Comic publisher Egmont’s trial that saw Lego Star Wars magazine distributed to multiple retailers first has been halted, with Lego saying the title would be available to all retailers “without a differentiation in delivery timing.”
In a letter to Mike Mitchelson, national president of National Federation of Retail Newagents (NFRN), Lego said retailers supplied by Menzies Distribution in Wakefield and Smiths News in Newcastle would now receive their supplies of Lego Star Wars at the same time as the multiples.
The letter from Andrea Ryder, Lego’s senior director of licensing and publishing, came in response to Mitchelson’s letter to the chairman of Lego, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, pointing out that the distribution rights that had been granted to publisher Egmont to distribute the comic were being violated.
Ryder said an explanation had been sought from Lego’s licensing partner Blue Ocean Enterprise GmbH and co-publisher Egmont on the trial.
“As an outcome of the discussion I am pleased to inform you that we have been assured that the praxis in handling the distribution of Lego Star Wars magazine will be changed to allow all retailers to have the ability to order and also to receive the Lego Star Wars magazine without a differentiation in delivery timing,” the letter informed.
Mitchelson termed the development as a “huge victory.”
“It was totally unacceptable for independent retailers to be treated as second class so we are extremely pleased – and relieved – that our efforts to get this unfair decision reversed has been successful,” he said.
“There were so many things about this trial that were wrong – not least, the discrimination against independent retailers. My hope now is that our supply chain partners will not act foolishly like this again.”
Egmont’s trial mandated that independent retailers would be receiving copies of Star Wars Lego and pre teen title Toxic some six weeks later than the multiples are supplied.