Diamond Comic Distributors Halts Shipment of New Products Due to COVID-19

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda & Jennifer Sherman
N. American distributor also signs deal with Kodansha Comics

Comic book distributor Diamond Comic Distributors announced on Monday that it will halt all shipments to retailers of products slated for release on or after April 1 until further notice, and Diamond UK will do the same for all products slated for March 25 or later.

Diamond Comic Distributors said that it will continue to fulfill direct-ship reorders for retailers through its Olive Branch, Mississippi distribution center. However, orders are unlikely to ship the day they are placed, and the distributor's plans are subject to change to "safeguard [its] teams while fulfilling orders." The company's Alliance Game Distributors subsidiary will also close both its warehouses at the end of Tuesday and cease fulfilling orders until further notice.

Additionally, Diamond Comic Distributors announced on Tuesday that it has signed a distribution agreement with Kodansha Comics for exclusive distribution of its products to comic book specialty markets worldwide. Diamond Comic Distributors "will assume exclusive sales and distribution for Kodansha Comics in traditional and non-traditional book channels" on August 1. Diamond Comic Distributors also received exclusive rights to distribute Kodansha Comics' new releases in the United Kingdom and Ireland through Diamond Book Distributors UK.

Diamond Comic Distributors announced on March 19 that it is postponing the Free Comic Book Day event until this summer.

In Japan, Bandai Spirits announced on Monday that it will delay by one month products that it had slated for release between April and July, due to delays in manufacturing and shipping of parts.

The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on March 11 that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Monday, the WHO reported that there are 334,981 infected individuals worldwide. 14,652 individuals have died from the disease.

As of Monday, the WHO reported that Japan has 1,089 cases of COVID-19 with 41 deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 712 infected passengers with seven deaths. The United States has a reported 31,573 cases with 402 deaths as of Monday.

Sources: Diamond, ICv2 (Milton Griepp), Bandai via Otakomu

This article has a follow-up: The Hollywood Reporter: Diamond Comic Distributors Plans to Restart Shipments by End of May (2020-04-18 05:02)
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