Diamond Comics announced they have shut down new weekly comic distribution going forward.

Diamond Comics is the largest comic book distributor that ships new books from Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Valiant Entertainment, BOOM! Studios and more!

Founder of Diamond Comic Distributors and Chairman and CEO of Geppi Family Enterprises, Diamond’s parent company, Steve Geppi announced they would be shutting down new weekly product.

Geppi posted on Diamond Comics’ website their decision to cease operations.

He began by detailing that he’s heard from thousands of retailers that they are unable to continue operations:

“As everyone knows, the world faces ever-increasing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its effects on the comics & collectibles and tabletop gaming industries have been felt far and wide.  We are hearing from thousands of retailers that they can no longer service their customers as they have in the past, many of them forced to close by government action or resort to in-person or curbside delivery. Even those still open are seeing reduced foot traffic in most cases, a situation that seems likely to worsen with time.”

Geppi then detailed that their publishing partners are also facing issues in their supply chain.

“Our publishing partners are also faced with numerous issues in their supply chain, working with creators, printers, and increasing uncertainty when it comes to the production and delivery of products for us to distribute.”

He goes on to detail issues with Diamond’s distribution as well.

“Our freight networks are feeling the strain and are already experiencing delays, while our distribution centers in New York, California, and Pennsylvania were all closed late last week. Our own home office in Maryland instituted a work from home policy, and experts say that we can expect further closures.”

He then detailed they would be ceasing distribution of new weekly product.

“Therefore, my only logical conclusion is to cease the distribution of new weekly product until there is greater clarity on the progress made toward stemming the spread of this disease.”

Geppi then went into details on what exactly this means.

Product distributed by Diamond and slated for an on-sale date of April 1st or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice.  For the time being, however, we have been able to develop procedures with our teams at the distribution center in Olive Branch, MS to safely continue fulfillment of direct ship reorders for the retailers who are able to receive new product and need it to service their customers.”

He added:

“It’s unlikely that orders will be filled on the same day they are placed, and these plans are subject to change if any point we no longer feel that we can safeguard our teams while fulfilling orders.”

Geppi also addressed distribution in the United Kingdom.

“Product distributed by Diamond UK and slated for an on-sale date of March 25th or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice. Further updates with regard to reorders and other Diamond UK-specific information will be communicated directly to their customers as information becomes available.”

Alliance Game Distributors will also be affected by this cessation of operations.

“Product distributed by Alliance has been shipping from our Fort Wayne, IN and Austin, TX warehouses. Both are closing at the end of the day on Tuesday, March 24th, in the interest of employee safety and to comply with direction from local governments. Any orders not shipped by that time will not be processed until further notice. Your dedicated sales team will still be working remotely and help you with any orders you’d like to place today or questions you may have.”

Geppi then notes that Diamond is also working with publishers in order to distribute product that is already in the pipeline.

“With these changes in our distribution strategy, we will work with our publishing partners to develop programs that will address product already in the pipeline and what will happen when we resume distribution. We know that during this time you will face many challenges, and we will direct our energies toward addressing them, rather than fighting on increasingly numerous fronts to get product out.”

He also encourages retailers to be creative and suggests they use special sales, promotions, and eBay.

“For those retailers who remain open in various forms, I encourage you let loose your own creativity. For the time being, you will be able to replenish your perennials from Diamond and/or Alliance, but you should also remember the stock you already have in your stores. If your doors remain open, it’s likely you will have customers who will continue to seek diversion from events of the world. Special sales, promotions, and even eBay can help you bring in cash during this trying time. Product for which you’ve already paid may well hold some of your answers. There have been many solid suggestions offered about how to help our retailers, and we will bring many of them together in future communications.”

Geppi then details they are looking at a number of options including credit to help stores that rely on Diamond to stay afloat.

“Besides the industry’s most immediate needs, we have been and will continue looking toward the future, when we see stores reopening, bringing staff back onboard, and getting customers in the door. We are looking at issues like debt accrued due to this crisis, what reduced ordering means for your discount tiers, and the availability of credit to help stores through and after this difficult time. We don’t have all those answers today, but we understand the many issues you are facing and look forward to addressing them as partners who all have an interest in the long-term health of the industry we love so much.”

Finally he concludes, that Diamond is still looking toward the future.

“Besides the industry’s most immediate needs, we have been and will continue looking toward the future, when we see stores reopening, bringing staff back onboard, and getting customers in the door. We are looking at issues like debt accrued due to this crisis, what reduced ordering means for your discount tiers, and the availability of credit to help stores through and after this difficult time. We don’t have all those answers today, but we understand the many issues you are facing and look forward to addressing them as partners who all have an interest in the long-term health of the industry we love so much.”

What do you make of Diamond’s decision to cease operations? What do you think this will mean for the comic book industry moving forward?

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

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