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DESCRIPTIONJune July 2013 edition
Back-to-school Stress Busters for KidsJUNE/JULY 2013
FOR PEOPLE WHO SELL TO TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS
Why a store in Minnesota
groups toys and learning products
by the skills they build
To Order Contact your Scholastic Sales Representative or Call 1-888-724-1872
DAILY RECORD KEEPER & PLANNER978-0-545-53151-1978-0-545-53152-8
THE SCHOLASTIC DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION BOOK978-0-545-11263-5
QUICK TIPS MAKING THE FIRST SIX WEEKS A SUCCESS978-0-545-16728-4
ESSENTIAL RESOURCES FORCLASSROOM
New Ballgame by Kevin Fahy
The first company I managed was a publisher of books for elementary school teachers. Those of you who have survived in this business for a very long time may remember Instructor Curriculum Materials, or ICM, which became part of the foundation for Scholastic in this market.
My first (and only, come to think of it) instruction from the parent company was to fire about half of our 30 employees, including all six of our field sales reps. In order to fill the vacuum that created, I hired a friend from college, Tom Williams, and between the two of us we covered the whole country from the home office, with Tom on the road two weeks a month and me one.
One of my states was Wisconsin, and our largest account in that state was a company called Valley School Supply in Appleton, which was perhaps 20th overall for us in the nation. I also covered Kansas, which meant an annual journey out to Salina to visit our 10th ranked distributor, a firm known as School Specialty.
Fast forward to 1988. By then I had been running my third business for several years, this one, and as far as I knew those two venerable school supply dealers were continuing to prosper as they had for decades; but at Valley, at least, that was not the case. In spite of its attempts to diversify into various related businesses, the company was losing a million dollars a year.
That in itself is nothing extraordinary, but what happened next was. One of the investors who owned the business, a man named John Spalding, persuaded the others to hire his 31-year-old son as CEO and give him the opportunity to tum the situation around.
Dan Spalding was something of a wunderkind, having started out as an entrepreneur in the college apparel business
while still a teenager. At 25 he and a partner had acquired the outdoor equipment maker JanSport in order to get its backpack line, which they parlayed into a prominent national brand. After selling JanSport in 1985, Dan remained as chief executive until the Valley idea came up.
At Valley he went about the same process that had worked for him so well in the past, consisting of three steps. First, identify the segment of the business with the most potential profitability. Second, sell off everything else, and third, start acquiring other businesses that contribute to the expansion of that profitable segment.
By 1991 Valley had moved into phase three, which began with the purchase of Western School Supply in Portland, Oregon. From there it went on to pick off several of the wellknown old distributors throughout the country at a pace of two or three a year, including the 1995 acquisition of School Specialty. The name of that one had a nice, non-geographically specific ring to it, and so became the handle of the whole enterprise going forward.
In 1996, School Specialty was itself acquired by U.S. Office Products, a similar operation that had bought up scores of office supply dealers. USOP left Dan Spalding in place, and during the next two years he used their leverage to buy more than a dozen companies, including such well-known brands as Childcraft and Sax Arts and Crafts.
At that point School Specialty was spun off again as a separate company, but it continued to buy everything in sight, borrowing money and assuming the debt of acquired dealers. Somewhere along the way it became the largest distributor of educational products in the world.
(continued on page 8)
Free Freight (continental U.S.), and Fall Dating on orders
of $750 Net or More.
McDONALD PUBLISHING CO. 567 Hanley Industrial Court St. Louis, MO 63144-190 I
800-722-8080 FAX 314-781-7480
June/July 2013 - ShopSchoolSupplies.com 1
4 EducationalDealerMagazine.com June/July 2013
Volume 38, No. 3FOR PEOPLE WHO SELL TO TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS
10 Business SmartDr. Howard Gardners theory of multiple intelligences helps MakyaVandiver-Hawkins categorize products in her Minnesota school supply store
16 Behind the CurtainA new book by Gallopade's CaroleMarsh tells the story of our industry
22 Products to Help Teacherswith Classroom BehaviorTools teachers want and need to manage their classrooms
28 Stress BustersEllen Metricks prescriptive approach to play helps kids relax and clear their heads for learning
PublisherJ. KEVIN FAHYkfahy@fwpi.com
Editorial DirectorTINA MANZERtmanzer@fwpi.com
Senior EditorBRADLEY G. GORDNER
Production ManagerMARK STASHmstash@fwpi.com
Assistant EditorALYSSA LAFARO firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Graphic ArtistJENNIFER SRMACK email@example.com
Graphic ArtistLINDSEY WILLIAMSON firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Sales and MarketingTIM BRADENtbraden@fwpi.com
Advertising SalesDARLENE ROBERTSdarlene@fwpi.com
Advertising Production ManagerCHRISTIE McCONNELLchristie@fwpi.com
Educational Dealer is published by Fahy-Williams Publishing, Inc.President: J. Kevin Fahy; Vice President: Tim Braden.
