The subject of Diamond-carried publishers has been a hot topic of late here on The Beat, and while we hear that official notification is forthcoming to publishers, we thought we’d go to the source and ask Diamond VP of Purchasing Bill Schanes to comment on the roll-out. His response is below.
We did break the news about Diamond requiring bar codes on all products at the Diamond/Alliance Baltimore Retailer Summit last week. As we get final feedback from the beta testing on the Diamond Comic Suite Point Of Sale (POS) system, and more and more retailers put POS systems in their stores (Comic Suite or one of the others offered), without bar codes, any item without a bar code won’t be readable to the growing number of retailers who either already have or will be installing POS systems in the near future.
Diamond is sensitive to our publishers concerns (both large and small) and if one considers that retailers are the front lines of the business to the consumer base, we need to give them the tools they need to run their businesses as best as possible. While we recognize that for some small press publishers this maybe a new unanticipated expense which as a percentage of their overall business could be a challenge, we hope they look at the larger picture, and with bar codes, there is a higher likelihood of more retailers to be willing to bring their comics into their stores because they should recognize that the publisher is doing their part of not only supplying a compelling store, but also assisting the retailers with making the sale as easy as possible to ring up to the consumer.
We also asked Schanes about the Countdown question, but he had no comment.