Business Followup LinkBlogging: Retailers Dislike Price Drop, Wayne to Stay in NY

In talking about DC Entertainment moving to California, I wondered what was going to happen to Bob Wayne’s group — whether Sales and Marketing would be moving as an administrative function, or staying in New York as a comic function. Now comes news that Bob Wayne was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and his group will stay in New York. Wayne is well-respected within the direct market comic retail community, in part given his former experience running a store.

There’s obviously still more information to come from the news of DC and Marvel price cuts, especially regarding Marvel’s plans. And it’ll be interesting to see how various parties react to it. (Especially in terms of behavior, not just what they say about it.) Customers like the idea, since it means lower cost to them. Companies are hoping that this will make buyers more likely to pick up more comics and try new things — since if they just keep buying the same number of books they were before, the publishers will lose money.

Retailers, though… Alan David Doane asked some retailers their opinion, and they weren’t optimistic. One said that customers choose what to buy based on “content/creative team” and this price drop shouldn’t have much impact. Another talked about value, saying “crap will not sell better at $2.99 than it did at $3.99, so if the only actual change here is price, I don’t expect a rush back to dropped titles.” The third was most interesting, saying that since he only ordered what he could sell, he’d make less money and have a harder time making the retailer discount level he wanted. He seems to be ignoring that this might spur sales among his customers, or make it easier to entice a buyer to try something else.

These comments illustrate a core discrepancy inherent in the comic market — Retailers want publishers to bring them new customers, while publishers want retailers to work to increase sales. Speaking to the final buyer, which is what the publishers did by lowering prices, may not be the message retailers want to hear.


2 Responses to “Business Followup LinkBlogging: Retailers Dislike Price Drop, Wayne to Stay in NY”

  1. Marvel Plays With Numbers: Backs Off Price Decrease, Confuses New Readers With Point One » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] attention from DC (which got a lot of praise and coverage for responding to fan desires, even if retailers weren’t as happy) and now walking back on the message, claiming it was our fault for not reading/listening properly. [...]

  2. How Long Will DC Stay in New York City? » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] has moved to the West Coast, since they’re part of the Warner movie branch, except for Sales & Marketing and comics editorial. As I understand it, the argument was that they needed to stay in the [...]

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