Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations

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Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations
12 Months Ended
Dec. 30, 2017
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Nature of Operations
U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc. (including its subsidiaries) is a leading online provider of aftermarket auto parts and accessories and was established in 1995. The Company entered the e-commerce sector by launching its first website in 2000 and currently derives the majority of its revenues from online sales channels. The Company sells its products to individual consumers through a network of websites and online marketplaces and offline to wholesale distributors. Our flagship websites are located at www.autopartswarehouse.com, www.carparts.com and www.jcwhitney.com and our corporate website is located at www.usautoparts.net. References to the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
The Company’s products consist of collision parts serving the body repair market, engine parts to serve the replacement parts market, and performance parts and accessories. The collision parts category is primarily comprised of body parts for the exterior of an automobile. Our parts in this category are typically replacement parts for original body parts that have been damaged as a result of a collision or through general wear and tear. The majority of these products are sold through our websites. In addition, we sell an extensive line of mirror products, including our own private-label brand called Kool-Vue®, which are marketed and sold as aftermarket replacement parts and as upgrades to existing parts. The engine parts category is comprised of engine components and other mechanical and electrical parts including our private label brand of catalytic converters called Evan Fischer®. These parts serve as replacement parts for existing engine parts and are generally used by professionals and do-it-yourselfers for engine and mechanical maintenance and repair. We offer performance versions of many parts sold in each of the above categories. Performance parts and accessories generally consist of parts that enhance the performance of the automobile, upgrade existing functionality of a specific part or improve the physical appearance or comfort of the automobile.
The Company is a Delaware C corporation and is headquartered in Carson, California. The Company has employees located in both the United States and the Philippines.
Fiscal Year
The Company’s fiscal year is based on a 52/53 week fiscal year ending on the Saturday closest to December 31. The fiscal years ended December 30, 2017 (fiscal year 2017) and December 31, 2016 (fiscal year 2016) and January 2, 2016 (fiscal year 2015)are all 52 week periods.
Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All inter-company balances and transactions have been eliminated.
Basis of Presentation
During fiscal year 2017, the Company’s revenues increased slightly from fiscal 2016 after having increased in fiscal year 2016 by 4.3% from fiscal year 2015. In fiscal year 2017, the Company generated net income of $24,015, after incurring a net loss of $603 and $2,424 in fiscal years 2016 and 2015, respectively. Based on our current operating plan, we believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments, cash flows from operations and available debt financing will be sufficient to finance our operational cash needs through at least the next twelve months. Should the Company’s operating results not meet expectations in 2018, it could negatively impact our liquidity as we may not be able to provide positive cash flows from operations in order to meet our working capital requirements. We may need to borrow additional funds from our credit facility, which under certain circumstances may not be available, sell assets or seek additional equity or additional debt financing in the future. There can be no assurance that we would be able to raise such additional financing or engage in such additional asset sales on acceptable terms, or at all. If revenues were to decline and we incur net losses because our strategies to return to consistent profitability are not successful or otherwise, and if we are not able to raise adequate additional financing or proceeds from asset sales to continue to fund our ongoing operations, we will need to defer, reduce or eliminate significant planned expenditures, restructure or significantly curtail our operations.

Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Significant estimates made by management include, but are not limited to, those related to revenue recognition, uncollectible receivables, the valuation of short-term investments, valuation of inventory, valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, valuation of intangible and other long-lived assets, recoverability of software development costs, contingencies and share-based compensation expense that results from estimated grant date fair values and vesting of issued equity awards. Actual results could differ from these estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all money market funds and short-term investments purchased with original maturities of ninety days or less to be cash equivalents.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
Financial instruments that are not measured at fair value include accounts receivable, accounts payable and debt. Refer to “Note 3 – Fair Value Measurements” for additional fair value information. If the Company’s revolving loan payable (see “Note 6 – Borrowings”) had been measured at fair value, it would be categorized in Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy, as the estimated value would be based on the quoted market prices for the same or similar issues or on the current rates available to the Company for debt of the same or similar terms. The carrying values of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable and accounts payable approximate fair value due to their short-term maturities. Short-term investments are carried at fair value. Based on the borrowing rates currently available to the Company for bank loans with similar terms and average maturities, the fair value of our revolving loan payable, classified as current liability in our consolidated balance sheet, approximates its carrying amount because the interest rate is variable.
Accounts Receivable and Concentration of Credit Risk
Accounts receivable are stated net of allowance for doubtful accounts. The allowance for doubtful accounts is determined primarily on the basis of past collection experience and general economic conditions. The Company determines terms and conditions for its customers primarily based on the volume purchased by the customer, customer creditworthiness and past transaction history.
Concentrations of credit risk are limited to the customer base to which the Company’s products are sold. The Company does not believe significant concentrations of credit risk exist.
Investments
Short-term investments are comprised of closed-end funds primarily invested in mutual funds that hold government bonds and stock and short-term money market funds. Mutual funds are classified as short-term investments available-for-sale and recorded at fair market value, based on quoted prices of identical assets that are trading in active markets as of the end of the period for which the values are determined. All of the Company’s marketable securities and investments are subject to a periodic impairment review. The Company recognizes an impairment charge when a decline in the fair value of its investments below the cost basis is judged to be other-than-temporary. The Company considers various factors in determining whether to recognize an impairment charge, including the length of time and extent to which the fair value has been less than the Company’s cost basis, the financial condition and near-term prospects of the investee, and the Company’s intent and ability to hold the investment for a period of time sufficient to allow for any anticipated recovery in the market value. No other-than-temporary impairment charges were recorded on any investments during fiscal years presented.
Inventory
Inventories consist of finished goods available-for-sale and are stated at the lower of cost or market value, determined using the first-in first-out (“FIFO”) method. The Company purchases inventory from suppliers both domestically and internationally, and routinely enters into supply agreements with Asia-Pacific based suppliers of private label products and U.S.–based suppliers who are primarily drop-ship vendors. The Company believes that its products are generally available from more than one supplier and seeks to maintain multiple sources for its products, both internationally and domestically. The Company primarily purchases products in bulk quantities to take advantage of quantity discounts and to ensure inventory availability. Inventory is reported at the lower of cost or market, adjusted for slow moving, obsolete or scrap product. Inventory at December 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016 included items in-transit to our warehouses, in the amount of $10,164 and $9,767, respectively.
Website and Software Development Costs
The Company capitalizes certain costs associated with website and software developed for internal use according to ASC 350-50 - Intangibles – Goodwill and Other – Website Development Costs and ASC 350-40 Intangibles – Goodwill and Other – Internal-Use Software, when both the preliminary project design and testing stage are completed and management has authorized further funding for the project, which it deems probable of completion and to be used for the function intended. Capitalized costs include amounts directly related to website and software development such as payroll and payroll-related costs for employees who are directly associated with, and who devote time to, the internal-use software project. Capitalization of such costs ceases when the project is substantially complete and ready for its intended use. These amounts are amortized on a straight-line basis over two to three years once the software is placed into service. The Company capitalized website and software development costs of $3,914 and $4,977 during fiscal year 2017 and 2016, respectively. At December 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, our internally developed website and software costs amounted to $17,974 and $22,366, respectively, and the related accumulated amortization and impairment amounted to $14,429 and $18,520, respectively.
Long-Lived Assets and Intangibles Subject to Amortization
The Company accounts for the impairment and disposition of long-lived assets, including intangibles subject to amortization, in accordance with ASC - 360 Property, Plant and Equipment (“ASC 360”). Management assesses potential impairments whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable. An impairment loss will result when the carrying value exceeds the undiscounted cash flows estimated to result from the use and eventual disposition of the asset or asset group. Impairment losses will be recognized in operating results to the extent that the carrying value exceeds the discounted future cash flows estimated to result from the use and eventual disposition of the asset or asset group. The Company continually uses judgment when applying these impairment rules to determine the timing of the impairment tests, undiscounted cash flows used to assess impairments, and the fair value of a potentially impaired asset or asset group. The reasonableness of our judgments could significantly affect the carrying value of our long-lived assets. During the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company recognized an impairment loss on intangible assets of $1,130 related to the impairment of AutoMD software. As of December 30, 2017 the Company’s long-lived assets did not indicate a potential impairment under the provisions of ASC 360, therefore no impairment charges were recorded for fiscal 2017.
Deferred Catalog Expenses
Deferred catalog expenses consist of third-party direct costs including primarily creative design, paper, printing, postage and mailing costs for all Company direct response catalogs. Such costs are capitalized as deferred catalog expenses and are amortized over their expected future benefit period. Each catalog is fully amortized within nine months. Deferred catalog expenses are included in other current assets and amounted to $5 and $160 at December 30, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively.
Deferred Financing Costs
Deferred financing costs are being amortized over the life of the loan using the straight-line method as it is not significantly different from the effective interest method.
Revenue Recognition
The Company recognizes revenue from product sales and shipping revenues, net of promotional discounts and return allowances, when the following revenue recognition criteria are met: persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, both title and risk of loss or damage have transferred, delivery has occurred, the selling price is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured. The Company retains the risk of loss or damage during transit, therefore, revenue from product sales is recognized at the delivery date to customers. Return allowances, which reduce product revenue by the Company’s best estimate of expected product returns, are estimated using historical experience.
Revenue from sales of advertising is recorded when performance requirements of the related advertising program agreement are met. For each of the fiscal years ended 2017, 2016 and 2015, the advertising revenue represented approximately 1%, of our total revenue.
The Company evaluates the criteria of ASC 605-45 - Revenue Recognition Principal Agent Considerations in determining whether it is appropriate to record the gross amount of product sales and related costs or the net amount earned as commissions. Generally, when the Company is the primary party obligated in a transaction, the Company is subject to inventory risk, has latitude in establishing prices and selecting suppliers, or has several but not all of these indicators, revenue is recorded at gross.
Payments received prior to the delivery of goods to customers are recorded as deferred revenue.
The Company periodically provides incentive offers to its customers to encourage purchases. Such offers include current discount offers, such as percentage discounts off current purchases and other similar offers. Current discount offers, when accepted by the Company’s customers, are treated as a reduction to the purchase price of the related transaction.
Sales discounts are recorded in the period in which the related sale is recognized. Sales return allowances are estimated based on historical amounts and are recorded upon recognizing the related sales. Credits are issued to customers for returned products. Credits for returned products amounted to $21,838, $23,876, and $23,543 for fiscal year 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

