It kinda goes without saying this was going to be a make-or-break year for Groupon, but it's starting to look like the vulture-critics will have to wait longer to be vindicated. Or, actually, they might be proven completely wrong.
The company started strong this week with an unprecedented wave of good news that's spilling into Tuesday. Not only is the stock gaining ground (it climbed .61 to $18.91 as of press time), but in terms of longevity, Groupon is starting to prove itself as an adaptable model to both "save" other companies and be integrated with other media channels.
On the former front, Groupon ran a deal just before Thanksgiving on hipster-favorite clothing retailer/manufacturer American Apparel's wares, which, according to Toronto Life "is saving American Apparel." Here's why:
The latest numbers suggest, however, that the beleaguered company could live to see another day. American Apparel reported an impressive 15 per cent increase in sales in December over the same month last year, mostly due to a hugely successful Groupon deal that has already translated into the purchase of 150,000 garments.
Maybe "saving" is a bit much, as New York Magazine notes "American Apparel still owes $47.6 million to a Bank of America credit facility that matures in July, as well as $114 million to Lion Capital." Then again, that's American Apparel's problem, not Groupon's.
As mentioned, Groupon is making inroads towards dipping its fingers into surprising new pies. Dailydealmedia.com is reporting that As Seen On TV, Incorporated -- a company that provides infomercial production services -- will start to use Groupon as one of its distribution channels on the Internet.
Steve Rogai, CEO of As Seen On TV, Inc. told Dailydealmedia.com, "I expect to sell tens of thousands of units of our hottest-selling products through our partnership with Groupon over the course of the next few months. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship and fostering this distribution channel for more of our products.”
If Groupon can move 150,000 units for American Apparel, surely it can do the same for a Ronco Showtime Rotisserie. Could it be that companies, if they're savvy enough, may someday assume instant success by running a Groupon? Or, in other words: Set it and forget it?
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.