Diamond introduces street dates for Wednesday on-sale

comics street dates Diamond introduces street dates for Wednesday on sale

Following lengthy discussion and behind-the-scenes debate, Diamond has announced that street dates are available for all retailers now: comics will be shipped Tuesday for a Wednesday on-sale. Stores who don’t want to participate can stick with Wednesday delivery.

Larger stores have had the option of Tuesday delivery through Diamond for several years.

UPDATE: The idea of a $5 a week charge for “mystery shoppers” to police street dates is still under review.

We’ll have more on this story with industry reactions in today’s PW Comics Week. PR below.

Effective in January, 2011, Diamond retailers in North America and the UK will have the option of “day-early” delivery of weekly product shipments on Tuesdays for sale on Wednesdays.

Day-early delivery – which was outlined to retailers in the form of a Q&A following Diamond’s Retailer Summit in April — will take effect with shipments delivered on Tuesday, January 11, that have a scheduled on-sale date of Wednesday, January 12.

Please Note: The current industrywide Wednesday new release day will remain unchanged, and retailers who do not wish to use the new option may continue to receive their shipments on Wednesdays.

“Our decision to proceed with day-early, Tuesday-for-Wednesday delivery resulted from positive discussions with leading publishers and vendors, from retailer requests and feedback, and from retailer responses to our recent survey on the topic,” explained Diamond Vice President of Sales & Marketing Roger Fletcher.

In that survey, retailers were asked how they thought the day-early option would affect their business and the Direct Market. “Of more than 1,000 retailers who responded to the survey,” Fletcher said, “75% believe day-early delivery will benefit their business, while 72% believe it will benefit the entire Direct Market.”

The survey also asked retailers: “If given the choice between Monday delivery for Tuesday on-sale, and Tuesday delivery for Wednesday on-sale, what would be your preference?” Retailers could choose between the two options, or for “Either Monday for Tuesday or Tuesday for Wednesday.”
 
“The number of respondents who selected Tuesday delivery for Wednesday on-sale and the ‘Either’ option totaled 63%,” Fletcher said, “while those selecting the Monday-for-Tuesday alternative and the ‘Either’ option totaled 38%. This encouraging consensus has convinced us that moving forward with day-early delivery for Wednesday on-sale holds considerable advantages for vendors, retailers, and the industry.”

With the implementation of day-early delivery, Diamond will also initiate a “mystery shopper” program to ensure that participating retailers abide by the industrywide Wednesday release date for books received on Tuesday.

Fletcher urged retailers to “stay tuned” to Diamond Daily and Diamond Dateline for more details about registering for the day-early delivery option.

Additionally, Diamond has announced that — working in concert with vendors — Diamond will deliver product on its normal Wednesday schedule in December.  The first shipment of 2011 will arrive after the New Year’s holiday on Wednesday, January 5. Day-early shipping will commence the following week.

“During the holidays, our retailers and their customers depend upon Diamond to keep the newest and hottest product flowing into stores, and we’d like to thank our vendors for working with us to maintain our regular schedule,” Fletcher said. “We’d also like to thank our vendors and our customers for working with us to get 2011 off to a great start by making the day-early shipping option a reality. We look forward to a smooth transition to what we feel will be a highly beneficial and profitable service.”

Comments

  1. Comic2read says:

    If stores get their comics on Tuesday, why can’t I buy them on Tuesday? If I understand it right, I have to wait a day to buy them?

  2. Not really, because they’ll use that time to sort them and get them ready for sale, so you’ll be able to come in at store open on Wednesday and get your books, for a change.

  3. Don’t a lot of stores already get Tuesday evening deliveries so they can set up early for the next day? I know of several that do. Unless that was some unofficial deal they had w/ Diamond?

  4. Comics2Read, I have a secret to tell you: did you know there is a SEEKRIT PLACE in most stores of all kinds where they store merchandise before it goes on sale????? IT’s TRUE!!!!!

  5. I think it’s more of a convenience thing for the retailers.

    With comics being shipped to the store a day early, they’ll have the chance to go through, make sure everything is there, pull books for sub lists, et cetera without trying to sell to the customers who come in at the same time.

  6. Kevin Hynes says:

    Not a bad deal, it’s about time. It’ll stop the slapstick madness that turns my local store into Fawlty Towers while I’m picking up my books.

  7. Most media products are delivered to stores prior to street dates. Books, movies, CDs, etc. They are stored on-site until the street date, and put out for sale. Just about every media publisher has a penalty for breaking this date.

