The biggest story for the comics industry may well have been hidden in plain sight. The announcement at the Diamond Retailer lunch that comic book stores can received practically free POS systems with a very generous subsidy, both software and hardware from RMS/ComicSuite, that mean they can monitor their stock, manage pull lists, anticipate demand, improve ordering and reordering activity and provide a better store for their customers.
Three decades ago, Carol Kalish at Marvel Comics instigated a system where comic stores could receive free cash registers, at the time an immensely significant step forward in technological efficiency and customer case, transforming the standard hobbyist comic store owner into someone approaching retailer competency, and the market benefited.
And while POS systems are standard at larger, more professional comic stores there are still over a thousand smaller stores that don’t use this kind of system. Getting up to a $6000+ subsidy, with Diamond, Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, Boom, Dynamite, IDW and Diamond Select funding this measure, could quite quickly change that. The cross-company support also provides assurance for some that this is the way to go.
Print sales are up but the market is still uncertain. This is the kind of investment by the industry’s biggest publishers that could really help maintain those sales and help local comic store businesses.