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pandemic2020After announcing that they would not be able to pay their vendors last week – and setting off a wave of alarm that trickled down the entire comics industry, Diamond Comics Distributors CEO Steve Geppi has announced a new payment schedule, via Geppi Family Enterprises.

In a letter sent to publishers today, Geppi said that they will be able to pay 25% of the weekly payments starting this week, with a 25% payment each week for six weeks thereafter on the balance due.

After six weeks, the deferred balance will be paid out over a 13 week period.

Some have suggested that this means that Diamond will be moving books again in six weeks, given that the country is in a lockdown for at least another month, I’d label that as a big unknown.

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Reactions among my sources were either guardedly optimistic or hand throwing up. In other words, it’s all still a big cloudy crystal ball.

The letter from Geppi is reproduced below:

Dear Diamond Vendors,

COVID-19’s dramatic impact on businesses around the globe cannot be understated. My leadership team is working non-stop in concert with expert consultants and our publisher partners to safeguard the comic industry’s future. Thousands of retailers and publishers and hundreds of thousands of fans look forward to the products we distribute, and I take that responsibility very seriously.

Last week, we held vendor payments to allow for careful analysis of information from our industry, our business and the effects of COVID-19. We assured you that we would communicate our revised payment schedule when we were able, and I appreciate your patience and the many supportive messages I’ve received this week.

Working with what we know today, below is the outline of vendor payments from Diamond Comic Distributors and Diamond Book Distributors:

  • Beginning this week, the week of April 6th, you will receive 25% of the weekly amount due under your contract terms
  • Each subsequent week, you will receive a 25% payment of that week’s balance due
  • This reduced payment schedule will continue for 6 weeks, with the remaining 75% due in each of those weeks being deferred
  • Following that 6-week period, we will begin payment of the deferred balance in equal payments over a 13-week period

While we understand that this will have significant impact on everyone, and the situation could change, we also recognize that our world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis and aggressive action is necessary. In addition to the steps outlined above, our leadership team is accepting a 50% salary cut, landlords have agreed to rent deferrals, and various other providers of professional services have agreed to defer their payments. Never before have we experienced such a test of our resolve and a demonstration of our commitment to each other.

Now more than ever we need to come together in support of one another, knowing that these difficult decisions will allow us to emerge from this trying time and thrive once again.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Steve Geppi
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Geppi Family Enterprises

Follow all of the Beat’s coverage of the Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis here. And if you have a tip or story please contact us here.
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