ICv2 has the latest sales figures up; and they're reporting that GN sales are down by 9%.
Well, OK, but I'm reasonably certain that isn't a function of actual sales in the DM. Actually, it is almost certain that's really a function of Diamond moving their Memphis warehouse in February.
Starting February 4th, Diamond stopped ALL reorders so they could do the move. This was supposed to last for something like 10 days. But, even the "top sellers" didn't start flowing again until the end of the month. As of today, 3/17, they STILL haven't completed the move 100%. According to today's Diamond Daily (Gated, sorry) they've managed to move 17,800 of 20k SKUs -- there's still more than 2000 SKUs they haven't yet reactivated. *sigh*
February was the best of bad choices to move the warehouse -- Feb is usually a "dead" month, by and large -- but we had an unusual number of VERY strong books this February, including, yeah, WATCHMEN as well as things like BATMAN RIP and the 5th SCOTT PILGRIM book.
You wonder why your LCS didn't have SCOTT PILGRIM for most of February? It sure wasn't their fault (well, at least for the stores that know how to order) -- Diamond didn't fill a SINGLE reorder for it for 3-ish weeks!
ICv2 didn't bother to note this, but I'd sure hope that in the official record books Feb '09 gets an asterisk next to it because of the warehouse move (Are you listening John Mayo and John Jackson Miller?) -- given that reorders were effectively nil for 3-ish weeks in February, I think that ONLY a 9% drop should be looked at as a HUGE gain for the month; given the lack of reorders anything less than double digits is probably a positive.
(At Comix Experience, we had our best February in nineteen of them, despite being reorder-less)
There's probably going to be a certain amount of yelling this week in Memphis...