- Posted by Johanna on January 6, 2007 at 8:11 pm
- Category: Comic News
An Open Letter from the Board of Directors of ComicsPRO
Due to weather conditions the last two weeks, Direct Market retailers serviced from Diamond’s Los Angeles warehouse have been severely allocated on high profile books (a 30% allocation on JUSTICE #9 and a 13% allocation on CIVIL WAR #6 are the biggest recent examples). Retailers serviced by Diamond’s other distribution facilities in Plattsburgh NY and Memphis TN have also experienced some allocations and title shortages.
While retailers understand and sympathize with the unpredictable nature of truck breakdowns, weather-related delays, and “Acts of God”, we strongly urge that better policies be implemented to handle these unfortunate circumstances, both on the distribution level and the communication level.
The ComicsPRO Board of Directors urges the following. In circumstances of allocated shipments of under 60% (sixty percent), when the expected release of the balance of the order is the next week, ALL ORDERS should be held until then, so that all product is distributed equally within the Direct Market.
Further, the Board recommends that in all circumstances when one warehouse fails to receive a product the other warehouses are able to distribute, then all nationwide direct-shipped reorders should be frozen to prevent any retailer from circumventing the system in an attempt to gain an unfair competitive advantage over other retailers.
Finally, the Board recommends the national shipping lists provided by Diamond should be updated and annotated with regional differences in product availability, to help stem the considerable consumer confusion this generates. Releases to consumer-oriented comic book news sites are also called for in these cases.
The ComicsPRO board believes these should be official policies, and not case-by-case determinations made without retailer input. The ComicsPRO Board also offers to consult with Diamond in regards to these policies.
This should be interesting. Some were saying that this was an opportunity for the relatively new organization to step up and demonstrate that they could make a difference, so I’m glad to see them make a statement. However, I wonder how the many non-members (there are fewer than 100 members currently) may react to losing out on comics because one region’s shipments are impacted.
Then there’s the huge question of how Diamond will respond. Will they ignore it? Counter-propose? Say they’ll follow it (but let’s see what really happens next time)? Do their systems even allow for all-or-nothing releases, or do the warehouses operate on different schedules? Does Diamond even do any releases to news sites now, or are they expected to add staff and/or systems to begin doing that?
Update: I suspect some won’t take kindly to Marvel making fun of the whole situation.