Niche Retail Honored as One of “50 Companies to Watch in Michigan”

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Niche Retail, LLC has been recognized as one of the Â?50 Companies to Watch in Michigan,Â? a new awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Niche Retail, LLC ( has been recognized as one of the “50 Companies to Watch in Michigan,” a new awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Niche Retail, LLC received the honor at awards ceremonies during the first annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business event, April 28 in East Lansing.

"50 Companies to Watch in Michigan is a unique awards program designed to shine the spotlight on second-stage companies,” says Edward Lowe Foundation Executive Director Mark Lange. The Edward Lowe Foundation is a not-for-profit operating foundation based in Michigan. Its mission is to “champion the entrepreneurial spirit” by helping second-stage entrepreneurs learn from each other.

“Startup companies and large corporations often garner attention for their achievements,” says Lange. “But growing second-stage enterprises work mostly behind the scenes, even though they generate the bulk of new, sustainable jobs and are a powerful economic force underpinning the high quality of life most Americans enjoy.”

Niche Retail, LLC focuses on developing specialty web stores that help customers make educated decisions through detailed product comparisons and reviews. To date, Niche Retail has grown to fourteen stores, each one specializing in a single type of product or brand ranging from jogging strollers to golf travel bags. Customers are encouraged to post honest reviews of the products they’ve purchased, which remain uncensored when published on the site. “We believe that consumers trust other consumers, and we as a company take no position in the retail of any product,” says marketing team leader AJ Smith. “It creates a really laid back, no pressure environment for consumers – we hear on a regular basis that people love what we do. Honesty sells better than any sales pitch ever could.”

Companies nominated to be members of the “50 Companies to Watch in Michigan” list must be second-stage companies, defined as employing 7 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in gross annual sales. In addition, the companies must be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

Winners were selected by the Michigan Celebrates Small Business event partners: the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Small Business Association of Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the U.S. Small Business Administration-Michigan and the Edward Lowe Foundation, based in part on the winners demonstrated intent and capacity to grow based on one or more of the following:

·    Employee or sales growth.

·    Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership.

·    Sustainable competitive advantage.

·    Other notable factors that showcase the company's success.

More information about Niche Retail and the 2005 “50 Companies to Watch in Michigan” program can be found at:


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