SDCC NewsAfterShock Comics Senior vice president of sales and marketing Steve Rotterdam provided some news to retailers at Comic-Con. This was because of strong sales. The publisher is increasing the returnability of its comics and strengthening its retailer-specific programs. Rotterdam referred to it as the “Success Dividend.”
The most significant change for many retailers may be the expansion of AfterShock’s returnability program. AfterShock already provided full returnability for the initial issue of a series, with a minimum of ten copies. As of July 22, the publisher also offers full returnability for second issue under the same conditions. Rotterdam acknowledged that it’s often difficult for retailers to determine realistic levels for the second issue of a series. “With returnability, our hope and our intention is to help you set those appropriate levels,” he said. “And our expectation is that will carry over to issues three and beyond.”
Rotterdam also touted the AfterShock Ambassador program, in which regional “ambassadors” work with individual retailers to improve sales (see “Exclusive: Aftershock Deploys First Nine Direct Market Ambassadors”), and the Advantage program, which offers retailers three different displays, a six-pocket, a three-pocket, and a counter display. “Over the last 12 months, stores utilizing these displays have sold 21% more AfterShock they did in the previous 12 months,” he said.
Because of the company’s strong sales (see “ICv2 Interview: AfterShock SVP of Sales and Marketing Steve Rotterdam”), Rotterdam said that AfterShock will now furnish displays and other merchandising items to all retailers, not only those in the Ambassador program. They will provide posters, bookmarks and stickers as well as door and window clings and branded tote bags. Retailers will be able to view 30-second videos teasering new titles. Rather than spend money on advertising, podcasts, and sponsorships, Rotterdam said, “we’re redirecting those dollars, from broad awareness outside your store to targeted merchandising and calls to action inside your store. We’d rather spend the money in your stores.”