Cold Cut Levels the Field

Cold Cut Distribution, the only real competition Diamond has left dedicated to the comic book direct market, is making things easier for its customers by implementing flat-rate discounts. This is the kind of thing that happens when a company cares about customer service and realizes that the customer has choices. Press release follows:

COLD CUT DISTRIBUTION ANNOUNCES THE END OF DISCOUNT TIERS

Effective immediately, Cold Cut Distribution is changing the discount it offers to comic book retailers. Now, all comic books and graphic novels will be sold at a flat-rate discount, regardless of the size of the order. Comic book retailers will no longer have to increase their order size to reach certain discount tiers or plateaus — now all orders receive the top discount available on every item, every time!

Cold Cut Distribution, the industry’s leading reorder distributor for small press and independent graphic novels and comic books to the direct market, has decided to change its discount terms based on customer demand. “We’ve had several retailers tell us they were interested in ordering from Cold Cut, but couldn’t put together an order large enough to get the best discount,” says Cold Cut’s owner Mark Thompson. “Now, they can order whenever they like, because everyone gets the best discount all the time.”

Over 10,000 trade paperbacks, graphic novels, comic books and other comics-related merchandise are affected by this change. The discount offered on books varies from publisher to publisher, ranging between 40% and 50% off the retail price. For example, all books published by Slave Labor Graphics, Top Shelf Productions, Bongo Comics, plus over a hundred additional publishers, are available at 50% off; all books published by Drawn and Quarterly, NBM, Heavy Metal, and many other publishers, are available at 45% off. Retailers receive the same discount, regardless of whether they are ordering $50 worth of books or $5000 worth of books.

Graphic novel retailer MacGuffin elaborates on what this means:

With this new discount structure, Cold Cut becomes an alternative resource for retailers employing just-in-time inventory strategies to replenish their stock by offering plenty that of product that Diamond can’t but also offering it at as good or better prices.

Business wise, this seems to be an incredibly smart move from the outside looking in. First, it likely has almost no effect on the biggest accounts because the majority of those were on rolling terms wherein they received 50% as a base discount and worked from there. The A, B and C level discounts corresponded almost across the board to the same titles that are now 50%, 45%, 40% discounts respectively. Therefore, unless I’m misunderstanding their new terms, the only thing that Cold Cut is really doing is leveling the playing field in an attempt to get more orders from smaller stores that were reluctant to start with a base discount of 40-45% and work down from there.

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