The Board of Directors of the retailer organization ComicsPro has released an open letter responding to recent allocations of hot comic titles in some parts of the country:
Due to weather conditions the last two weeks, Direct Market retailers serviced from Diamond's
Retailers serviced by Diamond's other distribution facilities in
While retailers understand and sympathize with the unpredictable nature of truck breakdowns, weather-related delays and 'Acts of God', we strongly urge that better policies be implemented to handle these unfortunate circumstances, both on the distribution level and the communication level.
The ComicsPRO Board of Directors urges the following. In circumstances of allocated shipments of under 60% (sixty percent), when the expected release of the balance of the order is the next week, ALL ORDERS should be held until then, so that all product is distributed equally within the Direct Market.
Further, the Board recommends that in all circumstances when one warehouse fails to receive a product the other warehouses are able to distribute, then all nationwide direct-shipped reorders should be frozen to prevent any retailer from circumventing the system in an attempt to gain an unfair competitive advantage over other retailers.
Finally, the Board recommends the national shipping lists provided by Diamond should be updated and annotated with regional differences in product availability, to help stem the considerable consumer confusion this generates. Releases to consumer-oriented comic book news sites are also called for in these cases.
The ComicsPRO board believes these should be official policies, and not case-by-case determinations made without retailer input. The ComicsPRO Board also offers to consult with Diamond in regards to these policies.
ComicsPRO is open to all storefront retailers willing to invest their money, time, skills, and industry experience. The goals of the organization are to:
- Promote the progress and development of comic book retailers.
- Help develop better marketing and daily business practices for comic book retailers.
- Improve the condition of the comic book industry by educating the general public.
- Provide a voice of advocacy for independent comic book retailers.
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.