July 16, 2014, 12:46 PM

School Specialty web sales get high marks for fiscal 2014

The direct marketer of learning materials for teachers and consumers reports an 11.4% online sales increase.

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E-commerce sales grew for School Specialty Inc. in fiscal 2014, but overall sales dipped.

For the fiscal year ended April 26, School Specialty, No. 158 in in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500, reported:

  • Web sales accounted for 25.4% of total sales. Based on reported total sales, e-commerce sales were $160.2 million, up by 11.4% from $143.8 million in fiscal 2013
  • Total sales of $630.7 million, a decrease of 6.6% from $675 million.
  • Net loss of $58.6 million, compared with a net loss of $147.7 million in the prior fiscal year. 

In January 2013, School Specialty filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The merchant emerged from bankruptcy in June 2013 with $320 million in new financing, including $175 million from a group led by Bank of America, N.A., and SunTrust Bank, and $145 million from a second group led by Credit Suisse Securities.

For the fourth quarter, School Specialty did not break out web sales but reported:

  • Total sales of $108.3 million, an increase of 2.9% from $105.2 million reported for same period in 2013.
  • Net loss of $19 million, compared with a net loss of $70.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

Near-term growth plans, as outlined in School Specialty’s recent 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, include realigning its distribution centers to be closer to major customers, investing in automating operations related to customer delivery and enhancing its e-commerce platform.

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