Diamond Comic Distributors celebrates 30 years of service

by Jeff

DCD30thwithbanner Diamond Comic Distributors celebrates 30 years of serviceMedia Release — Today, Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. marks the 30th anniversary of its incorporation, a major step in the evolution of the company former retailer Steve Geppi successfully started to distribute comic books and pop-culture related merchandise to his fellow retailers. Under Geppi’s leadership as Diamond’s President & CEO, the company has grown since that time into the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books, graphic novels and related pop-culture merchandise

“From day one, Diamond has proudly delivered the best possible service to our customers,” said Geppi. “Our ability to fulfill that commitment to great service reflects the dedication of everyone who is, and ever has been, part of the Diamond team. Their accomplishments seem, appropriately enough, superhuman when you realize that they’ve been doing this for three decades. I am deeply grateful to all of them for their hard work, and I am honored to work alongside them.”

Recognizing the extraordinary growth of Diamond, Executive Vice President and COO Chuck Parker spoke about the company’s anniversary and the exceptional commitment Geppi has made to the Comic Book Specialty Market over the past 30 years. 2012 marks Parker’s 27th year at Diamond.

“Steve Geppi has long been synonymous with comic book distribution,” said Parker. “Our recognition of this special milestone reminds us of his accomplishments, and those of thousands of Diamond employees over the past 30 years who have worked to make this company an innovative industry leader. Long ago, Steve had a vision of growth and professionalism for the comic industry and has worked his entire adult life to make his vision a reality. His enthusiasm and passion for comic books and pop culture in general, coupled with a retailer’s background, gave Steve a unique and insightful appreciation of what a successful distributor must do in order to achieve.”

From its establishment in a Baltimore warehouse, Diamond has always operated on the principle that its success is a direct result of its customers’ success, which goes beyond the vast product selection, competitive discounts, or pioneering services Diamond offers.

“Diamond is a service business, first and foremost,” Parker said. “Service to our customers and service to our vendors. We understand the needs of the retailers we serve and how to fulfill them, and we greatly appreciate their business. Successful retailing is the result of passion, hard work, creativity and stick-to-itiveness. It is not easy.

“Likewise, being a successful vendor is no easy task,” Parker continued. “We also understand their needs, their products and how to move them to market. Without quality product for our retailers to sell, there would be no business and no consumer interest. Bringing all of this together are Diamond’s employees, who make ideas and goals for new and improved services become reality. The depth of our experience with comic books, graphic novels and many other product lines cannot be matched by any other entity.

“We are proud of the role we play in getting quality product from our vendors to our quality retail customers. Together, along with comic shop customers and fans, we comprise the four pillars that support our wonderful industry.”

In addition to the company’s hard-earned reputation in distribution, Parker said that Diamond also takes great pride in the company’s involvement with numerous causes and activities that serve the entire comics industry. “We’ve used our PREVIEWS catalog and our Retailer Summits to generate awareness and funds for such worthy causes as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Hero Initiative, the Xeric Foundation, ProLiteracy, the American Red Cross and many others. We’ve also utilized our resources to assist retail customers in areas stricken by natural disasters to ensure that they get their shipments in a timely fashion and to provide counsel and strategies to customers facing financial challenges.

“Plus, Diamond serves as the central support for Free Comic Book Day and vigorously sponsors such industry-wide events as the Eisner, Harvey, and Joe Shuster Awards. Everyone at Diamond is honored to be associated with all of these organizations, and we hope that our involvement will continue to benefit them in the future.”

That future, according to Parker, should be an exciting place for Diamond and the industry. “Every year at this time, it’s tempting to sit back and review the events and innovations that brought us to another anniversary. But, as we enter our fourth decade, our view remains forward and we are thrilled by the prospect of what lies ahead. Diamond is committed to continue to help our retailers and vendors make their successful marks on a historically ever changing landscape.”

In its effort toward continued growth, Diamond’s plans include investing in new technology and services for its retailers, and the continued push to help its retail customers grow and expand their businesses.

Diamond’s celebration plans call for special sales to its retail customers throughout the month of February – Deluxe Diamond Daily Deals — and a week-long celebration for employees at its Home Office.

“Thanks to the trust of our retailers and vendors, Diamond has accomplished much throughout our history,” Parker said, “and we look forward to accomplishing much more with them in the years ahead.”

1973
• While working as an USPS letter carrier, future Diamond President and CEO Steve Geppi buys his first comic book price guide, and realizes his long-standing hobby of collecting comics could become a profitable undertaking.

