Groupon to add more national retailers

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The president and COO of Groupon, a daily deal e-mail newsletter in dozens of US cities, told an audience at the Shop.org conference in Dallas that his company will continue to pursue deals with national retailers following the success of its Gap deal.

Rob Solomon noted September 29 that although the company was founded on a “hyper-local model,” it considers retailers like JCPenney, Gap and Crate & Barrel a “part of the local commerce economy.”

“A big part of our strategy will be to work with smart national brands where it makes sense,” he told the audience.

Solomon added that “90% of the deals will remain hyper-local.”

He shared the stage at a Shop.org keynote session with Facebook's VP of global sales, Mike Murphy, and Josh Goldman, general partner of Norwest Venture Partners, who acted as moderator.

Groupon has 20 million e-mail subscribers and is beginning to gather more data on its fans as they provide it. “For certain customers, we know where they live, their gender, their buying habits…we're only at the beginning of using this data,” said Solomon.

He asserted to the retailers in the audience that the company has a 97% renewal rate from clients and that deals move 500 to 500,000 units for its retail clients, which range from cupcake bakeries to pilates studios.

“[Groupon] is primarily a new customer acquisition channel,” he said. “We have come up with a way to use the Internet to drive offline sales…to get people into brick and mortars.”

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