At the height of the daily deal explosion, you could get a fabulous dinner for two at a trendy restaurant for half price. It was exciting. It was a way to live large on a small budget. It was new.
Fast forward to now and look what Groupon has become:
Shaun T’s Rockin Workout and bamboo trays? It’s the stuff of late-night infomercials and it’s sad. I live in Orange County, the eating out capital of the world and out of sixteen available offers, only one was for a restaurant and it was sold out. The rest were for spas and tourist attractions and “goods.”
I’m not surprised. Earlier this month, Frank talked about how Groupon’s sales force is hitting the road. And there’s been lots of discussion about falling stock prices and small businesses who rue the day they ever got involved with the company. But I don’t think any of their problems are their fault. The fault lies in the fact that America’s love affair with the daily deal is done. It’s not special anymore. It’s so not special that there’s a company who’s sole purpose is to help you unsub from all the daily deal sites you joined when it was cool.
And here’s another weird thing. When talking about stock prices, Groupon is considered a tech company so it’s lumped in with Facebook and Zynga. It’s even referred to as a social media company. True, it’s on the internet and it has “members” but it’s not a tech company or a social media company. It’s a discount store. It’s the TJ Maxx of spa treatments and once you look at it that way, then really, they’re not doing that badly. All they need to do now is drop the elitist attitude and relish being what they truly are, an internet bargain basement.
What do you think? Is the daily deal space dead or will Groupon live on?