Diamond DistributionMedia Release -- As part of its ongoing efforts to grow the comic book specialty market, Diamond Comic Distributors today announced a new initiative with leading suppliers to encourage existing retailers to open new locations and/or relocate their current stores to larger, higher traffic locations.

BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, Diamond Select Toys, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics and Marvel Comics have all signed on to provide incentives to qualifying retailers.

"Promising retail sales for comic book stores in 2011 and 2012 have encouraged a growing number of retailers to expand into larger stores or to open new ones," said Diamond Executive Director of Business Development Chris Powell. "Together with our leading publishers and suppliers, we're excited to announce a program that will allow these retailers to expand with confidence and, by doing so, continue to strengthen the entire comic book industry."

Programs initially offered to qualifying retailers vary by supplier, but will include:

* Increased discounts of up to 69% off orders of backlist products from Diamond and participating publishers and manufacturers;

* Backlist consignment programs, allowing retailers to fully stock their stores with graphic novels, trade paperbacks and other pop-culture merchandise with extended payment terms and the ability to adjust stock levels after 6 months;

* Increased discounts and/or consignment billing on a new store's initial orders of comics for its first two months of operation, with consignment billing deferred until retailers have the opportunity to return overstocked product after keeping it on sale for a period of 6-12 weeks; and

* Store Starter Kits, offering selections of free trade paperbacks and graphic novels from participating publishers that showcase the vast breadth and depth of comic stories that retailers can use to attract any audience into their stores.

Under the new programs, Diamond will continue to provide professional advice and in-depth instruction on Diamond's systems from Powell and a team of Diamond personnel.

Expressing views held by many in the industry, DC Entertainment SVP-Sales & Marketing Bob Wayne said: "The weekly experience that the comic book specialty market provides for our fans is extremely important to all of DC Entertainment. We're excited about this opportunity to work with our retail partners to expand the size of the market, in cooperation with Diamond and our fellow publishers."

According to Powell, most retailers opening new locations of existing businesses must invest a significant portion of their cash-flow to fleshing out their backlist inventory and preordering monthly comics based on projected sales.

"With this new initiative," he said, "we will work with retailers to minimize these risks and outlays. This allows the retailer to stock the hottest graphic novels, trade paperbacks and other bestselling merchandise from day one, which lets them make a great first impression on new customers. It also gives them more flexibility in their budgets for marketing their new store so that they can continue attracting customers and generating sales."

Existing retailers who wish to learn more about the program should contact their Diamond Customer Service Representative for more information.

New retailers seeking to enter the Comic Book Specialty Market should contact Diamond's New Accounts team via phone 1-800-45-COMIC or via email at newaccounts@diamondcomics.com.

ABOUT DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS (DCD)—Diamond is at the nexus of comics and pop culture merchandise. Based in Baltimore, MD, DCD is the world's largest distributor of English-language comic books and pop-culture related merchandise, servicing thousands of specialty retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at www.diamondcomics.com .