As reported just before the holiday weekend, Groupon's kicking the tires with another new venture in its apparent tireless quest to do everything conceivable a company can do. On Friday it was a rumor seeping out that the daily deals business is allowing merchants to accept credit cards on a mobile device -- in other words, Groupon is wanting to compete with Square and PayPal. Weird. Maybe not. Remember back when Groupon dabbling in deals on real estate seemed weird? Maybe nothing about the company is surprising anymore, after all, but its unpredictability is getting a bit… predictable?
Otherwise, some of its efforts have been put in the oven long enough to start cooking. GrouponLive, the company's joint venture with Live Nation that offers discounts on concerts, theater and other live events -- which launched last May, is going to transition into highlighting "highly-attractive-but-difficult-to-move inventory" in the words of GrouponLive General Manager Greg Rudin. In a chat with Street Fight Magazine, Rudin explained that while his part of the company was started to sell tickets as more impulse items, but as it turns out, it's been used more for people who want to buy earlier. Groupon intends to capitalize on this by letting people who use GrouponLive snatch up seats in a luxury box or bypass the line to get in altogether.
GrouponLive has already made strides in improving itself, especially since customers no longer need to exchange their vouchers for tickets at the gate -- they can just use the vouchers as tickets.
While that's sure to be a customer-pleaser, there's still that pending class-action lawsuit settlement refund in the works. The proposed settlement will go before a judge on July 20.
Elsewhere, over in Crazeal, the Indian outpost of Groupon, has turned its back on group deals altogether. According to the Business Standard, Crazeal Chief Executive Ankur Warikoo is adapting to the market conditions because "three deal sites had gone under in the past three months." Although some are still going strong there, enough have fallen out of the sky to warrant changing course.
Groupon's stock continues to throttle about in the $11 and $12 range. As of press time, it's hovering at $11.79.
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.