Much has happened to shape the comic industry in the last three decades, and Diamond Comic Distributors has been proud to be a part of that evolution. To continue our celebration of 30 years of service to comic books specialty retailers and vendors around the world, Diamond Daily presents this timeline of highlights from Diamond’s illustrious history.
• 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.
• Geppi leaves the USPS to open his first store, Geppi’s Comic World, which operated out of the basement of a TV repair shop.
• Diamond takes over operations of New Media Irjax’s Boston and Tampa Distribution Centers.
• With the support of fellow retailers, Geppi incorporates Diamond Comic Distributors with one warehouse and 17 retail customers.
• 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.
• Diamond acquires selected assets of Seattle-based distributor Destiny Distribution and takes over the operations of Oregon’s Second Genesis.
• Diamond UK, Ltd. begins operations in the U.K., leading to the acquisition of England based distributor Pacific Distribution, Ltd.
• 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.
• Diamond acquires England-based Titan Distributors Ltd., consolidates U.K. operations and becomes Diamond Comic Distributors (UK).
• 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.
• 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.
• Diamond acquires selected assets of its largest competitor, Capital City Distribution.
• Diamond launches the toll-free Comic Shop Locator Service.
• 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.
• Diamond Online’s Retailer Services Area, the forerunner of today’s Retailer Services Website, goes live.
• Diamond’s Vendor Services Website opens.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Diamond opens its second Memphis Distribution Center
• Diamond’s ComicSuite Point-of-Sale software is announced.
• 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.
• Diamond upgrades its Retailer Services Website with better news and product detail information.
• Diamond launches kidscomics.com to direct young readers and their parents to kid-friendly comic shops across the United States and Canada.
• Diamond launches Day-Early Delivery.
• 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.