23/03: shutdown totale fino a nuovo ordine

Perdonate il titolo a effetto ma era importante. Long story short: si entra in pausa forzata per gli arrivi (salvo quello in corso) e se ne riparlerà a fine emergenza.

Diamond (sotto incollo il messaggio di Steve Geppi): blocca tutto fino a nuovo ordine. Non ci saranno più uscite e distribuzione fino al termine della pandemia. È possibile che sarà possibile mantenere la ricezione degli arretrati ma sarà una cosa limitata e saremo costretti a comprendere di volta in volta.

Italia: sostanzialmente non stanno stampando quasi nulla, in teoria ci sono le novità da edicola ma anche quelle potrebbero rallentare nei prossimi giorni. Dei distributori pare che solo Pan sia attivo ma per le sole novità da edicola quindi in sostanza anche da questo lato siamo fermi.

Non si sa quando ci saranno nuovi arrivi, presumibilmente non prima della seconda settimana di Aprile, solo arretrati e solo se i distributori decideranno di riprendere anche solo un’attività minimale e il DPCM 22/03 non sarà prorogato.

Leggete quel che avete accumulato, state a casa se non avete necessità di uscire e se volete la spedizione della casella la gestiremo ma potrebbero esserci ritardi.

L’arrivo USA in corso sembrerebbe non essere coinvolto: è previsto che la merce in viaggio sia consegnata e speriamo di averla prima di fine mese. La smisteremo e se vorrete attendere quella per farvi spedire la casella per noi va bene.

Ribadisco: state lontani da tutte le possibilità di contagio e proteggete i membri della vostra famiglia, soprattutto gli anziani. Noi non smetteremo di farvi conoscere le novità man mano che le avremo.

An Message from Steve Geppi,
Chairman & CEO,
Geppi Family Enterprises
Founder, Diamond Comic Distributors
As everyone knows, the world faces ever-increasing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its effects on the comics & collectibles and tabletop gaming industries have been felt far and wide. 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.

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, while our distribution centers in New York, California, and Pennsylvania were all closed late last week. Our own home office in Maryland instituted a work from home policy, and experts say that we can expect further closures. Therefore, my only logical conclusion is to cease the distribution of new weekly product until there is greater clarity on the progress made toward stemming the spread of this disease.

Product distributed by Diamond and slated for an on-sale date of April 1st or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice. For the time being, however, we have been able to develop procedures with our teams at the distribution center in Olive Branch, MS to safely continue fulfillment of direct ship reorders for the retailers who are able to receive new product and need it to service their customers. It’s unlikely that orders will be filled on the same day they are placed, and these plans are subject to change if at any point we no longer feel that we can safeguard our teams while fulfilling orders.

Product distributed by Diamond UK and slated for an on-sale date of March 25th or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice. Further updates with regard to reorders and other Diamond UK-specific information will be communicated directly to their customers as information becomes available.

Product distributed by Alliance has been shipping from our Fort Wayne, IN and Austin, TX warehouses. Both are closing at the end of the day on Tuesday, March 24th, in the interest of employee safety and to comply with direction from local governments. Any orders not shipped by that time will not be processed until further notice. Your dedicated sales team will still be working remotely and will help you with any orders you’d like to place today or questions you may have.

With these changes in our distribution strategy, we will work with our publishing partners to develop programs that will address product already in the pipeline and what will happen when we resume distribution. We know that during this time you will face many challenges, and we will direct our energies toward addressing them, rather than fighting on increasingly numerous fronts to get product out.

For those retailers who remain open in various forms, I encourage you let loose your own creativity. For the time being, you will be able to replenish your perennials from Diamond and/or Alliance, but you should also remember the stock you already have in your stores. If your doors remain open, it’s likely you will have customers who will continue to seek diversion from events of the world. Special sales, promotions, and even eBay can help you bring in cash during this trying time. Product for which you’ve already paid may well hold some of your answers. There have been many solid suggestions offered about how to help our retailers, and we will bring many of them together in future communications.

Besides the industry’s most immediate needs, we have been and will continue looking toward the future, when we see stores reopening, bringing staff back onboard, and getting customers in the door. We are looking at issues like debt accrued due to this crisis, what reduced ordering means for your discount tiers, and the availability of credit to help stores through and after this difficult time. We don’t have all those answers today, but we understand the many issues you are facing and look forward to addressing them as partners who all have an interest in the long-term health of the industry we love so much.

As I mentioned in my last update, this industry has been one of the greatest joys of my life, from my days as a collector to a retailer to today. I and my Leadership Team have made these decisions knowing full-well the effect they will have on all of you, as well as our publishing partners and our own team members around the world. At the end of the day, the safety and security of our teams and yours, along with the many customers we all serve, is paramount. I again thank you for your ongoing patience and support.

Thank You,

Steve Geppi
Chairman & CEO, Geppi Family Enterprises