School supplies retailer with $4.5 million turnover folds

SchoolBiz has collapsed into administration and the school supplies business is being advertised for sale today.

Michael Hird of Moore Stephens has been appointed as administrator to SchoolBiz Victoria and SchoolBiz Australia.

The business sold office supplies, classroom materials, cleaning supplies, school furniture, sporting goods and school uniforms.

Last year it sold 65,000 back-to-school packs for schoolchildren in Victoria and Queensland.

Hird told SmartCompany SchoolBiz had been hit by problems with its Queensland business, which had to be closed down.

“We are trying to gather all the information at the moment and we are getting the stock valued, so it’s hard to have a real view on why it has failed,” Hird says.

“SchoolBiz has only been around for three years, it took off fairly quickly and grew rapidly and that may have contributed to the demise.”

SchoolBiz sold products online but the bulk of sales were made by schools faxing in orders, its collapse follows the administration last year of educational supplier Education Works.

Hird says unsecured creditors are owed around $1.25 million with the major creditors being Pelican Artline, Crayola, JazzCo and the Australian Tax Office, along with “a lot of little creditors” including SchoolBiz’s landlord, who is owed four months’ rent.

SchoolBiz’s 12 employees who have all been let go are also owed some employee entitlements.

Moore Stephens placed a newspaper advertisement to sell SchoolBiz today and Hird is hopeful a sale can be made.

“We’ve had some unsolicited approaches from a couple of parties and now we are running an ad, if it can’t be sold we need to get out of the premises fairly quickly,” Hird says.

“If we can’t sell quickly we will be holding an auction in the next three weeks.”

A first meeting of creditors will be held on June 12 in Sydney.

 

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