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Online schoolbook retailer awarded €4.9m in High Court damages

THE owner of an on-line school book retailer has been awarded €4.9m in High Court damages arising out of a delay in providing orders in the Summer of 2012

The award was made yesterday to  Entrepreneur Supplies Ltd, the owners of "schoolbooks.ie" which sued Aeon Solutions Ltd, from whose warehouse the books were distributed from, after orders were delayed for several weeks.

Entrepreneur alleged Aeon, in failing to send out the books from its Dublin warehouse in time, had acted in breach of contract.  The application was not contested and Aeon was not legally represented in court.

The court heard Entrepreneur Supplies Ltd, represented by Barney Quirke Bl, acquired the online school books sales business from Aeon in 2012.

As part of that transaction, Aeon would continue to provide services including distributing the school books from its warehouse facility.

It was also agreed Entrepreneur would also use Aeon's  on-line merchant account with AIB, a bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by credit card.

This arrangement was entered into between the parties because Entrepreneur did not have enough time to set up their own account during the peak demand time for school books.

The court heard that the delay in the summer of 2012 was caused after AIB suspended Aeon's merchant account for 28 days.

During that time, Entrepreneur Supplies also provided Aeon with more than €150,000 cash so it could continue to trade.

The backlog caused reputational damage to Entrepreneur's business,, the court heard. The delay in providing the schoolbooks  featured prominently in the media.

The court also heard that  projected sales had not increased as it had originally projected.

Entrepreneur had to invest in advertisements, marketing and had offered discounts in order to win back the customers it lost.

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