- Posted by Johanna on July 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm
- Category: Comic News
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.