    There are currently SOME stores that already get Tuesday delivery for Wednesday on-sale. Most of those stores have multiple locations, but place a single order, and the product needs to be split up by the retailer and then transferred to their stores. There are also a few single stores that have Tuesday delivery for Wednesday on-sale due to clauses in their contract with a previous distributor that was absorbed by Diamond.

    I voted for Monday delivery for Tuesday release.

  8. This is a silly cash grab.

    If you go on Thursday to get your new comics and now go on Wednesday, you are ahead one day only on the first week this goes into effect.

    After that, it’s still a week between new comics.

    And the mystery shopper is absurd. Like a comic store would really sell a comic on Tuesday (violating the release date) to some random new shopper who has never been in the store before.

  9. Also, “Fawlty Comics” would be an awesome store name.

  10. Alex, there are stores in every single kind of media that get busted by publishers for breaking street dates every single week. Every time this issue is discussed by comics retailers, someone has an anecdote about a Tuesday ship store putting out comics early.

    The most famous (verified) street date break in recent memory was the store in Canada that put out Harry Potter Book 7 before street date. You can bet that company paid a stiff price for that goof, if goof it was.

  11. I know of two stores in the area (Philly and outskirts) that get their books on Wednesday. They also don’t wait for UPS to ship to them, they go to the UPS branch itself and pick up their stock.

  12. Rick Lowell/ Casablanca Comics says:

    The stores that currently get Tuesday delivery have an agreement with Diamond that requires the stores to combine multi-store orders into a single order. It is time consuming for the store but a savings for Diamond. This is why those stores receive books on Tuesday now. It takes extra time to split the stock and deliver/ divide it among the stores. These same stores also are required to maintain a certain order volume to continue receiving books early.

    The consumer should not notice any change except that books may actually be processed and ready to go at opening on Wednesdays.

  13. Kevin Hynes says:

    Fawlty Comics is pretty good, it’s probably being taken as we speak. Or type.

  14. Tommy Raiko says:

    “Just about every media publisher has a penalty for breaking this date.”

    For what it’s worth, I vaguely recall street date concerns having to do with toys as well. (Admittedly, the situations I’m thinking of have to do with movie tie-in toys, so that’s kinda sorta a media-related thing.)

    Before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace opened, retailers were warned to not display tie-in toys before the designated street date (itself tied to the movie’s release date.)

    There may also have been similar street date concerns with toys related to the American Godzilla remake (the one that totally re-imagined the monster’s look, that the studio was trying to keep secret before the movie debuted,) but I’m not as sure about that.

  15. Some stores here (Germany) already get their new comic books on Tuesday. So what?
    I mean, does it really matter, if you get your new comic book one day earlier then somebody else?

  16. “I mean, does it really matter, if you get your new comic book one day earlier then somebody else?”

    It levels the playing field. Otherwise if you have a store that consistently sells their books a day early, they will likely start stealing business away from stores that are playing by the agreed-to rules.

  17. Right. What I was pointing at was the “me first”-issue. Isn’t it a little bit ridiculous or even childish to be concerned about buying/reading a comic book one day earlier than somebody else?

  18. Brett says:

    Reading a comic one day earlier than someone else may sound ridiculous to some but the same can be said about all the other forms of media that also adhere to on sale dates like dvds, cds, books.

    ‘Hey, what does it matter if one person buys a (fill in the blank: CD, DVD, BOOK) before someone else? After all, it’s only a CD; book or a movie’.

    Thing is, like someone else pointed out: stores that follow the rules lose business to those who don’t. And while it may not make a difference in a $3.99 comic, remember, other comic related products are released Wed’s too — like toys, statues and other high priced items that could be costly to business if some sold product earlier than others.

  19. Kevin Hynes says:

    Not really sure where this discussion is coming from. As I’m reading it it’s Diamond giving shops more time to go through their new inventory. See if everything is there, etc. And with the secret shoppers it looks as if Diamond is protecting the stores from any unfair compeition.

  20. It will be interesting to see if anyone is short sighted enough to post a scan Tuesday night. Oops, let me rephrase: It will be interesting to see how long it takes for some short-sighted person to post scans of a comic on Tuesday night.

  21. Sam Hobart says:

    During my brief tenure owning a shop, Wednesday ship was the bane of my existence, especially when something was wrong, or traffic was bad, or the time I got rear ended on my way to UPS.

    This would have been a hallelujah moment.

