Groupon's Downward Spiral Continues

Poke your finger in your mouth and hoist it to the wind and you’ll unquestionably feel they are blowing in a forebidding direction for Castle Groupon.

I know the company has been a great big punching bag in recent memory, but I also don’t have a crystal ball and can’t predict what’s going to happen over in Andrew Mason Land.

I have eyes, though, and can see the company isn’t doing so hot. Anyone can see that: Its stock is at $4.54, which is far less than most people have in their owl-shaped piggy banks.

Whatever happens to Groupon, this might be a good time to remember all the good the company has done for Chicago. As in, it put us back on the map as a small business hub. It’s a household name, and even though it might have its fair share of problems -- well, it definitely does -- Groupon has done its share of commendable things.

Even Crain’s is saying “it isn’t too late for Groupon to turn things around.” Crain’s hits on something I’ve talked before, that Groupon is becoming more and more secretive and silent, which leaves a lot of things open to interpretation. It means people are assuming they’re panicking. That they’re clueless. That they’re burying their heads in the sand or hiding under some coats and hoping things will just work themselves out.

They won’t. The only thing that will make things work again is, well, work. Or as Crain’s says:

At the end of the day, it's about getting back to being the fun company that isn't afraid to let its hair down in the name of team camaraderie — not just the one that's trying to meet its numbers at all costs. Happy employees can be amazingly productive employees and great advocates. Nurture them. Now.

And, really. Groupon should start now because many other outlets are writing articles with headlines similar to the one I gave this post. “Analysts worry Groupon may be done,” writes KY Post. Forbes is asking “Is Groupon Over?” Even before, I wrote a post titled “Is Groupon Dead?”

These are the sorts of questions people ask when Groupon stays silent on its own fate and with investors’ money on the line. And when it’s being reported that more of Groupon’s top salespeople are leaving -- this time, Janya Cooke -- the company more resembles a sinking ship rather than one going full steam ahead. Locking horns with PETA and losing investors as a result doesn’t help much either.

So, Groupon? Turn this ship around and do Chicago proud. You put us back on the map -- please don't erase us from 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 comedy-writing instructor for Second City. 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.

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