School Specialty Takes Aim At Online Parents

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School Specialty Inc. says an e-commerce and fulfillment agreement with Games2Learn will allow it to better target a growing number of parents that are buying educational aids online for their children.


The deal makes School Specialty's selection of academic products and early learning accessories available at www.games2learn.com, an e-tail site for educational tools and games. School Specialty, Appleton, WI, will also become the exclusive fulfillment provider for Games2Learn because of the agreement announced earlier this month. Terms of the contract aren't finalized, said School Specialty CEO Dan Spalding, but www.games2learn.com was already selling his company's products.


He said www.games2learn.com's 50,000 daily visitors will expose School Specialty to a greater online audience of education-minded parents that the company began focusing on last year with the launch of its own Web site. Although School Specialty normally taps teachers and school administrations, Spalding said after-school learning was a growing concern for online parents who are part of an overall school-supplies-for-home market that tops 100 million customers.


"Education is the primary focus of the country now," he said. "Parents, who once lacked the focus that learning can take place at home, are a bit more conscious of it now."


Games2Learn, Costa Mesa, CA, says that School Specialty's more traditional educational tools, like flash cards, will appeal to its customers and will diversify its Internet selection of fun-oriented learning tools. School-house items have been hard for parents to buy in the past because of minimum-quantity shipping orders from catalog retailers, said CEO Coleman Kane. "This give parents the opportunity to buy the things they've seen in school in single-unit orders," Kane said.
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