It sometimes takes a rumor a little while to make its way to me, but I have to say my phone was vibrating right off the table yesterday with the news that Diamond has furloughed several people in its purchasing department. Given how quickly the news spread – the personnel involved were very much involved in working with publishers – Diamond made a statement on its website presented below.

Furlough is much preferable to layoffs since employees continue to get benefits and can return to their jobs when things return to normal.

The statement also included other steps Diamond had taken, including reducing executive pay “significantly.” As previously reported, Diamond’s response to the Covid-19 crisis was initially to cease shopping new books, and then to delay payment to publishers – however a payment plan has now been announced. Diamond is also conducting a retailer survey to assess the needs of its customers.

One thing that is pointed out in this statement that I’ve been explaining to a few people: Diamond is still shipping back order products from its Olive Branch, MS warehouse.

Geppi Family Enterprises Announces Further Steps to Address Coronavirus Impact

As you know, COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on businesses around the globe and unfortunately, Diamond is no exception.

As a result, we have made the difficult decision to furlough some employees.

This was not a decision we made lightly, and we only do so to protect our company’s financial future and preserve jobs. We have taken several steps already to mitigate our financial exposure including delaying payment to publishers, extending vendor payment terms and significantly reducing executive compensation. It is our goal that, on the other side of this crisis, our furloughed employees will return to their roles.

The furlough period begins today, April 13, and all impacted workers currently enrolled in one of the group’s health, vision and/or dental insurance plans will maintain coverage. During the furlough period, we will pay 100% of the cost of the premium, both employer and employee contributions.

While the furlough is in effect, a number of individuals will continue working in business-critical roles and in preparation for when we are able to resume distribution of new product. For our retailer partners, reorders of in-stock Diamond products can still be ordered for direct shipments via Diamond’s Retailer Services Website. Please continue to consult our Coronavirus Updates page for an ongoing list of resources available to retailers during this crisis.

Additionally, is a single source for other Coronavirus-related information from Diamond and our publishers.

As a company and an industry we will navigate what lies ahead and we are committed to emerging and thriving on the other side of this crisis. We look forward to the day when we are able to be together again and resume the weekly distribution of new product.