No customer accounted for more than 10% of the Company’s net sales.
The following table provides an analysis of the allowance for sales returns and the allowance for doubtful accounts (in thousands):
 
 
Balance at
Beginning
of Period
 
Charged to
Revenue,
Cost or
Expenses
 
Deductions
 
Balance at
End of
Period
Fifty-Two Weeks Ended December 30, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allowance for sales returns
$
937

 
$
21,837

 
$
(21,913
)
 
$
861

Allowance for doubtful accounts
36

 
19

 
(54
)
 
1

Fifty-Two Weeks Ended December 31, 2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allowance for sales returns
$
1,009

 
$
23,877

 
$
(23,949
)
 
$
937

Allowance for doubtful accounts
17

 
235

 
(216
)
 
36

Fifty-Two Weeks Ended January 2, 2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allowance for sales returns
$
897

 
$
23,655

 
$
(23,543
)
 
$
1,009

Allowance for doubtful accounts
41

 
29

 
(53
)
 
17


Cost of Sales
Cost of sales consists of the direct costs associated with procuring parts from suppliers and delivering products to customers. These costs include direct product costs, outbound freight and shipping costs, warehouse supplies and warranty costs, partially offset by purchase discounts and cooperative advertising. Total freight and shipping expense included in cost of sales for fiscal year 2017, 2016 and 2015 was $40,565, $41,937, and $41,250, respectively. Depreciation and amortization expenses are excluded from cost of sales and included in marketing, general and administrative and fulfillment expenses.
Warranty Costs
The Company or the vendors supplying its products provide the Company’s customers limited warranties on certain products that range from 30 days to lifetime. Historically, the Company’s vendors have been the party primarily responsible for warranty claims. Standard product warranties sold separately by the Company are recorded as deferred revenue and recognized ratably over the life of the warranty, ranging from one to five years. The Company also offers extended warranties that are imbedded in the price of selected private label products sold. The product brands that include the extended warranty coverage are offered at three different service levels: (a) a five year unlimited product replacement, (b) a five year one-time product replacement, and (c) a three year one-time product replacement. Warranty costs relating to merchandise sold under warranty not covered by vendors are estimated and recorded as warranty obligations at the time of sale based on each product’s historical return rate and historical warranty cost. The standard and extended warranty obligations are recorded as warranty liabilities and included in other current liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets. For the fiscal year 2017 and 2016, the activity in the aggregate warranty liabilities was as follows (in thousands):
 
 
December 30, 2017
 
December 31, 2016
Warranty liabilities, beginning of period
$
889

 
$
110

Additions to warranty liabilities
963

 
918

Reductions to warranty liabilities
(442
)
 
(139
)
Warranty liabilities, end of period
$
1,410

 
$
889


Marketing Expense
Marketing costs, including advertising, are expensed as incurred. The majority of advertising expense is paid to internet search engine service providers and internet commerce facilitators. For fiscal year 2017, 2016 and 2015, the Company recognized advertising costs of $21,055, $22,616 and $20,251, respectively. Marketing costs also include depreciation and amortization expense and share-based compensation expense.