2013 Closing Dates
The Annual Buyers Guide Issue ......June 26
Fall Issue ..................Sept. 20
P.O. Box 1080 Geneva, NY 14456Phone: 800-344-0559Fax: 315-789-4263www.EducationalDealerMagazine.comBack issues may be obtained by sending $8.00 (per copy) to Fahy-Williams Pub lishing, Inc.
Copyright 2013 byFahy-Williams Publishing, Inc.
(continued on page 6)
12 22 35 54
36 Retailers Recommend Fabulous Products
New Products20 Cool, Calm and
27 Teacher Loot30 Cool and Hot35 Odds and Ends49 Crafts in Action50 Reading, Writing
Practice, Assess, Diagnose:180 Days of Reading8.5" 11" | 248 pp. + CD | $19.99 eachLevel ISBN ItemLevel K 9781425809218 50921Level 1 9781425809225 50922Level 2 9781425809232 50923Level 3 9781425809249 50924Level 4 9781425809256 50925Level 5 9781425809263 50926Level 6 9781425809270 50927
Getting to the Core of Writing: Essential Lessons for Every Student8.5" 11" | 256296pp. + CD | $19.99 eachLevel ISBN ItemLevel K 9781425809140 50914Level 1 9781425809157 50915Level 2 9781425809164 50916Level 3 9781425809171 50917Level 4 9781425809188 50918Level 5 9781425809195 50919Level 6 9781425809201 50920
Practice, Assess, Diagnose: 180 Days of Math 8.5" 11" | 208pp. + CD | $19.99 eachLevel ISBN ItemLevel K 9781425808037 50803Level 1 9781425808044 50804Level 2 9781425808051 50805Level 3 9781425808068 50806Level 4 9781425808075 50807Level 5 9781425808082 50808Level 6 9781425808020 50802
55% Discount and FREE Freight!* Mention order code R13EDM to receive 55% discount. Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Offer expires June 17, 2013.* Free freight applies to U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico only.
6 EducationalDealerMagazine.com June/July 2013
3 The IssueNew Ballgameby Kevin Fahy
32 The Legal AdvisorBuying a CommercialBuildingby Fred Steingold
54 EndcapChenille Kraft by Alyssa LaFaro
38 Business NotesCybercriminals targetsmall businesses andAmericans practice retail therapy
39 Industry NewsSchool Specialty acquiresRoyal Seating, Time Timerwins Edison Award,ECRM announces 2014dates and more
46 Eye on EducationChanges to the GED, thepresidents focus onSTEM programs and more
52 Index of Advertisers
(continued from page 4)
On the CoverTwenty-one-year-old Chad works dust-ing shelves at Smarty Pants Kids, thestore we profile on page 12. OwnerMakya Vandiver-Hawkins takes pride inselling products that improve the skillsof kids with special needs like Chad toparents, teachers and therapists. She washappy to offer him his first job.
8 EducationalDealerMagazine.com June/July 2013
THE ISSUE(continued from page 3)
When I was selling to dealers, mytwo largest accounts, by far, wereBeckley-Cardy and J.L. Hammett,which School Specialty gobbled up in1998 and 2000 respectively. Beckleywas doing around 175 million dollarsin sales at the time and Hammett an-other 100, which together helped pushSchool Specialty over 600 million inannual sales, and 18 million in profit.
Meanwhile, the consolidation ofso many dealerships into one jugger-naut was having profound repercus-sions on the rest of us in the industry.For dealers, it was taking much of thebid business and the higher ticketitems off the table, leaving them tofight over more retail-orie