or better at Diamond is just ignorant and cruel.
Thundercron
Friday, June 05, 2020 4:20:35 PM
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This all sounds like what Marvel did in the nineties. It didn't help anything.
monidaw1
Friday, June 05, 2020 5:42:45 PM
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This is the equivalent of United Potato Growers of Idaho forcing Bob's Burger Shack to have to purchase their French fries from McDonalds at a time they have no outdoor seating capacity and can't let people inside to eat. Now even the drive thru sales are less profitable and subject to the whims of McDonalds as to the quality, delivery and damage replacement/ returnability.

Shame on DC!!!!! It may be time to take French fries off the menu. At the very least they will likely have to be removed from the dollar Menu to offset the higher shipping.
monidaw1
Friday, June 05, 2020 7:22:04 PM
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Quote:
Diamond Response to DC Comics Announcement
This evening, I shared the following message with all the members of our Geppi Family Enterprises teams. I also wanted to share it with you, our many industry partners.
Today, DC sent out a retailer communication indicating they are ending their long-standing relationship with Diamond. In April, we were informed that DC was going to begin distributing products through additional partners. At that time, they asked us to submit a proposal for a revised agreement with the understanding that Diamond would continue to be one of their distributors. Which we promptly did. They then requested an extension to June 30 which we also accommodated. Last week, DC requested an additional extension through July. We responded with questions and DC indicated they would reply today, June 5. Instead of receiving a response, today we received a termination notice. While we had anticipated this as a possible outcome, we, like so many others in the industry, are disappointed by their decision to end our partnership so abruptly at this time.
Although we had hoped to reach an agreement with DC, every great change also presents great opportunity! Rest assured, Diamond is a strong company and our success does not depend on the actions of one business partner. While we recognize this change impacts the industry, we are well-positioned to seize growth opportunities and are committed to the success of our publishing partners, the Direct Market and our industry as a whole.
We continue to be excited about the growth potential in the comic, game and toy industries as well as growth opportunities for our other Geppi Family Enterprises companies. I truly believe that our comeback will be bigger than our setback and our best days are ahead.
Thank you for you continued support and for all you do.
-Steve

Steve Geppi

Chairman, Geppi Family Enterprises
Founder, Diamond Comic Distributors
MoonKnight1
Friday, June 05, 2020 10:00:15 PM
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Maybe, if Diamond has competition, then they will start to better protect the shipments they make. Daydreaming

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Thundercron
Saturday, June 06, 2020 2:42:10 AM
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What does comic distribution have to do with the CCL Library/Database?
monidaw1
Saturday, June 06, 2020 7:34:19 AM
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Quote:
"I was going to take this afternoon off, as I came in early this morning and spent four hours in 90 degree heat weed-wacking the Jason St. parking lot. My relaxation plans were all shot to hell, however, when DC Comics blindsided everyone at noon by sticking a shiv into the back of Diamond Comic Distributors, and Diamond founder, Steve Geppi.


To say that I am seething with rage right now, is a total understatement. I actually saw this coming a couple of weeks ago, but was hoping against my own common sense that the new owners of DC (AT&T) would come to the realization that keeping Diamond alive was critical to the revival of the 2,000+ Direct Market comic book retailers who serve the core of their most dedicated readers. Instead, my own predicted worst-case scenario is now unfolding, with DC announcing this afternoon that they are severing all ties with Diamond Distributing, effective in three weeks.
So, what do the new kingpins at DC think that they are doing? Well, first of all, they want to drive more business to their online channel. Second, they think that they can do just fine on their trade paperbacks and hardbacks selling them to traditional bookstores through their distribution relationship with Penguin/Random House. Third, their recent "experiment" of selling $9.95 pseudo comic books through Walmart and Target has shown them quite clearly that they can generate massive comic book sales without a single comics specialty shop remaining in existence.

