The web grows 6% for School Specialty

E-commerce accounted for 18% of sales in fiscal 2012.

Mark Brohan

E-commerce sales were about the only numbers that went up in an otherwise down fiscal 2012 for School Specialty Inc., a direct marketer of learning materials for teachers and consumers.

In a new financial filing for the fiscal year ended April 28 with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, School Specialty, No. 135 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500, reported:

“The company completed a debt refinancing of $270 million in late May and while market conditions will continue to be challenging this school year, we expect an uneven recovery should start to emerge as we enter into the next fiscal year,” says CEO Michael Lavelle. “The completion of our refinancing gives us the flexibility to put into place the initiatives that will begin to position the company’s transformation and turnaround.”

School Specialty doesn’t break out quarterly e-commerce sales but for the fourth quarter did report:

“While the fourth quarter is typically a seasonally slow quarter, on a comparable week basis, educational resources showed revenue gains and margin improvements,” Lavelle says. “Accelerated learning sales were impacted by ongoing delays in curriculum purchases as school districts held off buying related to common core standards and pending assessments.”


2012 earnings, cataloger sales, educational materials, Michael Lavelle, School Specialty, Top 500