This is one of the few areas where you and I disagree. Diamond is a bit more than a package handler or warehouser, they’re a distributor. Similar to the one that is legally enforced for alcohol, comics have a de facto three tiered system. Comic shops do not have DC, Marvel or Image accounts. They have a Diamond account. They don’t buy or order their books from DC, Marvel and Image. They order and buy their books from Diamond. Diamond controls minimum order quantities, where the books are printed, retailer accounts and discounts, how the books are delivered, when they’re delivered and a whole host of other parts of the system.
While publisher know what stores are ordering and can reach out to them and help with advertising and promotion, much like alcohol distributors, Diamond should be heavily involved in this as well. They have just been very protectionist instead of entrepreneurial with the business and it’s slowly collapsing because of it.
It’s telling on the book side that DC and Marvel have moved away from Diamond and use the publishing arms of their parent companies to distribute.
I don’t disagree. There are some great stores out there but there a whole host of other stores that lack basic retail and hospitality type customer service. They’re not the only place I see it. Record stores and other businesses that are heavily linked to hobbies can be very similar and exclusionary.