Marvel And Penguin Random House Announce Exclusive Distributor Deal For Comics And Graphic Novels

Marvel And Penguin Random House Announce Exclusive Distributor Deal For Comics And Graphic Novels


Jay Cochran - March 25, 2021
UPDATE: Diamond Distributor CEO Steve Geppi issued an immediate statement in regards to Marvel's surprise press release. Diamond Distributors had been the exclusive distributor for Marvel Comics up until now, however Geppi indicates this really won't change much. Last year DC Comics had quit using Diamond as their distributor for comic books, so if Marvel was leaving it would likely be a devastating blow to Diamond. See Geppi's statement below along with the Marvel press release:

Statement by Steve Geppi in Response to Marvel’s Announcement

We value our almost 40-year relationship with Marvel and are pleased that we will continue selling Marvel products to the Direct Market and other channels. The change Marvel announced today represents a behind-the-scenes shift in how Diamond interacts with Marvel for certain products, but does not impact our ability to supply our customers with Marvel comics, trades, and graphic novels. I expect the discount terms under which our retail partners order these Marvel products to change, and Diamond will communicate that information to our customers well in advance of any adjustments. While there are still details of this new arrangement to work through, my leadership team and I are committed to making this supply change as operationally seamless as possible for our retail partners and we look forward to our continued distribution of Marvel products.


Marvel press release:

Marvel Comics and Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS), a division of Penguin Random House, the renowned trade book publisher, today announced an exclusive worldwide multi-year sales and distribution agreement for Marvel’s newly published and backlist comic books, trade collections, and graphic novels to comics shops, known as the Direct Market. PRHPS officially begins its distribution to Direct Market retailers for all Marvel titles starting October 1.

After a thorough analysis of the market environment, Marvel has chosen PRHPS as its distribution partner to create a sustainable, productive supply chain and enhanced infrastructure for Marvel publications that will benefit comics retailers and fans alike for years to come. Penguin Random House is known for its state-of-the-art multi-ranging services that enable independent booksellers to increase efficiency and profitability.

“Marvel’s entire history is built on telling great stories. And as we’ve seen for decades, those stories go hand in hand with equipping the comic shops who share them. Marvel and Penguin Random House stand by that vision, and we are excited to build and expand those opportunities for our talent, retailers, and fans,” said Dan Buckley, President of Marvel Entertainment. “Comics are the core of the Marvel Universe, and we are confident this new partnership will continue to grow and evolve this resilient industry. We look forward to advancing our capabilities with PRHPS to serve our fans and the Direct Market. We thank Diamond for their many years of support and partnership as we continue our relationship with them in other areas.”

Penguin Random House has long been committed to physical retail in order to foster and grow their market. Independently owned brick-and-mortar bookstores are local community builders, advocates for books, and passionate influencers for the industry.

After seeing a double-digit percentage in closures of physical bookstores from 2001 to 2011, and notwithstanding an anticipated rise in e-books, PRH significantly extended and expanded its outreach to physical retail. Through its robust supply chain of rapid direct shipping, greater access to data, and premier customer service, PRH helped support healthier margins that led to a market turnaround. These past experiences and learnings will be invaluable when adapting for today’s physical retailers in the Direct Market.

“This is an exciting time for comics, and we’re thrilled to partner with Marvel in taking the next steps to support the growth of the marketplace, together with our Direct Market retail partners,” said Jeff Abraham, President of Penguin Random House Publisher Services. “Based on the foundation of our relationships with physical retailers, we’re confident in the significant growth of the comic book industry and welcome the opportunity to further collaborate with and invest PRHPS’ resources in the Direct Market. Combining the standard-setting supply chain and sales capabilities of PRH with Marvel’s renowned universe of stories and characters, we expect to reach even more fans of its artists and writers throughout the world.”

Penguin Random House is a free-freight company, allowing retailers to simplify their business models while alleviating the volatility and complexity of reducing freight costs and planning. Through many of PRH’s standard offerings, like its rapid replenishment program for graphic novels and advanced supply chain, Direct Market retailers will experience more flexibility to manage inventory and stock their stores to best serve their customers.

