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Navarre leaves its name behind after leaving Minnesota

  • Article by: Steve Alexander
  • Star Tribune
  • September 9, 2013 - 7:19 PM

Navarre Corp. left behind 30 years of corporate history when it moved from New Hope to Dallas this summer.

On Monday, it left its name behind, as well.

Navarre announced it was becoming Speed Commerce Inc., a play on the name of its e-commerce business in Texas, formerly known as Speed FC.

Navarre acquired the Texas firm about 10 months ago, and in June disclosed that it was moving its headquarters to Texas after three decades in Minnesota, where it was founded.

The name change, along with the relocation, is part of a broader effort to reshape the company beyond its roots in distribution. It now designs and operates e-commerce websites for companies with less than $150 million in annual sales, runs warehouses for clients and ships products directly to consumers.

“Our new name reflects the evolution of our company from primarily a distribution business to a unique, end-to-end e-commerce services and retail distribution platform,” chief executive Richard Willis said in a statement. “The name Speed Commerce expresses our mission to rapidly grow our clients’ businesses.”

The market reacted favorably to the name change, boosting Navarre shares 22 cents, or 6.25 percent, to close at $3.74 per share. The stock rose another penny in after-hours trading.

The Nasdaq-listed firm’s ticker symbol will change at the start of trading on Thursday from “NAVR” to “SPDC.” The name of its website changed on Monday to speedcommerce.com. Users of the navarre.com Web address were automatically redirected to the new website.

A Speed Commerce spokesman could not be reached for comment on the future of Navarre’s traditional distribution business, which ships packaged software and electronics to about 31,000 retail stores and their warehouses in the United States and Canada. Navarre’s traditional distribution customers have included Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Apple, Costco, Office Depot and OfficeMax.

In May, Navarre ranked No. 45 on the Star Tribune 100, the newspaper’s annual list of Minnesota’s largest public companies. In the fiscal year ended March 31, Navarre reported a loss of $11.8 million on revenue of $485.3 million. In the first quarter of its current fiscal year, Navarre lost $3.9 million on revenue of $97.7 million.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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