Retailers weighed in on how they thought Diamond, Lunar, and Penguin Random House Publisher Services are doing and what they thought about new comics arriving on Tuesdays in a survey done by ComicsPRO earlier this year and discussed during the ComicsPRO Open House on October 5.

ComicsPRO Executive Director Marco Davanzo presented the results, explaining that the 155 retailers who responded to the survey ranked the three distributors on a scale of 1 to 5 on a variety of different metrics.

  • Lunar got the highest scores for packing, minimizing damages to new weekly comics, and getting them to the store in time for New Comic Day, giving it the overall lead.
  • PRHPS got the highest scores for customer service and having a wide selection of items available to order.
  • Diamond outscored the others in ease of ordering from their website and the ability of their Point of Sale (POS) system to integrate with their data, but retailers were extremely dissatisfied with their shipping costs.  Indeed, while every distributor got between 3 (average) and 5 (excellent) on every other metric, Diamond got a dismal 1.86 for shipping costs.

Davanzo then looked at the change between the 2022 and 2023 surveys and noted that PRHPS had improved the most, most notably in the areas of packing and minimizing damages to product. “We have conversations with them on a monthly basis,” Davanzo said, “and we kept on telling them that their packing needed to be improved, and they improved.  So my hat’s off to them.”

As for new comic book day, 58% of retailers surveyed said they sell new comics on Wednesday and 48% on Tuesday.  However, 57% of retailers said they “hate” or “don’t like” selling new comics on Tuesday; 18% said they “like” or “love” it, and 25% didn’t care.  One problem is that 12% of retailers indicated they were closed on Tuesdays, but in addition, the majority of retailers don’t like selling new comics on Tuesday and don’t do it even when given the option.  This inconsistency, in turn, causes confusion among customers.

“We're going to be taking all this information in after New York Comic Con and doing a deep dive and giving it to the distributors and trying to work with them,” Davanzo said.  ComicsPRO also plans to launch a new, more wide-ranging survey in January 2024.