IDW Publishing has renewed its pledge to support Direct Market comic book retailers by expanding full 'returnability' to all new releases through at least the end of 2020 and not just through the end of summer as previously announced, and by removing all "associated fees for the foreseeable future."
The comic book Direct Market was originally built on the premise of not being able to return unsold books that way newsstand outlets can in favor of a greater wholesale discount, and has been its differentiator since.
The policy, first offered in light of the initial wave of effects on business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allow comic book specialty shops the chance to order product at the same discount rate they're accustomed, but with the risk-free fall back of being able to return, for a refund, unsold books.
This allows retailers "to order with confidence and to gauge customer demand effectively," according to the publisher.
"IDW is upholding its original pledge to aggressively promote store traffic via social media initiatives, email messaging to subscribers, and additional means of customer outreach in order to further support the comic shops taking advantage of the risk-free returnable programs," the publisher's announcement reads.
"When comics historians look back at 2020, they’ll reflect on how our industry survived thanks to the unmatched determination, customer service, and on-the-spot innovations of comic shop retailers," says Jerry Bennington, IDW's President. "It’s important during these challenging times to make the process of ordering and stocking products easier for our retail partners. Their success keeps an entire industry alive."