As reported earlier today, DC shook things up by announcing they would no longer distribute their comics and graphic novels via Diamond Comics Distributors. Diamond has just released a response from owner Steve Geppi.
We’d been hearing that this announcement was sudden — and that’s what Geppi seems to confirm.
Diamond Response to DC Comics Announcement
This evening, I shared the following message with all the members of our Geppi Family Enterprises teams. I also wanted to share it with you, our many industry partners.
Today, DC sent out a retailer communication indicating they are ending their long-standing relationship with Diamond. In April, we were informed that DC was going to begin distributing products through additional partners. At that time, they asked us to submit a proposal for a revised agreement with the understanding that Diamond would continue to be one of their distributors. Which we promptly did. They then requested an extension to June 30 which we also accommodated. Last week, DC requested an additional extension through July. We responded with questions and DC indicated they would reply today, June 5. Instead of receiving a response, today we received a termination notice. While we had anticipated this as a possible outcome, we, like so many others in the industry, are disappointed by their decision to end our partnership so abruptly at this time.
Although we had hoped to reach an agreement with DC, every great change also presents great opportunity! Rest assured, Diamond is a strong company and our success does not depend on the actions of one business partner. While we recognize this change impacts the industry, we are well-positioned to seize growth opportunities and are committed to the success of our publishing partners, the Direct Market and our industry as a whole.
We continue to be excited about the growth potential in the comic, game and toy industries as well as growth opportunities for our other Geppi Family Enterprises companies. I truly believe that our comeback will be bigger than our setback and our best days are ahead.
Thank you for you continued support and for all you do. -Steve
Chairman, Geppi Family Enterprises Founder, Diamond Comic Distributors
Interesting peek behind the curtain. I wonder if DC was really negotiating in good faith or just stringing Diamond along until they were more confident that UCS and Lunar could manage the transition? I can see the two new distributors making a go of it if they each got about 50% of DC’s current direct market sales (30% of Diamond’s total, so about 15% of Diamond’s each), but if that pie was split three ways that’s much harder to see. Especially since it probably wouldn’t be an even three-way split, with several retailers predisposed to stick with Diamond for various reasons (keeping ordering simple, not wanting to deal with a retail competitor, better shipping and payment terms). I find it hard to believe that Diamond couldn’t make a matching offer to the terms UCS and Lunar got unless it was deliberately stacked against them.
Haven’t seen it mentioned, but I assume that going forward both UCS and Lunar can sign any retail account, and the geographic split of the original announcement was just to keep it a bit simpler during the hectic startup. Is that the case? If so, I wonder if we’ll see them start to compete on terms to retailers soon.
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