The folks over at Newsarama got some retailer reactions to Archie Comics’ new push in the digital realm, putting out digital versions of their comics the same day as print version.  Many retailers are worried that this will eat into their sales.

From the article:

The response from most retailers, however, was less one of outrage and more of acceptance that a digital revolution is coming faster than they had hoped.

“It’s the wave of the future, and people who want to stand in the way of progress are sure to be run over by technology,” said Charlie Harris, owner of Charlie’s Comic Books in Tucson, Ariz.

“I don’t feel as scared of digital comics as I did when the idea was first presented,” said Bret Parks, owner of Ssalesfish Comics in Winston-Salem, N.C. “Maybe I have come to terms with what will be the nail in the coffin of my business. The main reason is that I feel they do attempt to reach a different kind of comic book buyer and reader.”

That “different reader” mentality probably applies well to Archie Comics, since the publisher sells many of its magazines and digests in outlets outside the traditional comic book store. Digital customers for Archie Comics may not threaten comic shop sales, retailers said.

But they added that the real threat comes if other publishers follow Archie’s lead.

“As Archie has made more money from newsstand sales than direct market, it’s not such a slap in the face as it would be if one of the premiere publishers had done it, although I’m sure they will at some point,” said Harris of Charlie’s Comics.

“A publisher like Archie is not such a big deal because they’re not a significant part of our business,” said Mike Wellman, co-owner of The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, Calif. “If it was Marvel, DC or any of the other bread-and-butter companies, I’d be much more concerned. Of course, if this program is successful, I can easily see some of the other companies imitating it.”

“Archie offering digital comics at a full one dollar less makes me realize that Archie is turning their backs on comic book stores just a little sharper than the other publishers,” Parks of Ssalesfish Comics said. “Once DC and Marvel do this — and yes, they will — then the industry will really see the potential for digital comics.

“Archie doesn’t really matter. Sure, Sonic is a hit, and if someone actually remembers that the Archie series is still being made, or if they have a publicity stunt, then we sell a few,” Parks added. “Basically it is not a big deal unless the big two do it.”

But Joe Field, president of the retailer organization ComicsPRO and owner of Flying Color Comics in Concord, Calif., said he doesn’t think Archie’s move has anything to do with Marvel and DC, because the markets are completely different.

“I do think there’s going to be a growing use of the day-and-date strategy on the part of all publishers,” Field said. “But it’s still a leap to look at Archie sales — and I believe their sales are somewhere around 1 percent of the direct market — and subsequently conclude that, now that Archie’s done it, Marvel and DC can do it. There’s a whole lot more risk involved with Marvel and DC doing it at this point.”

For the full article click HERE.

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