Should Tuesday Be New Comic Day?

In April, Diamond Distributors raised the possibility that they would consider shipping product to retailers the day before it’s scheduled to go on sale — in return for charging every account a $5 weekly fee to pay for catching schedule violators (which adds up to quite the incoming revenue stream to Diamond for finally treating their customers like adults but assuming not all of them are). This would also mean moving New Comic Day from Wednesday to Tuesday with product delivery on Monday. Discussions on the subject began, and now Heidi MacDonald has followup on a survey with retailer response.

A brief aside: one of the things that makes the comic business so difficult (and immature in some of its practices and assumptions) is that retailers are expected to receive, process, and restock hundreds of SKUs (items) on the same day they go on sale. As someone who used to assist with that process, it’s insane-making. You have no time to find damages and report shortages in a timely fashion, nor any time to fix those problems. Those who have worked in other media retail outlets are often stunned to find out that this is how comic retail operates.

Diamond is reportedly still deciding what they want to do, especially since the retailer responses are mixed. Personally, I think moving new comic day to the same day that DVDs and CDs come out is a bad idea. Why do comics need the competition? Some retailers seem to think that people aren’t shopping with them because they’re spending all their money the day before on other media, but that strikes me as a ridiculous justification to avoid blaming more relevant causes, like rising comic prices, alternatives for buying comics (Amazon, digital), and material of less interest to the general audience. Retailers are split on this question, with 43% thinking their business would benefit significantly or modestly, and 45% thinking they would not benefit or their business would be hurt. When asked their day preference, almost twice as many preferred to keep Wednesday as wanted to move to Tuesday.

The most important factor, though, is everyone getting product a day early, as the biggest comic shops currently do.

9 Responses to “Should Tuesday Be New Comic Day?”

  1. Suzene Says:

    Gad, yes. Working a shop Wednesday mornings was so friggin’ stressful. Even busting our humps and showing up hours early, we still had to open an hour early just to get bins filled and books on the shelves.

    I don’t think Monday delivery with Tuesday sale would help much, but it seems like most people don’t seem to mind the idea of Tuesday delivery with Wednesday sale. It would mean that the shop staff could stay a couple of hours late to stock instead, or split the workload between a late Tuesday and not-as-insanely-early Wednesday.

    The $5 enforcement charge I’m split on. One the one hand, it is kind of insulting. One the other, the last time Diamond handed their customers early product, it also wound up all over the torrents before day of sale…

  2. Suzene Says:

    “…still had to open an hour late”, ‘scuse me.

  3. Andrew Says:

    I can’t believe that comic shops have to do all of that in the same day. I used to work for Best Buy and it was difficult enough with our process.

    This is just another reason why comics stores are hard to keep open (mine closed when I was in middle school).

    Make the change. ‘Nuff said.

  4. Johanna Says:

    It’s a good idea for prospective comic shop owners to get retail experience in some other field, but for this reason and others, they often have to relearn or unlearn things. Yes, comic stores face a lot of uphill battles these days.

  5. Kenny Cather Says:

    No matter what’s done, if comics are shipped a day early, they’ll show up on the pirating sites a day early. That being said, there’s no good excuse for not shipping comics to stores a day or two early so retailers can actually do all the responsible retailer things like sort through their merchandise, set aside damaged goods, and set up displays of the comics they plan to sell in attractive lay-outs. Nothing bothers me more in comic stores than seeing rows and rows of comics with nothing more than a “New This Week” sticker below a bunch of seemingly randomly placed comics.

  6. Johanna Says:

    Punishing most retailers because a few are immature and might scan the issues is the wrong decision, which I think we agree on.

    How to rack new comics is a topic retailers have different opinions on. Some prefer intermixing them with other comics so that there’s more chance a customer buys some of the non-“new this week” as well.

  7. Thad Says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t aware until recently that big comic shops get stock a day early. I was at Atomic Comics a few Tuesdays ago and saw them already going through the next day’s inventory — quite different from the scramble I’d so often seen when I used to show up at my usual shop on Wednesdays at noon.

  8. Johanna Says:

    The rationale is that big chains get one order and have to break it down for their various outlets. Which makes sense, but it does seem to help the big get bigger at the expense of the little guy retailer.

  9. Diamond Announces Street Date Option, May Charge for the Privilege » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] to prepare for sale. Thankfully, they are not changing the standard Wednesday new comic day, an idea they floated two months […]




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