Not too long ago, notifications were sent to publishers from all national distributors that PMG International, LTD was to cease operating its facilities that service Hawaii, the Caribbean, South America, and the U.S. overseas military.
The notifications indicated that all magazine product on its way to those locations was being put on hold at the printers or shippers. Publishers with issues ready to print or ship, were instructed to put those issues on hold as well.
The news was quickly overshadowed by the startling developments with HDA, the distributor of magazines and books to specialty stores including Michaels, Lowes, Dollar General, and Menards. Though many publishers did not do business with HDA at all, for the ones that did, the quantities could be significant. By contrast, for most publishers, PMG allotments were relatively small. Many might barely notice the loss, either because they didn’t send copies to the military or South America, or because they did in such small quantities that red flags won’t be raised.
But for publishers that pay attention to their international distribution and sale, PMG was important. The importance of the military to publishers comes from several factors: the audience is American; it may be appropriately targeted to a publication; and, since the bases serve an English-speaking market overseas, military distribution makes up an often-significant portion of overall overseas sales for American publishers.
Since that tough week, some solutions have emerged for publishers losing distribution from PMG. Copies bound for Hawaii were briefly diverted to Source Interlink’s California facility, then veered to settle on TNG, through their West Sacramento warehouse. TNG is also picking up the important overseas military through their Atlanta, Georgia facility.
In the midst of these changes, there are some small bits of good news. The word is that Phil Bagnall, the well-liked publisher liaison, will still be involved as magazine buyer. Also, PMG’s Mexico operation, DIMSA, which does a good bit of volume, is to remain in business.
The rest of Latin America remains to be settled.