General and Administrative Expense
General and administrative expense consists primarily of administrative payroll and related expenses, merchant processing fees, legal and professional fees and other administrative costs. General and administrative expense also includes depreciation and amortization expense and share-based compensation expense.
Fulfillment Expense
Fulfillment expense consists primarily of payroll and related costs associated with warehouse employees and the Company’s purchasing group, facilities rent, building maintenance, depreciation and other costs associated with inventory management and wholesale operations. Fulfillment expense also includes share-based compensation expense.
Technology Expense
Technology expense consists primarily of payroll and related expenses of our information technology personnel, the cost of hosting the Company’s servers, communications expenses and Internet connectivity costs, computer support and software development amortization expense. Technology expense also includes share-based compensation expense.
Share-Based Compensation
The Company accounts for share-based compensation in accordance with ASC 718 - Compensation – Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”). All share-based payment awards issued to employees are recognized as share-based compensation expense in the financial statements based on their respective grant date fair values, and are recognized within the statement of comprehensive income or loss as marketing, general and administrative, fulfillment or technology expense, based on employee departmental classifications. Under this standard, compensation expense for both time-based and performance-based restricted stock units is based on the closing stock price of our common shares on the date of grant, and is recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period. Compensation expense for performance-based awards is measured based on the amount of shares ultimately expected to vest, estimated at each reporting date based on management’s expectations regarding the relevant performance criteria. Compensation expense for stock options is based on the fair value estimated on the date of grant using an option pricing model, and is recognized over the vesting period of three to four years. The Company currently uses the Black-Scholes option pricing model to estimate the fair value of share-based payment awards for such stock options, which is affected by the Company’s stock price and a number of assumptions, including expected volatility, expected life, risk-free interest rate and expected dividends.
The Company incorporates its own historical volatility into the grant-date fair value calculations for the stock options. The expected term of an award is based on combining historical exercise data with expected weighted time outstanding. Expected weighted time outstanding is calculated by assuming the settlement of outstanding awards is at the midpoint between the remaining weighted average vesting date and the expiration date. The risk-free interest rate assumption is based on observed interest rates appropriate for the expected life of awards. The dividend yield assumption is based on the Company’s expectation of paying no dividends on its common stock.
The Company accounts for equity instruments issued in exchange for the receipt of services from non-employee directors in accordance with the provisions of ASC 718. The Company accounts for equity instruments issued in exchange for the receipt of goods or services from other than employees in accordance with ASC 505-50 - Equity-Based Payments to Non-Employees. Costs are measured at the estimated fair market value of the consideration received or the estimated fair value of the equity instruments issued, whichever is more reliably measurable. The value of equity instruments issued for consideration other than employee services is determined on the earlier of a performance commitment or completion of performance by the provider of goods or services. Equity instruments awarded to non-employees are periodically re-measured as the underlying awards vest unless the instruments are fully vested, immediately exercisable and non-forfeitable on the date of grant.
The Company accounts for modifications to its share-based payment awards in accordance with the provisions of ASC 718. Incremental compensation cost is measured as the excess, if any, of the fair value of the modified award over the fair value of the original award immediately before its terms are modified, measured based on the share price and other pertinent factors at that date, and is recognized as compensation cost on the date of modification (for vested awards) or over the remaining service (vesting) period (for unvested awards). Any unrecognized compensation cost remaining from the original award is recognized over the vesting period of the modified award.

