Retailers Say NEW 52 Breaking Sales Records, Panic Subsides

Last week, the retailers we surveyed about their sales of DC's new #1 issues were struggling to keep the books on the shelves.

In fact, most of them were sold out.

So are sales still going strong?

"The New 52 continues to break all sales records," said Gerry Gladston, co-owner of Midtown Comics, with locations throughout New York City.

"Sales continue to be strong across the board on the New 52. Even the second and third printings are selling out at our stores," said Mike Banks, owner of Samurai Comics in Phoenix, Ariz.

"For us, this was the strongest sales week of all," said Cliff Biggers, owner of Dr. No's Comics & Games in Marietta, Ga.

"This week is on just as good of a pace as the previous ones, with a few sell outs already," said Adam Casey, manager at Ssalesfish Comics in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Ralph DiBernardo said the first couple weeks had customers worried that his store would sell out, so he suspected that speculating was happening. This week, he thinks some of that fear has calmed down, but it hasn't really hurt sales.

"As we get further into the relaunch, we are finding people less worried about missing titles -- at least in New England," he said. "Our customers know we are fully stocked and they can come in day one or day six and get the books they want. Sales are solid. Sales are up. The panic has passed though."

Shop owners said not only are sales strong on this week's books, but the DC comics from previous weeks continue to sell well, particularly in stores that still have first prints in stock.

"Sales on the New 52 from previous weeks are very strong," said Banks. "We are one of the only stores in town to have the majority of them on our stands at cover price, so we continue to see a large number of new customers through thedoors looking for these comics."

"Even though we received some solid order increases, word had gotten out that we were ordering very strong on a lot of the DC titles, so we had a large influx of customers from the metro Atlanta area who weren't able to find the books at their usual shops," Biggers said. "As a result, we saw our best Wednesday sales in years, and sold through more DCs than we ever thought possible!"

"Demand for prior week's issues are still smokin'!" Gladston said of his New York stores.

And even if retailers don't have the first printing, they're still selling out of subsequent printings pretty quickly after they arrive.

"Reorders on prior weeks' books are selling strong just as soon as we can get them in," Biggers said.

 

Retailers seemed to agree that the biggest-selling title for the week was Batman, but other titles kept pace with previous New 52 issues.

"Batman has proved to be just as formidable as the other 'heavy weights' from previous weeks," Casey said, "like Action Comics and Green Lantern, if not more so than Green Lantern."

Banks said Flashpoint is even keeping pace with new titles, as people who are picking up the #1 issues want to read the set-up for the DCnU.

"We have a big New 52 display in the stores and Flashpoint is racked right alongside the new titles," he said. "When we explain to new readers how Flashpoint leads in to the New 52, they are excited to pick up the whole mini-series."

Retailers reported sales on non-DC comics were also picking up a little, particularly the new Ultimate relaunch titles.

 

"Ultimate Spider-Man sold out within one week, and Ultimate X-Men is already close to selling out in our stores," Banks said. "We had ordered at levels intended to keep these comics on our stands for at least three months, so that is pretty impressive.

"This is a 'rising tide lifts all boats' scenario," Bigger said. "We're not seeing a decrease in sales of non-DC comics. Customers are buying more books across the board, in fact."

Banks said the added people coming into the stores has allowed him to push other new reader-friendly titles, like Buffy Season 9, which is greatly outselling his projections as a result.

"With so many new people coming into the stores, this is a great time to rack other entry-level comics by the New 52 in order to get new readers to try out other books," Banks said.

Casey has high hopes of keeping all the new readers around for awhile. "We did a pre-sell offer of all 52 titles for just $52 and people are talking about picking up the second issue of Stormwatch and other mid-list or non-regular DCU titles, something that would have never happened without that pre-order offer," he said, "so I think more people are definitely checking out the various offerings of the New 52 and will follow them for at least a little while."

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