ComicsPRO released the results of a survey that measured retailer sentiment towards the various distributors in the Direct Market. The survey asked retailers to rank Diamond Comic Distributors, Lunar Distribution and Penguin Random House Publisher Services on a variety of different categories.
“With the diversification of distribution, it’s important to understand what strengths and weaknesses each of the distributors brings to the marketplace.” said Jenn Haines, President of the Board of ComicsPRO. “This not only allows retailers to make educated choices on who to work with, but also allows us to better understand the issues facing retailers that we may want to address with distributors. Our goal, as always, is to make the industry stronger and more viable for everyone, through communicating and strategizing with our industry partners.”
Retailers believe each distributor had definite strengths and definite areas that they could improve upon. “No one distributor stood out as being the best in everything,” said Marco Davanzo Executive Director of ComicsPRO. “Retailers believe that each distributor stood out in different ways and each distributor had room for improvement.”
Retailers ranked distributors on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being terrible, 5 excellent). Most rankings were in the 3 to 4 range of a 5 point scale (average to good). “Most retailers feel that the distributors, in general, are doing a good job in distributing the books,” added Davanzo. “Some ratings reached into the high 4s which meant that retailers felt that the distributor was doing an excellent job in that category. And some rating fell under 2 which meant that retailers felt that the distributor was doing poorly in that category.”
Retailers ranked Lunar high with regards to packing and minimizing damages. “Great packing leads to minimal damages.” added Davanzo. “And so it’s no surprise that the distributor that ranked high in packing, would rank high in minimizing damages. Retailers ranked Lunar highest in both of these categories with 4.8 out of 5 in packing and 4.7 out of 5 in minimizing damages, putting them on top of the other distributors in those categories” Retailers believe Lunar could improve their customer service.
Retailers ranked Diamond high in terms of ease of website ordering, POS data handling, and having a wide selection of items to order. However, they ranked the distributor poorly in tems of shipping costs. “On a scale of 1 to 5, retailers ranked diamond comics a 1.7 (between terrible and bad) when asked how they felt about Diamond’s shipping costs.” added Davanzo. “Quite a few retailers told us that they might curtail or have started curtailing their orders from Diamond solely due to these costs”
Retailers love the Free Shipping that PRH provides and ranked them high in having a wide selection of items. “Penguin Random House did quite well in this survey for being new to the Direct Market” added Davanzo. “Retailers love the zero shipping costs and wide selection of items to be able to order. Retailers believe that they could improve integration of their data with Point of Sale Systems”.
Click here to read the full report.
ComicsPRO plans to launch the next retailer sentiment survey in Summer of 2023. If anybody has questions about the report, or would like to suggest questions for next year, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.