1974
• Geppi leaves the USPS to open his first store, Geppi’s Comic World, which operated out of the basement of a TV repair shop.

1982
• With the support of fellow retailers, Geppi founds Diamond Comic Distributors with one warehouse and 17 retail customers.
• Diamond takes over operations of New Media Irjax’s Boston and Tampa Distribution Centers.

I know it is confusing………..but I believe this happened prior to 1982. Sammi can verify with Steve on Monday if you like. I think it is okay to state that New Media happened prior to 1982 with the “incorporation” of Diamond occurring Feb 1st 1982.

1988
• Diamond establishes a national presence with the acquisition of Bud Plant.
• Diamond’s monthly PREVIEWS catalog begins to evolve from a simple title-listing to the “industry bible” it is today.

1990
• Diamond acquires selected assets of Seattle based distributor Destiny Distribution and takes over the operations of Oregon’s Second Genesis.

1991
• Diamond UK, Ltd. begins operations in the U.K., leading to the acquisition of England based distributor Pacific Distribution, Ltd.

1992
• Diamond’s Star System, which will evolve into the PREVIEWS Backlist Service, begins operation, allowing retailers access to quick-shipping of over 8,000 graphic novels and backlist products.

1993
• Diamond acquires England-based Titan Distributors Ltd., consolidates U.K. operations and becomes Diamond Comic Distributors (UK).

1994

• Diamond acquires selected assets of New York-based distributor Comics Unlimited, Ltd.
• The Reorder Universe, which will ultimately evolve into Diamond’s massive inventory hub, opens.

1995
• Reflecting significant changes in the comic industry, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics and Image Comics choose Diamond to be their exclusive sales agent to comic specialty retailers.

1996
• Diamond acquires selected assets of its largest competitor, Capital City Distribution.
• Diamond launches the toll-free Comic Shop Locator Service.

1997
• Marvel Comics signs an exclusive agreement with Diamond to service specialty market retailers.
• Diamond introduces “One Call Does It All” centralized, personalized customer service, as well as its Order Adjustment program.

1998
• Diamond Online’s Retailer Services Area, the forerunner of today’s Retailer Services Website, goes live.

1999
• Diamond’s Vendor Services Website opens.

2000
• The selected assets and liabilities of Alliance Games Distribution are purchased, and Alliance Game Distributors becomes a major operating division of Diamond.

• Online Ordering becomes available on Diamond’s Retailer Services Website.
• The Diamond Bookshelf offers librarians, teachers, and other education professionals information on how comics and graphic novels can become a dynamic and positive addition to classrooms and libraries.

2001
• Diamond and Alliance start a new industry tradition with their annual Retailer Summits.
• Through Alliance, certain assets of west coast distributors Berkeley Distributors and Barchetta Distribution are acquired, giving Alliance a strong national presence.
• Previews on Windows joins Diamond’s roster of online ordering tools.
• Diamond’s Retailer Services Website expands with the addition of Reorders Online.

2002
• Diamond teams with retailers and publishers for the first Free Comic Book Day, designed to attract new customers to comic shops and expose them to what comics has to offer.
• The Diamond Daily e-newsletter begins delivering daily news, product information, sales, and more.
• Diamond Book Distributors is founded to service the growing demand for comics and graphic novels in the book trade.

2004
• The Comic Shop Locator Service gets a new online home: comicshoplocator.com.
• The first Final Order Cut-off Form is posted on Diamond’s Retailer Services Website, allowing retailers to place orders up until the publisher sets its print run.

2005
• Diamond opens its Memphis Distribution Center

2007
• Diamond’s ComicSuite Point-of-Sale software is announced.

2008
• PREVIEWS catalog celebrates 20 years of “the Comic Shop’s Catalog.”
• PREVIEWSWorld.com debuts on the web.
• Diamond’s Olive Branch Distribution Center opens with 600,000 square feet of space and a state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System.

2009
• Diamond upgrades Retailer Services Website with better news and product detail information.

2010
• Diamond launches kidscomics.com to direct young readers and their parents to kid-friendly comic shops across the United States and Canada.

2011
• Diamond launches Day-Early Delivery.

2012
• Diamond hires industry veteran Chris Powell as Executive Director of Business Development to oversee the company’s efforts to expand the comic book specialty market.

• Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc marks 30 years of service to retailers, vendors, and consumers worldwide.

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