Eaglemoss left retailers and customers irate after scrapping supply of most of its ongoing partworks. 

Stores said they only became aware of the decision after the editions ordered failed to turn up. A letter from the publisher seen by RN blamed the “impact of Covid-19 on retail sales”. 

Titles affected and last editions are Disney Cakes & Sweets (issue 47), Doctor Who Figurines (179), Marvel Movie Figurines (111), Star Trek Ships (180), DC Graphic Novels (127) and Star Trek Graphic Novels (120). 

Sam Coldbeck, of Wharfedale Premier in Hull, said she’d had a customer collecting every £11.99 DC Comics Graphic Novel edition. The series featured 180 editions, but ended at 127. Coldbeck told RN: “Menzies informed us they were not dealing with the publisher any more, but we’ve not been given any more information. As a retailer, we feel obliged to the customer to see it through. They’re building a collection. 

“It’s left us in a difficult position. Retailers are on the front line with customers, they don’t care about Menzies or the publisher. We’re ordering direct at retail cost just to give the customer service. It’s damage limitation.” 

Andrew Howell, of Loch Lomond News, said: “Across all the titles, we have lost sales of approximately £250 every issue, at a time when things are hard enough.  I have some very upset customers. Some said they will not be continuing their collection.” 

Eaglemoss retail & subscription managing director Pierre Viala told RN: “During lockdown Eaglemoss, like many other publishers, had to stop distributing all titles in retail, which had financial consequences on all publishers like us. Our collections are mostly made in China and their production was also affected with the Covid 19 crisis. We commit to ordering stock for our titles 6 months before they are published, so the uncertainty surrounding lockdown in Europe and Chinese production capacity meant we had to make the difficult decision to stop some of our titles in retail. 

“Not all titles have stopped: we have decided to keep our collection Legend of Batman in retail because that one was produced in Europe so we could react faster. In order to ensure customers can complete their collections if they want to, we have opened subscriptions again to new customers, which we normally don’t allow once the collections have started. If customers choose to subscribe, they can cancel at any time if they want to. Customers also have the option to buy one-off issues, like they could do in retail, on our online platform that has remained opened during lockdown.

“The first semester has been a very challenging period for the publishing industry, and like all companies we had to make difficult choices to protect our future and our staff. We are looking forward to  returning to retail with new titles in the future.”

Find out more on our coronavirus information hub for retailers