Comic Store Expansion Programs
Getting Good Response
Published: 10/24/2012 12:51am
The new Diamond support programs for comic stores are getting good pick-up, according to Diamond execs we interviewed at New York Comic Con.
Diamond Comic Distributor’s Comic Book Specialty Market Expansion Programs (done with publisher support, see "Diamond Offers Retailers Expansion Incentives") are up and running, with twelve stores participating at some level, according to Diamond Executive Director of Business Development Chris Powell. The programs are both for new stores and for stores moving into larger locations.
Even top retailers are finding the programs useful. For example, one program allows retailers to bring in new product on a returnable basis for the first two months of orders, until sales patterns can be determined. "We met with Midtown, who has it as together as anybody does, and when they opened their new store in down town Manhattan, the hardest struggle they had was on that first two months worth of frontlist orders because you don’t know how many people are going to come in the door," Powell said. "For those first two months, it’s very difficult to predict how many people are going to come in the door, so the publishers absorb a lot of that risk for people."
A second major Market Expansion Program supports backlist product. "For backlist product, most of the publishers let you buy product, and you get to pay it out over five months and then in the sixth month you can do limited returns," Powell explained. So that lets them stock heavier on those. There are some publishers, like Marvel, who instead of doing it that way, offer an increased discount instead. So you can buy Marvel at 65% off and Image at 69% off."
Diamond has no specific target for the number of new stores for the programs, but has lofty goals. "As many as I can do," Powell said when we asked about a target number.
Diamond’s also getting good uptake on the program that provides free backlist merchandise (with publisher support) and 18 month 0% financing for retailers that purchase the Comic Suite POS system (see "Diamond and Suppliers Offer $6250 Worth of Free Product"). We asked how many stores Diamond is targeting for this program. "250 per year," Diamond Vice President Purchasing Bill Schanes said. "In a couple of years that will double our POS users. In a couple years you’ll have 1,000+ stores that are smarter buyers. That means less lost sales, better inventory turns. Sales should go up and mis-orders should go down. That’s a good mix. Everybody wins."
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