Steve Geppi
All of those factors are serious, but I think that DC's real issue is money. AT&T paid one hundred and eight billion dollars ($108,000,000,000.00) to buy Time/Warner just 18 months ago. The exact amount that they paid in cash is unknown, but some portion of that purchase amount was an assumption of existing Time/Warner debt. Nonetheless, the debt service on those loans/bonds is easily six billion a year, and quite possibly more. Sadly, they won the bidding war on this incredible deal just in time for the pandemic to slam Time/Warner's business into the ground, and thus reduce revenues drastically. Simply put, the managers at AT&T are now in a horrible bind. They need immense amounts of cash flow to service their debt, and they need it immediately.
Meanwhile, while everyone at DC is freaking out because their entire ship is in danger of sinking in their self-created ocean of debt, Diamond Distributing sends out a letter to all of their vendors telling them that, instead of being paid on time for all of their products that were long-since shipped by Diamond, they will receive small incremental payments on the monies owed to them, over a period of 13 weeks.
As I am sure that you can well imagine, that letter from Diamond really was the death knell for their relationship with DC. Management in the past would have had fewer options, and far more loyalty to the long-term Diamond relationship, but these new guys are terrified that they are all going to be fired, so they want out. Now. Immediately. And they could care less about who is going to wind up as collateral damage. They are only concerned about saving their own sorry asses, and no one else matters. Absolutely typical self-serving NY financier/Wall Street BS.
So, what does this all mean? Honestly, I do not think that anyone knows for sure. DC is trying to force all Direct Market comics shops to now order their weekly publications from a couple of lame-ass pseudo-distributors that they have self-anointed. We saw Marvel try this exact same stupidity with their Heroes World debacle, in 1998. They lost millions in short term revenue, and even more from the debilitating effect that it had on their market share and their brand.

DC kills again for money!
Of greater importance to me is the future of periodic comic books, and the retailers who can only cover their operating costs by selling those new issues. Frankly, my first instinct is to say that they are all dead, and that the party is totally over for new comics. Diamond Distributing is certainly at immediate risk, as losing their #2 product line (in an already depressed market) is a catastrophic loss. To use the phraseology of Wall Street, their ability to continue as a going concern is now in great doubt.
The same is true of every comic book store in America, as the horrors of our Heroes World experience showed us all what an unmitigated disaster results from trying to coordinate multiple shipments from multiple distributors. It is an absolute nightmare. Not impossible by any means, but still an exercise in raw misery.
Truth be told, my greatest concern with the future of the Direct Market retailers revolves around money and/or credit. With so many stores having been shuttered for eight weeks, or longer, who has the means remaining to establish credit lines with these new "distributors," while simultaneously meeting their existing obligations to Diamond? Truthfully, this is a perfect storm of disasters for Direct Market retailers. Some stores will most definitely survive, but thanks to the unilateral decision today by DC Comics, I think that number of surviving entities was just reduced drastically. It is a sad, sad day in the history of comic books. "


I'm no expert but I suspect this potentially affects the entire hobby from what day new comics come out, if they will continue to do so in the future if Diamond falls from losing 30% of their comic sales revenue, stores falling like dominoes if they can't stay open with reduced supply, etc...

I read another discussion questioning the viability of DC overseas in general since having the two lame pop up distributors ship directly overseas to stores is incurring large shipping costs so the comics arrive with all the comic discount the stores used to get going to cover the shipping cost forcing them to basically double the cover price of the DC comics they're selling whereas Diamond has a distribution setup that ships from over there so they get the other publishers inexpensively enough to sell the comics at cover meaning fans are soon going to have to decide if they want to pay twice the price for DC's or switch to one of the others coming thru Diamond UK. if Diamond folds because of this then they may lose affordable shipping for all publishers.
MoonKnight1
Saturday, June 06, 2020 9:10:23 AM
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Thundercron wrote:
What does comic distribution have to do with the CCL Library/Database?

I moved the thread to Comic Book Talk >> Comic Books

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pottersan
Saturday, June 06, 2020 1:43:19 PM
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monidaw1 wrote:
The thing I don't get is why they can't set up their own distribution? Take out the middle man instead of forcing us to improve the strength of one's we don't like or even trust?

Watch them go all digital next shutting off them off from product as well.

Having stores that have been economically impacted from shut downs, riots and other things forcing them to have to apply for credit all over again at a time they've been forced to tap reserves and bottom out their credit scores just to survive when they're already approved for Net-7 or better at Diamond is just ignorant and cruel.
Isnt that what Marvel tried and failed miserably at?


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Thundercron
Saturday, June 06, 2020 6:12:06 PM
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pottersan wrote:
monidaw1 wrote:
The thing I don't get is why they can't set up their own distribution? Take out the middle man instead of forcing us to improve the strength of one's we don't like or even trust?

Watch them go all digital next shutting off them off from product as well.

Having stores that have been economically impacted from shut downs, riots and other things forcing them to have to apply for credit all over again at a time they've been forced to tap reserves and bottom out their credit scores just to survive when they're already approved for Net-7 or better at Diamond is just ignorant and cruel.
Isnt that what Marvel tried and failed miserably at?


Did Marvel fail at self-distribution? I don't know if I heard why they stopped. I don't remember there being a problem with them getting books to comic stores.
bluedevil2002
Saturday, June 06, 2020 7:56:48 PM
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From what I've turned via Google, the Heroes World problem was Marvel overexpanding and getting caught in the speculator bubble burst.

Quote:
To improve its margins and to better market its comics at the retail level, Marvel also bought Heroes World, a regional distributor in the Northeast, in December 1994. The firm stumbled in trying to expand overnight into a national distributor, and Marvel later dismantled the venture.

https://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/24/business/pow-the-punches-that-left-marvel-reeling.html?_r=0

I think the distribution also included other products, such as the trading cards by Fleer that Marvel owned. And Heroes World probably was only used to distributing comics.

At least in the current market, there's a little more diversity thanks to collected editions being a large part, and those are going through their separate channels.
pottersan
Saturday, June 06, 2020 8:34:12 PM
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bluedevil2002 wrote:
From what I've turned via Google, the Heroes World problem was Marvel overexpanding and getting caught in the speculator bubble burst.

Quote:
To improve its margins and to better market its comics at the retail level, Marvel also bought Heroes World, a regional distributor in the Northeast, in December 1994. The firm stumbled in trying to expand overnight into a national distributor, and Marvel later dismantled the venture.

https://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/24/business/pow-the-punches-that-left-marvel-reeling.html?_r=0

I think the distribution also included other products, such as the trading cards by Fleer that Marvel owned. And Heroes World probably was only used to distributing comics.

At least in the current market, there's a little more diversity thanks to collected editions being a large part, and those are going through their separate channels.
Yeah, what he said....self implosion. Kinda like Wizard...….. The only cool thing that I liked about Wizard was back around 2001 or so, wizard had a place online where you could sell your comics.....it was very cool, I sold a ton...


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padreglcc
Saturday, June 06, 2020 8:52:05 PM
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Thundercron wrote:
What does comic distribution have to do with the CCL Library/Database?

Not a lot. I'm used to working with Diamond's info to put DC books into the database, but Midtown usually has decent info up in enough time to use them, combined with DC's website, as a viable source. I think we can still get DC books into the database in a timely manner. I supposed we'll find out for sure in a few weeks.
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Thundercron
Saturday, June 06, 2020 10:41:20 PM
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padreglcc wrote:
Thundercron wrote:
What does comic distribution have to do with the CCL Library/Database?

Not a lot. I'm used to working with Diamond's info to put DC books into the database, but Midtown usually has decent info up in enough time to use them, combined with DC's website, as a viable source. I think we can still get DC books into the database in a timely manner. I supposed we'll find out for sure in a few weeks.


It was sarcasm, since it seemed like this post was originally filed under the wrong topic/subforum.
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