A specialty store is a shop, usually retail, that offers specific and specialized types of items. These stores focus on selling a particular brand or a particular type of product. For example, a store that exclusively sells cell phones or video games would be considered specialized.
The definition for specialty store is actually somewhat loose. Sometimes, it includes chain retail stores that sell a specific brand of clothing or clothing that is manufactured specifically for that store. If a shopper buys a shirt from the Gap, for example, it will have a Gap label.
By this definition, the store can carry a diverse range of products. Though a store might specialize in clothing, the garments could be for children, teens, or adults. It might also carry shoes or socks. Some places branch out even more, carrying clothes for the whole family, as well as accessories, dog bowls, toys, and a variety of other non-clothing related items, all with the store label.
In other cases, the specialty store is not brand sensitive, but offers certain kinds of items that could all be loosely classed together. A grocery store that specializes in selling organic products, for example, would be considered a specialty retailer. The many ethnic foods markets that import most of their products are also examples. The products they carry can vary significantly, but they all fall under the class of being imported from a specific place like Asia, England, or Italy.
Another example is a store that sells one kind of item only, like cell phones or video games. The product selection is usually wide at a store that sells video games, and it is likely to have products that work with a variety of game systems. A cell phone store might sell many different cell phone brands, in addition to offering access to contracts with a specific cell phone company.
Some specialty stores are not linked to a chain of stores, but operate from a single location. A small health food store, a high-class women’s boutique that offers couture clothing, or a little bait and tackle shop may all be considered examples of such a store. Even though prices might be higher at these establishments, customers often prefer the expertise offered by small stores, which are often opened by owners who are passionate about the products they sell. In large chain stores, employees may not offer the same assistance and product knowledge. There are exceptions, of course, and some chain stores are known for their high degree of customer service and product knowledge.