Michman and Mazze present five key variables that retailing executives in nine specialty businesses must understand and work with, to gain and sustain competitive advantage in their competitive environments. Innovation, target market segmentation, image development, physical store decor, and human resource managementf are identified and examined. Authors argue convincingly from research and practical experience that these fundamental considerations are crucial to achieving competitive dominance. With up-to-date analyses and extensive coverage of e-commerce and internet retailing as well, their book is essential for retailing executives. Michman and Mazze find that successful specialty retailers are not all things to all customers, and do not try to be. They are, however, the first to apply new technologies. Authors analyze the development of specialty stores in the U.S. and tie their variables together in an epilogue. Along the way they make clear that by focusing on their five critical variables, we can understand how marketing successes come about and what causes blunders in the nine highly important store categories under their examination here. They point out that not all of their variables need be used concurrently. Some may be more critical than others, and this depends on environmental and competitive conditions. Backing it all up is meticulously developed evidence from their research and personal experience -- all of it presented readably and in a way that practitioners can understand and immediately apply.