Geppi Family Enterprises CEO Steve Geppi told publishers that the first wave of weekly orders coming in as the company resumes operations after a long shutdown (see "Diamond To Resume Weekly New Product Distribution") have been "better numbers than we thought."

The comments came in a livestream discussion conducted by former retailer Dan Shahin on his Comic Book News YouTube channel with Geppi, who’s continuing his confidence-building tour (see "GFE CEO Geppi Addresses Solvency Question" and "Diamond’s DC Relationship"), and publishers Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Comics, Gary Groth of Fantagraphics Books, Ross Richie of BOOM! Studios, and Dirk Wood of IDW Publishing.  Richardson asked about Geppi’s take on the health of the retailers Diamond serves, and on how the first weekly orders that hit Final Order Cut-Offs have come in.

"The FOCs that you referenced have been coming in better numbers than we thought," Geppi replied.  "We budgeted very carefully for our cash flow projections to anticipate what percentage of last year’s volume on a week-to-week, month-to-month basis we would expect.  And happily, the numbers are coming in stronger, and I’m going to predict to you right now that in addition to what maybe are conservative FOC adjustments, we’re going to see those books sell out and they’re probably going to order more because it goes back to the consumer.  The consumer has that pent-up desire to get the product they missed."

Geppi emphasized the pre-orders that retailers had taken as one source of support.  "I think the rack sales might suffer, for the people who are  dependent on that, but the people that have subscription service, pull-and-hold, they’re going to probably recapture a great deal, if not a high percentage of the volume that was deemed to be potentially lost," he said.

Geppi also endorsed the general financial condition of comic stores.  "From the retailer’s perspective financially, …I think they’re stronger than people give them credit for," he said.