Direct Market retailers can choose to order Marvel products direct from PRH, or alternatively, through Diamond as a wholesaler under terms established by Diamond in the US and the UK. Hachette Book Group will continue to manage distribution of Marvel’s graphic novels and trade collections to the book market.

Marvel’s full print and online October Marvel Previews catalog and comic book solicits will be available in July and distributed by PRHPS to active accounts. All comic book and trade orders for titles going on sale this October should be made through PRHPS. Early solicit titles will be available for order starting on May 26. Retailers can open PRHPS accounts now to register for Marvel’s monthly title catalogs and solicits, which will continue to be available to retailers approximately three months ahead of on sale.


Marvel and PRHPS will be sharing more information with retailers in the coming weeks and months, and retailers will have an opportunity to learn more about PRHPS’s offerings and hear directly from Marvel and PRHPS leadership in the coming weeks.

Direct Market retailers can reach out to Penguin Random House for more information about their respective markets:

· US Retailers: comicmarketus@penguinrandomhouse.com

· International Retailers: internationalsales@penguinrandomhouse.com

· Canadian Retailers: specialmarketscanada@penguinrandomhouse.com
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
Atlantis - 2021-03-26 @ 6:30 pm
2 hours ago, Benn said:

Again, it doesn't sound like it was a decision. Maryland very likely compelled them to close. Every US games distributor was closed for the same period of time too, and I'd wager plenty of other distributors of luxury items were in the same boat. And, I'm sorry--boo hoo, poor comic stores that couldn't get new comics. Many businesses across the world simply weren't allowed to be open. Period. I would've closed anyway, because my staff's safety is far more important than my business's survival, but I literally could not legally operate my business for two months, and haven't been able to legally operate a significant part of my business operations for over a year. I would've killed for a situation where not being able to get new merchandise was the only hurdle to overcome. It's a bad take. Your comics aren't more important than Diamond's employees' lives.

Good on you for caring about your staff's  safety. Our local comic shop was/is able to stay open with reduced hours, curbside service, etc. but far as I know, no one had to lose their job. Congrats on those employers that recognize and value their staff's health!

Satam - 2021-03-26 @ 4:14 pm

 

30 minutes ago, Benn said:

Again, it doesn't sound like it was a decision. Maryland very likely compelled them to close.

Maryland didn't compel them to close. Diamond was forced to close. And It would have been illegal for them to resume operations within the state while Governor Hogan's stay-at-home order prohibited them from doing so.

Benn - 2021-03-26 @ 3:41 pm
7 hours ago, leokearon said:

It isn't a bad take. Diamond hung the comic industry out ot dry. Many comic shops around the world were still open but thanks to Diamond's monopoly and decision, they couldn't get any stock from them if they wanted to  This forced them to try and sell all their own stock and hope they had enough to survive. while other business were getting in new merchandise and graphic novels from their distributors with no problem. 

Again, it doesn't sound like it was a decision. Maryland very likely compelled them to close. Every US games distributor was closed for the same period of time too, and I'd wager plenty of other distributors of luxury items were in the same boat. And, I'm sorry--boo hoo, poor comic stores that couldn't get new comics. Many businesses across the world simply weren't allowed to be open. Period. I would've closed anyway, because my staff's safety is far more important than my business's survival, but I literally could not legally operate my business for two months, and haven't been able to legally operate a significant part of my business operations for over a year. I would've killed for a situation where not being able to get new merchandise was the only hurdle to overcome. It's a bad take. Your comics aren't more important than Diamond's employees' lives.

monron999 - 2021-03-26 @ 3:05 pm

This is a good move. How crazy was it that they had such a lock down on the distribution game for so long? Nothing good comes from keeping all your eggs in one basket. Diamond either has the choice to straighten up or go belly up. I think we'll find that a little bit of competition makes companies work harder and better than anyone thought they could.

leokearon - 2021-03-26 @ 8:18 am
8 hours ago, Benn said:

Diamond is a scumbag operation, to be sure, and Marvel and DC have ample reasons to want to end their relationships with the company, but this is an extremely bad take. Diamond suspended operations for a few months, as did virtually all US distributors (and many manufacturers) of non-essential goods, for the safety of their employees, while they figured out how to keep them safe. Shutting down was the right thing to do, but it may not even have been their choice (I'm not sure what Baltimore policies were early in the pandemic, but they wouldn't have been able to continue operating legally here in Philly), and Marvel effectively did the same thing concurrently, anyway. DC didn't, but they have their own baggage. And if I'm remembering correctly, Diamond re-opened its doors months before Marvel gave them anything new to sell again, anyway.

