Specialty goods are those consumer’s goods on which a significant group of buyers are habitually willing to make a special purchasing effort. Holton defined specialty goods as those convenience or shopping goods which have such a limited market as to require the consumer to make a special effort to purchase them. David J. Luck criticized the Holton’s definition. He objected to the abandonment of the willingness of consumers to make a special effort to buy as the rationale for the concept of specialty goods.
He regarded this type of consumer behavior as based upon unique consumer attitudes toward certain goods and not the density of distribution of those goods. But Holton remain convinced that the real meaning or specialty goods could be derived from his convenience goods, shopping goods continuum, and market conditions. However, by specialty goods we mean those goods for which the consumer, before his need arises, possesses a preference map that indicates a willingness to expend the additional effort required to purchase the most preferred item rather than to buy a more readily accessible substitute.
In other words, specialty goods are those consumer goods with unique characteristics and brand identification for which certain significant buyers are habitually willing to make a special purchasing effort. These goods have a particular attraction for the consumer and out of this attraction he goes out of his way to purchase them. The special purchasing effort that the consumer is willing to make is merely to locate the product or brand , not to compare it with others.
Examples of Specialty goods: Fancy groceries, men’s high grade clothing. and shoes, fine watches, expensive pipes and perfumes and special types of cameras or photographic films are the common examples of specialty goods.
1. Richard H. Holton, “The Distinction Between Convenience Goods, Shopping Goods and Specialty Goods, Journal of Marketing, July. 1958, pp. 53-56,
2. Richard Holton “What is Really Meant by Specialty Goods ?— Journal of Marketing, July, 1959, pp. 64-67.