Other Income, net
Other income, net consists of miscellaneous income or expense such as gains/losses from disposition of assets, and interest income comprised primarily of interest income on investments.
Interest Expense
Interest expense consists primarily of interest expense on our outstanding loan balance, deferred financing cost amortization, and capital lease interest.
Income Taxes
The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with ASC 740 - Income Taxes (“ASC 740”). Under ASC 740, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to temporary differences between the financial statement carrying amount of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. When appropriate, a valuation allowance is established to reduce deferred tax assets, which include tax credits and loss carry forwards, to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. In making such determination, the Company considers all available positive and negative evidence, including future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences, future taxable income exclusive of reversing temporary differences and carryforwards, taxable income in prior carryback years, tax planning strategies and recent financial operations.
The Company utilizes a two-step approach to recognizing and measuring uncertain tax positions. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the weight of available evidence indicates it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes. The second step is to measure the tax benefit as the largest amount which is more than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. The Company considers many factors when evaluating and estimating our tax positions and tax benefits, which may require periodic adjustments and which may not accurately forecast actual outcomes. As of December 30, 2017, the Company had no material unrecognized tax benefits, interest or penalties related to federal and state income tax matters. The Company’s policy is to record interest and penalties as income tax expense.
Taxes Collected from Customers and Remitted to Governmental Authorities
We present taxes collected from customers and remitted to governmental authorities on a net basis in accordance with the guidance on ASC 605-45-50-3 - Taxes Collected from Customers and Remitted to Governmental Authorities.
Leases
The Company analyzes lease agreements for operating versus capital lease treatment in accordance with ASC 840 Leases. Rent expense for leases designated as operating leases is expensed on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. For capital leases, the present value of future minimum lease payments at the inception of the lease is reflected as a capital lease asset and a capital lease payable in the consolidated balance sheets. Amounts due within one year are classified as current liabilities and the remaining balance as non-current liabilities.
Foreign Currency Translation
For each of the Company’s foreign subsidiaries, the functional currency is its local currency. Assets and liabilities of foreign operations are translated into U.S. dollars using the current exchange rates, and revenues and expenses are translated into U.S. dollars using average exchange rates. The effects of the foreign currency translation adjustments are included as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income or loss in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets.
Comprehensive Income
The Company reports comprehensive income or loss in accordance with ASC 220 - Comprehensive Income. Accumulated other comprehensive income or loss, included in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets, includes foreign currency translation adjustments related to the Company’s foreign operations, actuarial gains and losses on the Company's defined benefit plan and unrealized holding gains and losses from available-for-sale marketable securities and investments. The Company presents the components of net income or loss and other comprehensive income or loss in its consolidated statements of comprehensive operations.
Discontinued Operations
The Company historically operated in two reportable operating segments, the core auto parts business ("Base USAP"), and an online automotive repair information source of which we were a majority stockholder ("AutoMD"). The criteria the Company used to identify operating segments were primarily the nature of the products we sell or services we provided and the consolidated operating results that were regularly reviewed by our chief operating decision maker to assess performance and make operating decisions. On March 6, 2017, AutoMD redeemed its stock from the minority stockholders and subsequently dissolved. The AutoMD operating segment has been classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented. See "Note 9 - Discontinued Operations" for further discussion. The Company continues to operate AutoMD.com as a media business and includes its results of operations under continued operations.
Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements
In March 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-09, “Compensation - Stock Compensation” (“ASU 2016-09”). The objective of this update is to simplify accounting related to stock compensation. The new standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within those annual periods. Early adoption is permitted. The Company adopted ASU 2016-09 for fiscal 2017. The Company will no longer utilize an estimated forfeiture rate, and will utilize the actual forfeiture date. The result was a $249 increase in additional paid-in-capital, with a corresponding decrease in our accumulated deficit.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, “Leases” (“ASU 2016-02”). The objective of this update is to increase transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet and disclosing key information about leasing arrangements. The new standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is evaluating the effect that ASU 2016-02 will have on the consolidated financial statements and related disclosures. The Company has not yet selected a transition method, however, due to the limited nature of our operating lease activity, it is not expected to have a material impact.
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers" (Topic 606), which was further updated in March, April, May and December 2016. The guidance in this update supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in Topic 605, "Revenue Recognition". Under the new guidance, an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The guidance also specifies the accounting for some costs to obtain or fulfill a contract with a customer. An entity should apply the amendments in the update either retrospectively to each prior reporting period presented (full retrospective method) or retrospectively with the cumulative effect of initially applying this update recognized at the date of initial application (modified retrospective method). On July 9, 2015, the FASB concluded to delay the effective date of the new revenue standard by one year. ASU 2014-09 is effective for the Company beginning in the first fiscal quarter of 2018.

We will adopt this ASU on December 31, 2017 through the modified retrospective method, with a cumulative adjustment that will decrease accumulated deficit by approximately $342 rather than retrospectively adjusting prior periods. The cumulative adjustment will primarily relate to no longer recording a synthetic shipping lag adjustment. We will begin to recognize revenue upon shipment. In addition, the Company has determined that the presentation of the sales return reserve balances currently shown on a net basis within current liabilities will be grossed up to reflect the estimated sales return amount and the corresponding inventory balance related to the estimated sales returns reserve will be presented in the net inventory balance on the balance sheet upon adoption.