With DC’s New 52 changing the face of comics, and getting mostly positive reviews from retailers, it was time for Marvel to announce their OWN new initiative which is aimed at people who want to open new stores. Marvel will provide deep discounts and free trade paperbacks and access to Marvel’s Retailer Resource Center.

The promotion also applies to existing accounts who want to open a new store.

It almost goes without saying that in a challenged retailing environment, opening new stores is of vital importance.

Deets below:

Marvel is proud to announce the New Stores initiative, an unparalleled support program for retailers opening new “brick and mortar” comic book shops worldwide. To qualify for the benefits of Support Your Stores initiative, retailers need only contact their Diamond representative to ask for inclusion in this program. The benefits include, but are not limited to:
• A six-month 53% Discount
·         Marvel’s new inclusion in the ongoing Diamond “stocked to the Max” program, following the same Diamond rules with onetime Stocking discount of 59% on all in stock items!
• FREE copies of nearly two-dozen of Marvel’s top-selling collections featuring the world’s most popular super heroes
• FREE recent variant covers
• Unprecedented discounts on Marvel product for the first six months of membership in this program
• Exclusive sales calls from Marvel and Diamond staff
• FREE access to first looks on the Marvel Retailer Resource Center
• FREE access to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited
• Promotion via Marvel.Com and Marvel’s social media networks
• Extensive promotional material to create greater consumer awareness of Marvel product
• And more!
“Our retail partners in the Direct Market are the lifeblood of the comic industry and we’re committed to helping new retailers open across the world,” said David Gabriel, Marvel SVP of Sales. “We want to make it easier for new stores to launch successfully and with the New Stores program we’re arming new retailers with everything we can to help them enter this exciting world. Marvel provides current retailers with a tremendous amount of promotional posters, samplers, sneak peeks, free books, special sales and incentives, and much more—and now we’re applying that successful strategy to helping new retailers promote our medium to even more fans.”
Marvel urges retailers to check the Marvel Mailer and Diamond Daily for more information on the New Stores initiative.
If you’d like to set up a new account with Diamond, e-mail [email protected] or call 800-45-COMIC, ext 215.
Note for current retailers in good standing who are contemplating opening additional locations, this package also applies.


  1. This might alarm some people, but I really don’t see why Diamond, DC or Marvel don’t set up their own branded comic stores. Especially in major markets. Next to movie theatres. And in airports.

    Okay, I’m sure there is a reason why not… it was tried before, it is not profitable, too much risk for the mother corp,…
    just what is that reason?

  2. Overhead is a bitch yo. I think they should invent a display fixture that could fit nicely in gas stations, grocery stores, air ports, buss stops, Wal-Marts, Targets etc. It should probably take up no more room than a coat rack so that the retailer does not lose a lot of space. Maybe it could spin. Kind of like a spinning coat rack for comics. We could call it… um… a… a… spinner rack. Yeah, that works. Then you would just have a distributor deliver the comics to put on it. Maybe a magazine distributor could handle that for you since they already go to all those places. Get the comics in the places where people actually spend money without putting a huge burden on the retailer. I think it could work.

  3. Ha ha, Shannon, yeah.

    There are spinner racks in one bookstore chain here in Canada, but of course those ‘spun’ comics get all bent and crumpled, becoming an even worse buy than usual at $3 each.

    Get the comics in front of.. oh never mind.

  4. I prefer the comics to be bent up and wrinkled. I like to pour a little coffee on my comics before I read them. Sometimes I’ll blow some cigarette smoke on them first and I don’t even smoke.

  5. Store real estate is valuable, ESPECIALLY in airports. Same goes for check-out lanes in supermarkets. It costs money to get merchandise stocked in those locations. That’s probably why the digest-sized Disney Adventures was cancelled… Disney couldn’t make a decent profit paying the rent for supermarket slots.

    The comics and spinner racks that appeared in supermarkets? Those were pioneered by the Comics Magazine Association of America. Yes, the same people who managed the Comics Code. What organization will promote that now? Would Marvel co-op the display? Who pays for the upkeep?

    Spinner racks take up space, and aren’t very good for displays. Besides, the store will probably just figure they can display the comics on the shelves next to MAD and the puzzle magazines. IF they stock comics.

    Publishers don’t set up their own stores because it’s costly, and it generates bad vibes with independent retailers. Some might remember the Marvel Mart hubbub.

    A bigger question: why don’t the Disney stores and theme parks sell Marvel Comics? Again, it’s real estate… what sells the best in a limited space? At the brand new Times Square Disney store, in the Marvel section, there are a few hardcovers among the toys, but they are difficult to sell, and they get banged up.

    What Marvel is doing is to be commended (especially when they get so much criticism from comics retailers). The more stores, the more access customers have to specialized and expert staff.

    What needs to happen next: DC should swipe Marvel’s cash register program and subsidize the purchase of computer POS systems, which will increase sales, especially for marginal titles. Smaller publishers could match Marvel’s merchandising offers (free trades, better discounts, merchandising).

    AND… Marvel or DC could encourage stores to add a website storefront by buying advertising space on the new pages.

