The Groupon logo is engraved in a glass office partition in the company's international headquarters on June 10, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Groupon, a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants and consumers by offering goods and services at a discount, announced June 2 that it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its Class A common stock. The company, launched in Chicago in November 2008 now markets products and services in 43 countries around the world.
"Though the six months since our IPO have been rocky to say the least, the fundamentals of our business have continued to improve," Groupon CEO Andrew Mason wrote in a letter to stockholders on Monday. "Today, Groupon is a marketing tool that connects consumers and merchants… Tomorrow, we aim to move upstream and serve as the entry point for local transactions."
The note doesn't exactly lay out its attack plan -- nor should it, really -- though its upbeat and optimistic tone was enough to buoy the stock above single digits to $10.22, as of press time. Not exactly great, but still better than dipping lower and lower to zero.
Objectively speaking, though, there are reasons to be optimistic about Groupon. New data from a press release distributed by Business Wire indicates that "Groupon drives satisfaction among merchants, attracts new customers and inspires customer loyalty." This is coming from research Groupon commissioned from ForeSee, a customer experience analytics company. ForeSee talked to "thousands of local merchants who have worked with Groupon," though what types of merchants wasn't disclosed.
"Armed with our mission, strong execution and courage, Groupon has the opportunity to be one of the world's great companies," Mason wrote in the letter. "We believe it is our duty to you, our stockholders, to pursue our mission with unyielding perseverance. Thank you for joining us as we continue on this journey."
We'll see where Mason's tone is next Monday, when Groupon is scheduled to deliver its first-quarter results. But now that some of the wind has been taken out of Groupon's sails, maybe this more honest optimism will help better steer the ship.
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.