For months, the LJ of Cold Cut Distribution employee Matt High has been spotlighting his spectacular vacation photos. Of late it started talking about packing up and moving. A post yesterday spelled it out
Still no official news on Cold Cut to announce, since the paperwork is not signed yet. But the unofficial news is Cold Cut is closed (and has been since before Christmas, really), and will re-open under totally brand-new ownership in Illinois sometime next month. Details to follow when they can be released.
Cold Cut is one of the very few surviving comics distributors that isn’t Diamond. Although exclusives had left them with a smaller amount of product to carry, their publishers page still lists a couple hundred publishers, including SLG/Slave Labor, Fantagraphics, NBM and book publishers like Random House and Harper Collins.
Cold Cut had been in dubious shape for a while, with a public plea for a new buyer posted in July. We wrote to High for any additional comment but received no answer. We also polled a few indie publishers carried by Cold Cut and the general sense we got is that owner Mark Thompson has generally remained current with publishers, so there is at this point no big financial hit to publishers in the offing.
The need for a distributor other than Diamond continues to be a theme bubbling under the industry, with many rumours of alternatives surfacing now and then, but never in an organized way. Baker & Taylor, the large book distributor seems to have become a de facto alternative for many retailers, as they offer speedier orders on mainstream books and reasonable rates even for returnable books. However, Cold Cut did have a niche that many people found useful or even essential. Whoever this company in Illinois is must have thought the same thing.