Kingarthurflour.com Named One of Internet Retailer's “Hot 100”

Employee-Owned Company Ranked Among Leading Retail Web Sites for 2009

America’s oldest flour company is clearly keeping up with the times: this week the company announces its Web site, kingarthurflour.com, has been selected as one of Internet Retailer’s Hot 100 sites in 2009.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be named one of Internet Retailers Hot 100 for 2009,” said Halley Silver, Web marketing project manager for King Arthur Flour. “At the beginning of 2008, we made it our goal to build community and educate more bakers online. At every step along the way, our small Web team asked, ‘Does this inspire? Does it look delicious? Is it achievable? ’ By mid-year we had transformed our Web site into one that is building a passionate and vocal community of bakers worldwide. To win this award is like the icing on the cake.”

Internet Retailer’s Hot 100 recognizes leading retail Web sites operated by retail chains, catalog companies, Internet-only merchants and consumer brand manufacturers, including large and small sites alike in the belief that the entire industry can learn from innovation and excellence no matter the size of the retailer. Internet Retailer’s editors choose the Hot 100 based on consultations with members of Internet Retailer’s Editorial Board of Advisers and with industry consultants and analysts, nominations from readers and the editors’ own experience in dealing with sites, both professionally and personally, throughout the year.

In an effort to build a more robust and user-friendly online baking resource, King Arthur Flour has made significant investments in its Web site this year, including new technology, the addition of the Baker’s Banter blog, and an expanded Web team, from three part-time employees to four full-time and two part-time employees. A recent site redesign included the launch of more than 35 Guaranteed Recipes, personal recipe boxes, live online chat, customer reviews of products and recipes, and enhanced resources like ingredient guides, measuring basics, high-altitude baking information, a baking glossary, and more. Kingarthurflour.com has seen 30% growth in both page views and unique visitors in the past year.

“Kingarthurflour.com is an excellent demonstration of how retailers can best leverage the Internet - by putting its unique environment to work to enhance the brand experience and the shopping experience,” says Kurt Peters, editor in chief of Internet Retailer. “King Arthur Flour excels in this regard with the Bakers Banter blog, which instructs, entertains, and reinforces the brand’s messaging; the huge community of baking enthusiasts that connect on the site - a feat difficult to accomplish via any other medium; and robust and attractive product and process photography, which not only support great merchandising but also provide a means of educating customers on how to use King Arthur products.”

As one of the Hot 100, kingarthurflour.com is among big-name sites including amazon.com, Gap, iTunes, The North Face, and the Vermont favorites gardeners.com and Orvis. To view the complete list, visit http://www.internetretailer.com/uploads/2009Hot100Websites.html.

America’s oldest flour company, King Arthur Flour has grown from a regional staple to a brand known nationwide not only for its high-quality flours but for its passion in sharing the joy of baking; from a small mail-order business with five employees in 1990 to the premier baking resource with nearly 200 employees today; from a family-owned operation for five generations to a 100 percent employee-owned business. A founding B Corporation, King Arthur Flour was named one of the Wall Street Journal’s Top Small Workplaces and one of WorldBlu’s Most Democratic Workplaces in 2008; and received the Best Place to Work in Vermont Award in 2006 and 2007, the Outstanding Vermont Business Award in 2006, and the Better Business Bureau Local Torch Award for Excellence in 2006.  King Arthur Flour offers more than 1,000 professional-grade baking tools and ingredients through its catalogue, online at kingarthurflour.com, and at The Baker’s Store in Norwich, VT Through its products, publications and educational programs, King Arthur Flour continues to strive toward its mission: To be a creative and profitable company that’s a product, information, and education resource for, and inspiration to, bakers worldwide.

Published by Chicago-based Vertical Web Media LLC, Internet Retailer is a monthly national business magazine, Web site, conference and directory that serve the retailing community. The Internet Retailer family of products focuses on the Internet’s vital role in a wide array of retailing activities, including Web merchandising, supply chain management and multi-channel integration. The magazine’s 43,000+ subscribers are senior executives primarily from retail chains, independent stores, catalogs, virtual merchants and brand-name manufacturers. Internet Retailer’s circulation represents the largest multi-channel readership base of any retailing magazine. The magazine also publishes the most widely read e-mail newsletter in retailing, IRNewsLink, which is distributed four times a week to 38,000 opt-in subscribers, operates the largest retailing information Web site, InternetRetailer.com, sponsors the largest conference in the e-retailing industry and publishes an annual ranking of the 500 largest web sites.