Simon & Schuster named Domestic Manga Distributor for Viz
Official Press Release
NEW YORK, April 28 - Simon & Schuster, Inc. announced today that they will be the domestic manga distributor for VIZ, LLC, one of the leading publishers and distributors of manga and anime content for North American audiences. The agreement begins June 1, 2004.
Under the agreement, Simon & Schuster will provide the full suite of retail and wholesale distribution operations – warehousing, fulfillment, customer service, and accounts receivable collection -- for the entire VIZ catalog of titles, including popular, best-selling manga like RUROUNI KENSHIN and FUSHIGI YÛGI. The company will also handle SHONEN JUMP titles like YU-GI-OH!, and new graphic novels like THE PRINCE OF TENNIS and BLEACH, the first volumes of which are set to ship in April and May respectively.
VIZ titles will be sold by the company's own sales force in addition to independent sales representative groups. VIZ titles were previously distributed by Publishers Group West (PGW).
"Our alignment with Simon & Schuster, such a solid and well-respected entity in the publishing arena, will allow us to further strengthen our reach into the domestic manga markets to new consumers while also continuing to service our longtime dedicated fans' needs." said Mr. Seiji Horibuchi, president and CEO of VIZ, LLC. " Due to the rapid growth of this category we felt that the timing was right to make this move. Since 1991, PGW has helped us grow our business in the U.S. market and we thank them for all their efforts."
"We are pleased to enter the expanding market for manga through this agreement with VIZ, LLC," said Joe D'Onofrio, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain for Simon & Schuster. "We are eager to help VIZ increase the popularity of their manga titles by using all our proven skills and expertise in nationwide distribution. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with VIZ."
ABOUT SIMON & SCHUSTER
Simon & Schuster, part of the entertainment operation of Viacom Inc., is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and multimedia formats. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Online, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonsays.com.
ABOUT VIZ, LLC
Founded in 1986, VIZ is a multi-media entertainment company specializing in Japanese entertainment properties for U.S. audiences. VIZ offers an integrated product line including magazines, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks. Each month, VIZ publishes three magazines ANIMERICA, ANIMERICA EXTRA and SHONEN JUMP; over 20 graphic novel titles, including ALICE 19th, BOYS OVER FLOWERS, DRAGON BALL Z, FUSHIGI YÛGI, GUNDAM, INUYASHA, RANMA 12, and YU-GI-OH!; and distributes home video for BOYS OVER FLOWERS, HAMTARO, INUYASHA, POKéMON, PROJECT ARMS, and ZOIDS.
Based in San Francisco, VIZ is one of the top five comics publishers in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Shogakukan and Shueisha Inc., two of the top publishers in Japan. VIZ is the leading publisher of manga for English speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages. Estimating a core audience of nearly 15 million fans, the company holds more than a 50% market share of Japanese comics in the U.S. With some of the most innovative products in the industry, VIZ has expanded its offerings to its loyal fans through web sites such as www.animerica-mag.com, www.shonenjump.com, and its corporate site, www.viz.com. Contact VIZ, LLC at: 655 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94107-1612; Phone: (415) 546-7073; Fax: (415) 546-7086; Web site: www.VIZ.com