December 5, 2011, 11:15 AM

Specialty / Non-Apparel

Specialty shops with attitude

Lead Photo

The niche retailers that comprise the specialty/non-apparel Hot 100 do what they do well, and typically do it with a dash of élan that makes them stand out among retailers that may sell broader arrays of merchandise.

Among the category entrants this year, for example, is Canadian e-retailer The site features more than 2,000 highly modern baby and home decor products, and the site's clean, sparse design follows that aesthetic—there are no splashes of pink or photos of cooing babies here.

Also daring to do it diff erently is, a luggage manufacturer that emphasizes that it makes its products by hand in the USA. The site uses bold images and makes humorous quips about its bags. For example, the "air boss" carry-on bag says "I make other carry-on luggage nervous." The site also includes adventure travel trip reports penned by a co-owner, further conveying the brand's personality to consumers.

Also oozing personality are Groupon and LivingSocial, the two largest players in the U.S. dailydeal space. The rapidly growing companies churn out discounts and editorialize on them in a way that whips up interest and impels consumers to buy quickly. Both companies are broadening their off erings to include discounts on travel and entertainment.

Meanwhile, cataloger and e-retailer Sky Mall is paying for consumers to get free access to in-flight Wi-Fi so they can shop and buy products from the Sky Mall catalog online at In-flight audiences convert at a higher rate than consumers accessing the site from the ground, the company says.

E-Retailers Awarded the Hot 100 of Specialty / Non-Apparel:


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