  6. There is a small comic shop chain here in town that opened up a major retail space next to the newest and flashiest movie theater in the trendiest part of the city. They were literally within about 20 feet of the theater’s main exit. They blanketed their windows with any merchandise they had relating to whatever blockbuster film was opening next door. They had events for Free Comic Book Day. Occaisionaly they had a presence in the theater itself with fliers. I don’t think they ever advertised before a movie and I don’t think they ever brought in artists or celebrities.

    That store lasted about a year and a half. I don’t know what they could have done any better.

  7. Oo la la! I’d probably be jumping at this, if it weren’t for the fact that I already work at what is possibly the best comic shop in Texas and easily the best one in Austin.

    That and, you know, not having much money. If only rent could be paid in good spirits and gumption!

  8. “Shannon Smith
    07/12/2011 AT 12:33 PM
    No. I’d say that DC hopes to help make money for the cell pad pod phone industry and Marvel hopes to make money for the comic book industry.”

    Nothing entices new shoppers like offering more of the same thing they’re not buying.

  9. @William George: You got a point, though hopefully new retailers taking Marvel up on it’s offer will use some of that saved money on ads – Facebook ads, for example, might not exactly bring swarms of people but they can be localized, customized to reach certain audiences, and campaigns run very cheap.

    It could also open up funds to stock different comics from the usual superhero stuff – say, stocking the Twilight graphic novels, then ring a local paper/station/blog to come up with a “Hey, they make comics based on that Twilight sensation now! Local fans can get them at Jim’s Panel Hut!” story.

    That extra money could also be spent on more mundane stuff – good lighting, a nice paint job, sturdy shelves – that might not necessarily bring in new customers, but would encourage first-time visitors to come again and perhaps recommend the shop to their friends.

    . . . of course, this all depends on the freshman store owners willingness to /pursue/ said goals, and not just settle on Dragon’s Cave-style mediocrity.

    (Apologies to any actual decent comics shops named Dragon’s Cave.)

  10. Dragon’s Cave-style mediocrity.

    Oh man, for a second there, I thought you’d been to Dragon’s Cave! (I think that’s what it was called. Maybe Dragon’s Den? It’s been a few years.) Dragon’s Cave was near where I went to college and it was the very height of mediocrity.

    Seriously, if you tried to imagine the most mediocre strip mall comic book store, this would be it. Not actively terrible, not quite bad enough to go out of business, just not good enough to even motivate an enormous comic geek in a dorm a half mile away who liked walking to visit that often, you know?

  11. There’s a few “Dragon’s Lair” shops around…

    Searching [dragon comics] on Google Maps:
    Hour of the Dragon
    Red Dragon
    Magic Dragon
    Dragon’s Den
    Dragon Port
    Dragon Lady
    Dragon’s Horde
    Dragon’s Keep
    Dragon’s Tale
    Green Dragon
    Bearded Dragon

    I think “Man Cave Comics” would be a better generic pejorative.

  12. Man, seeing a picture of my favorite LCS, Comic Odyssey, in The Beat just made my day (or night) :)

    Anyway, the perks all sound interesting, but is the incentive worth it?

  13. “The comics and spinner racks that appeared in supermarkets? Those were pioneered by the Comics Magazine Association of America. Yes, the same people who managed the Comics Code. What organization will promote that now? Would Marvel co-op the display? Who pays for the upkeep?

    Spinner racks take up space, and aren’t very good for displays. Besides, the store will probably just figure they can display the comics on the shelves next to MAD and the puzzle magazines. IF they stock comics.”

    Um, yes, no and maybe. I don’t know that anyone has paid anything for any upkeep in years and years. I managed retail inventory at stores that had spinner racks and magazine racks for years and the stores have almost no input on what the magazine distributor brings and the magazine distributors have not been stocking the shelves in years. Newspapers either. The boxes show up and store employees stock the shelves and racks. I’ve requested specific titles from distributors before based on customer demand but it’s kind of a slow thing. You might see that title within three months if your distributor is really kicking ass. Now, magazine distribution is regional and some stores use multiple distributors so there could still be some guys out there paying attention to where they go but I’ve never witnessed it in VA or GA. (And yeah, I have had plenty of store managers decide to throw out the spinner rack and put the comics on the magazine racks. That is how/why I have a nice spinner rack in my basement. I was just being facetious about the spinner rack but I am serious about doing a better job of working with magazine distributors.)

    That said. Archie seems to keep their books at the check out lines somehow.
    My thoughts on both Marvel and DC are that you are either in the periodical business or your are not. If you are, maybe ask someone to make some phone calls to the magazine distributors and see if something can be improved. Oh, and maybe get some one to bust a little ass and sell some advertisements too. I’m sure the local light school year book staff would be willing to give them some free pointers if they took the time to ask.

    And as far as what DC is doing goes- getting with the times and being hip to new technology is no excuse for cutting the DM’s throat. You don’t see Hollywood giving Netflix day and date. Hollywood is smart enough to know that ticket sales + disc sales + streaming = more than just streaming. DC and Marvel both absolutely have to pursue the digital only customer but they don’t have to destroy an existing distribution channel to do so.

  14. Marvel and DC are systematically instigating an epic exodus of small publishers away from print and the DM where they cannot survive on the fiscal crumbs that will be left behind after retailers are finished scurrying after the deep discounts and the barrage of new product.

    “We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!” Otter