Comic shops face even further jeopardy as Diamond Comic Distributors announce that shipping will halt after this month.
In a statement released on Monday 23rd March, Diamond Comic Distributors CEO, Steve Geppi, announced that deliveries of comics will halt after this week as the Covid-19 global pandemic continues to bring disruption to every facet of daily life.
As the sole distributor of physical print comics to the retail industry, the effects of the decision will have wide reaching consequences.
Comic shops, already struggling from diminished footfall and social distancing restrictions, will now face an even tougher time. Any orders placed for titles due to be delivered in time for Wednesday April 1st will not be dispatched.
Geppi’s statement reads with a tone of reluctance: “We are hearing from thousands of retailers that they can no longer service their customers as they have in the past, many of them forced to close by government action or resort to in-person or curbside delivery. Even those still open are seeing reduced foot traffic in most cases, a situation that seems likely to worsen with time“.
He continues: “Our publishing partners are also faced with numerous issues in their supply chain, working with creators, printers, and increasing uncertainty when it comes to the production and delivery of products for us to distribute. Our freight networks are feeling the strain and are already experiencing delays“.
Diamond’s decision is just the latest blow for comic book retailers as the current global pandemic and government restrictions look likely to change the industry forever. Some small retailers will inevitably go out of business during this period of difficulty.
Unable to get their comics in person, more and more readers are expected to switch to increasingly popular digital platforms and formats for their weekly fix. Convenience and reliability could see many turning their back on paper comics once stores re-open for business.
Read the fill statement from Diamond Comic Distribution here.