  22. Stores breaking street date would probably have its biggest effect on sales of event titles. Imagine a book with the kind of buzz Blackest Night had, and imagine that in a sizable city with multiple competing comic book stores, one store and only one store put their copies of the final issue on sale a day early. That store, guaranteed, would steal sales away from those other stores, as spoiler-adverse fanboys run out to find out the ending of the book before it gets spoiled on the internet. With comics as expensive as they are now, even losing 25 or 50 sales amounts to a pretty massive monetary hit.

  23. Charles Knight says:

    “It will be interesting to see if anyone is short sighted enough to post a scan Tuesday night. Oops, let me rephrase: It will be interesting to see how long it takes for some short-sighted person to post scans of a comic on Tuesday night.”

    Maybe they will move to 0001 on 0-day?

  24. Stores breaking street date would probably have its biggest effect on sales of event titles. Imagine a book with the kind of buzz Blackest Night had, and imagine that in a sizable city with multiple competing comic book stores, one store and only one store put their copies of the final issue on sale a day early. That store, guaranteed, would steal sales away from those other stores, as spoiler-adverse fanboys run out to find out the ending of the book before it gets spoiled on the internet. With comics as expensive as they are now, even losing 25 or 50 sales amounts to a pretty massive monetary hit.

    As I recall, an issue of Blackest Night was the test case for this, and if I remember correctly, only one store broke the street date.

  25. Certain scanners clearly get their comics on Tuesdays but never post until they could have conceivably got a copy by walking in the front door of a shop on Wednesday.

    The biggest impact will be felt in the UK.

  26. For an earlier version of this story – http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/08/27/diamond-moves-to-tuesday-comics-delivery-for-all-comic-stores-in-2011/

    No, that’s a different story by a different writer on a different website.

    And aren’t posts that consist of nothing more than links to other websites generally considered spam?

  27. How’s that, Rich? I’m completely unfamiliar with how Diamond’s arm works when it’s extended beyond the borders.

  28. I knew a CD & DVD store around the corner from where I used to live and would always completely ignore street days and put everything out as soon as they got it. They were a small business and made a lot of sales because of this policy.

    I imagine certain comic book stores will follow suit and consistently break street dates to make more sales. Also I could still some stores awarding some of their more valuable customers with titles on Tuesday night.

    Most recently when Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6 came out on the Tuesday, stores received their orders early in order to have midnight sales if they wished. Certain some stores were selling them the previous Friday, as a number of people on Twitter were talking about being able to buy and read it early.

  29. Chris Hero says:

    I kinda doubt there will be any “mystery shoppers.” Diamond isn’t exactly world renowned for its integrity itself.

    Anyway, anything that makes life easier for a small business is a good thing.

  30. Brian, currently Diamond UK distruibutes to shops on Wednesdays or Thursdays for Thursday sale.

    Now it will distribute to them on Tuesdays for Wednesday sale.

    UK readers will get American comics 5 hours before the first Americans.

  31. When I worked at the (soon to be shuttered) Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center, we religiously followed the Strict On Sale dates. Of course, being open until Midnight, there were times when we allowed customers to line up at Midnight, and purchase those books right before we closed the store.

    We did this for Hillary Clinton, and the later Dark Tower volumes.

    Diamond did test this system last Christmas, when DC sent out early copies of Blackest Night #6. The “Green Christmas” initiative was designed so that retailers had new product to sell on what was otherwise an no shipping week. Details can be seen here:
    http://www.dynamicforces.com/htmlfiles/news.html?showNews=DFN12010901353

    While there were scans posted before the issue sold (Newsarama, for example, deleted a thread), I think only one retailer violated the affidavit.

  32. Big Bob says:

    Well, that’s it for surprise endings in your comics. Tuesday will now be “Comic Spoiler Day” as retailers and their employees take to the internet with info about how all the new comics end a day early.

    Also, since alot of comic retailers have no integrity, they’ll be selling a day early to their regulars. Guarenteed! I’ve seen it happen in my town already.

  33. Don’t people buy their comic books on Wednesdays and save them to read for the weekend anymore?

    Whatever happened to the good old days of the beach, bikini babes, a pack of Parlies, a nice stack of Marvel Comics, and a ice cold bucket of Coronas by your side? Just sitting back relaxing and chilling to the sound of the waves and gulls in the backdrop…as you read of Gwen Stacy gently falling off the Brooklyn Bridge..Spider-man swearing vengeance to the Green Goblin…

    As you begin to count backwards….10….9….8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… suddenly, it’s 1973…

    Jeez, all this yakking about who reads or sells their comic books first – it’s starting to make me perspire. And not in a very nice way either.

    Go back to selling them on Fridays. You all have got work and school on the weekdays!!

    ~

    Coat

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