Yes, it was rough for the people it temporarily put out of work, but it was also the safest thing for their staff, and the real blame here lies on the US government for having pandemic support that was overwhelmingly too little and too late to keep people adequately fed. Hopefully, Diamond and Marvel kept paying their staff anyway and sought what government support they could. I own a small business myself, and we were closed from March until June, open only for curbside pick-up until October, and still haven't resumed events, but I paid every single person who works for me their full wages the entire time we were closed, and made sure to apply for every aid program offered. It wasn't easy, but I'm a much smaller fish than Diamond or Marvel, and I made it work, so I'm sure they did too.

It isn't a bad take. Diamond hung the comic industry out ot dry. Many comic shops around the world were still open but thanks to Diamond's monopoly and decision, they couldn't get any stock from them if they wanted to  This forced them to try and sell all their own stock and hope they had enough to survive. while other business were getting in new merchandise and graphic novels from their distributors with no problem. 

SUPREME007 - 2021-03-26 @ 3:15 am
3 hours ago, Benn said:

Yes, it was rough for the people it temporarily put out of work, but it was also the safest thing for their staff, and the real blame here lies on the US government for having pandemic support that was overwhelmingly too little and too late to keep people adequately fed. Hopefully, Diamond and Marvel kept paying their staff anyway and sought what government support they could. I own a small business myself, and we were closed from March until June, open only for curbside pick-up until October, and still haven't resumed events, but I paid every single person who works for me their full wages the entire time we were closed, and made sure to apply for every aid program offered. It wasn't easy, but I'm a much smaller fish than Diamond or Marvel, and I made it work, so I'm sure they did too.

As a small business owner my self I was in the same situation, we barely made it through but I thank god we did.

SUPREME007 - 2021-03-26 @ 3:13 am

Not surprised by this move from Marvels standpoint, Diamond has a nice long run tho. It is what it is.

SpiderS - 2021-03-26 @ 2:52 am

Interested to see how will comic shop industry adapt to this. But unlike diamond Penguin is indeed world wide company that can put marvel, especially their collected editions into many diverse markets and bookstores, which should in theory increase sales for Marvel.

Satam - 2021-03-26 @ 1:36 am
1 hour ago, Benn said:

it may not even have been their choice (I'm not sure what Baltimore policies were early in the pandemic, but they wouldn't have been able to continue operating legally here in Philly)

Baltimore doesn't really matter, because non-essential businesses were required to shutdown across the entire state of Maryland for a while there at the start of the pandemic.

Benn - 2021-03-26 @ 12:06 am
6 hours ago, leokearon said:

Given that Diamond hung the comic industry out to dry early last year, it is not surprising that Marvel would try to find some alternatives

Diamond is a scumbag operation, to be sure, and Marvel and DC have ample reasons to want to end their relationships with the company, but this is an extremely bad take. Diamond suspended operations for a few months, as did virtually all US distributors (and many manufacturers) of non-essential goods, for the safety of their employees, while they figured out how to keep them safe. Shutting down was the right thing to do, but it may not even have been their choice (I'm not sure what Baltimore policies were early in the pandemic, but they wouldn't have been able to continue operating legally here in Philly), and Marvel effectively did the same thing concurrently, anyway. DC didn't, but they have their own baggage. And if I'm remembering correctly, Diamond re-opened its doors months before Marvel gave them anything new to sell again, anyway.

Yes, it was rough for the people it temporarily put out of work, but it was also the safest thing for their staff, and the real blame here lies on the US government for having pandemic support that was overwhelmingly too little and too late to keep people adequately fed. Hopefully, Diamond and Marvel kept paying their staff anyway and sought what government support they could. I own a small business myself, and we were closed from March until June, open only for curbside pick-up until October, and still haven't resumed events, but I paid every single person who works for me their full wages the entire time we were closed, and made sure to apply for every aid program offered. It wasn't easy, but I'm a much smaller fish than Diamond or Marvel, and I made it work, so I'm sure they did too.

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