School Specialty Sets Up Tent in the Camping Market

Company builds strategic partnerships with key industry organizations to provide a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for all camping needs

New online destination offers easy, convenient access to a wide assortment of innovative products and supplies

GREENVILLE, Wis., March 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) ("School Specialty", "the Company", or "@SchoolSpecialty"), a leading distributor of supplies, furniture, technology products, and supplemental and curriculum solutions to the education marketplace, announced its entrance today into the public and private camp sector, working with premier organizations such as Trinity/HPSI Purchasing Services and the American Camp Association (ACA). These strategic alliances will expand the Company's reach to camp administrators, campers and parents nationwide, and provide them with access to a vast assortment of outdoor recreation equipment, arts and crafts supplies, furniture, office supplies, and learning materials.

School Specialty's EVP and Chief Sales Officer, Ed Carr, commented, "Expanding our reach into new channels and adjacent markets continues to be a big part of our corporate strategy. The extension into the camping community is a natural fit for us given the synergies in our product assortment. We look forward to working with these trusted organizations and leveraging their expertise, as we continue to provide children with the solutions they need to advance their learning."

According to the ACA, more than 12,0001 day and resident camps exist in the U.S., and each year more than 11 million2 children and adults attend camp. School Specialty's initiative to serve the procurement needs of this huge consumer base includes an online destination and supplementary marketing resources that speak specifically to this unique market. The Company has formally launched where buyers can research and purchase from a special mix of products camps need the most. Whether it's outdoor/playground equipment; everyday supplies such as paper goods, cleaning supplies and first aid products; or curriculum-based materials for science, literacy and art instruction, School Specialty aims to support the needs of all campers through its partnerships with Trinity/HPSI and ACA.

As a leading supplier to the education market, serving 91% of the school districts in the U.S., School Specialty's partners and their customers in the camping industry will have access to more than 100,000 proprietary and national branded products that are used in schools nationwide. Steve Claypool, President of Trinity/HPSI Purchasing Services, a leading group purchasing organization based in White House, TN that serves camps and ministries through their affiliation with HPSI, one of the foremost group purchasing organizations in the U.S. based in Irvine, CA that also serves educational, long-term care and other healthcare institutions, said, "We are very happy to have School Specialty as a valuable constituent of our extensive portfolio of vendor partners. Their product offerings in arts and crafts, science, and educational supplies fill a gap for which our members continually request assistance."

"Over the past few years, we've successfully expanded beyond the PreK-12 market, growing our consumer business and recently expanding into the healthcare sector," stated Sierra Collister, School Specialty's Vice President of Channel Sales. "Our commitment to our channel partners allows us to customize our product and service solutions to meet the unique needs of each target market. Camps have their own specialized needs and have lacked the ability to source those product solutions from a single-source supplier. As the leader in K-12 product solutions, we have an opportunity to serve the needs of the camp market in a way that we don't believe any of our competitors can."

Collister continued, "Our School Specialty team looks forward to working more closely with our partners in the camp market to provide seamless and reliable access to competitively priced products that drive significant cost-savings. We see this as a strategic opportunity for the Company to serve what is a high-growth camping market and create substantial value for the marketplace."

About School Specialty, Inc.

School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. For more information about School Specialty, visit

1 2011 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report

2 2010 ACA Camp Compensation and Benefits Report

CONTACT: Company Contact Donna Maurer Director Consumer Marketing Tel: 920-882-5870 Media Contacts Glenn Wiener / Dionne Manchester / Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068

Source:School Specialty, Inc.