Diamond Comic Distributors has informed comic book publisher that they will be holding previously scheduled payments to vendors this week as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stan Heidmann, president of Diamond’s parent company, Geppi Family Industries, issued a letter to publishers that was obtained by Bleeding Cool. Read the letter below:
Dear Diamond Vendor:
As the world responds to the outbreak of COVID-19, our focus is on protecting employees, understanding the risks to our business, evaluating the risks to our industry and examining the Federal Government resources available. While the full impact of this epidemic is still unknown, one thing is certain: supply chain disruptions have cash flow implications across the extended industry that can’t be underestimated.
While we work to understand the current industry landscape, the unfortunate truth is that we are no longer receiving consistent payments from our customers. This requires that at this time, we hold payments to vendors previously scheduled to release this week. This is a difficult decision and not one we make lightly. As this situation continues to evolve, we are committed to building out a plan for payment and will have more information to share later this week.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.
Diamond previously announced that they were halting shipments until further notice, which is a major problem for the comic book industry as they distribute books from nearly every comic book publisher you’ve heard of, including Marvel, DC, Image, BOOM! and Dark Horse. Some publishers, such as DC Comics, have announced they will continue to release books digitally, which is seen by many as a slight to the brick-and=mortar comic book shops of the world, who are seriously struggling as a result of social distancing.
Other publishers, such as TKO Studios, have announced programs aimed at helping local comic book stores. TKO will give 50% of all online sales to brick-and-mortar comic book shops during the pandemic.