Diamond Comic Distributors have given the go-ahead for comic stores to sell Wednesday's new comics & other products immediately, in light of potential quarantines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Please be advised that - to give you the best possible opportunity to realize sales before your local quarantine policies compel you to curtail your hours or close down - all product on sale March 18 may be sold immediately upon receipt," reads a statement from Diamond issued Tuesday afternoon. "Please note that this exception is in effect for this week only."
Diamond is also suspending its Secret Shopper service for the next four weeks. That service, among other things, looks to catch those who begin selling products before the distributor's listed on-sale date.
Direct Market retailers often receive delivery of items prior to Wednesday, but are embargoed from selling them items until Wedneday in order to ensure an even retail playing field.
Digital release of this week's comics appears unaffected.