Marvel Announces Support for New Comic Book Stores

While DC is embracing the future with same-day digital release, Marvel is attempting to shore up the traditional comic book market. It’s a good strategy — DC has historically had more direct market retailer-friendly policies, but now Marvel has the opportunity to look like the nice guy, concerned with promoting the traditional comic outlet. Since retail sources estimate that the number of dedicated comic book stores in the U.S. could be as low as 1800, new stores are needed — although I can’t recommend anyone get into the business these days, what with print of all kinds being a difficult industry experiencing severe contractions.

Anyway, Marvel has announced that they will be providing the following benefits to new comic book stores (or additional locations of established stores or new chain outlets) as part of a “New Stores initiative”:

  • A six-month 53% Discount
  • Marvel’s new inclusion in the ongoing Diamond “stocked to the Max” program, following the same Diamond rules with one-time stocking discount of 59% on all in stock items!
  • FREE copies of nearly two dozen of Marvel’s top-selling collections featuring the world’s most popular superheroes
  • FREE recent variant covers
  • Exclusive sales calls from Marvel and Diamond staff
  • FREE access to first looks on the Marvel Retailer Resource Center
  • FREE access to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited
  • Promotion via Marvel.Com and Marvel’s social media networks
  • Extensive promotional material to create greater consumer awareness of Marvel product

As with Marvel’s online retailer resource, prospective store owners will want to evaluate how much of a “Marvel” store they want to be, but a significant discount is a huge help to an aspiring comic shop, especially as they’re working to get their inventory right in the early months.

To participate in the Support Your Stores initiative, retailers should contact their Diamond representative to ask to be included. I guess that assumes that the store is new, but not so new as to not yet have a Diamond account.

9 Responses to “Marvel Announces Support for New Comic Book Stores”

  1. Scott Says:

    I am trying to wrap my head around this. I’m… pretty impressed. 53% and 59% may not SOUND like much, but they both take serious volume to get to.

    Those factors alone are a great initiative for new store owners.

  2. William George Says:

    For six months. Then they’re back to assuming all of the financial risks for the publishers in a declining market with no chance of bringing in new readers.

  3. Scott Says:

    “no chance”? You mean zero? None at all? Wow, that’s just horrible.

    And blatantly untrue.

    Smart stores can easily find ways to bring in new readers. And fortunately, DC is helping out in September with that.

  4. Bytowner Says:

    Not sure that I’d agree with that belief re: DC.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Scott, as a relatively new store owner, can you provide any information on how long it takes retailers to get a good handle on their market? I’m wondering if the discount drop (from the introductory high levels) to the actual based on sales after six months is overly difficult to adjust to.

  6. William George Says:

    “DC is helping out in September”

    DC is selling a used Yugo with a new coat of paint and calling it a Porsche. They may WILL get the obsessives and the speculators to buy their new books en masse. They may even get a number of civilians to come in and pick up a new Superman.

    Once those civilians figure out that Superman is now made for the babymen and no one else, that revenue source is going to dry up. When the speculators are positive they don’t actually have their pollybagged retirement funds like they thought they did, that revenue source is going to dry up as well. And everyone left over is going to go back to blaming internet pirates for poor sales.

    There’s nothing new under the sun. Especially in the direct market, which seems to believe the best way out of a hole is to dig all the way to China.

  7. Johanna Says:

    William, I know you’re contemptuous of superhero comics and the entire direct market, but could you tone it down just a little? Such blatant tone kills conversation. What would you rather see DC do? Go digital-only? Stop publishing comics? Throw out all the executives and hire webcomic creators?

  8. Kat Kan Says:

    My teenage son – exactly the kind of reader I think DC wants to attract – is excited by at least a few of the new DC series debuting in September. He’s actually an experienced comics reader – for almost 12 years now (I started him in Kindergarten), but he’s in the young demographic range.

  9. Grant Says:

    It’s possible I might be 25% owner of a comic shop in California next year. My retired cop bff of 35 years is going to give it a shot and I’m pitching in a bunch of golden age and original art and some cash to help him out. So this is kind of exciting news to me.

    All I’ve got to do now is grow the pony tail. ;)




Most Recent Posts: