Groupon SG turns to brick-and-mortar

Groupon SG turns to brick-and-mortar

Summary: I was having dinner at Suntec City Mall when I came across a shop--an actual physical store--operated by the local office of daily deal site, Groupon. There were three terminals in the space on which patrons can browse the site and purchase Groupons, some of which can be redeemed immediately at the store.

SHARE:

I was having dinner at Suntec City Mall when I came across a shop--an actual physical store--operated by the local office of daily deal site, Groupon.

There were three terminals in the space on which patrons can browse the site and purchase Groupons, some of which can be redeemed immediately at the store.

I e-mailed Karl Chong, CEO of Groupon Singapore, to find out more and he said the main objective for opening the store was to make it more convenient for Groupon customers to redeem their products. He added that the company will be doing an official launch for the shop in the next few weeks, and would provide more details then.

According to the company's Facebook profile, the store opened on Apr. 30.

It seemed somewhat counter-productive for the company to have to establish a physical location just so online deals can be redeemed. I'd understand if the purchases involved physical products that customers had to touch and feel before deciding whether to make the deal. But Groupon deals typically covered a range of products including travel deals, spa treatments, food deals and other services.

Even if the deals comprised actual products such as mobile phone accessories and electronic goods, none of these were not on display in the store. So, the store really was a space to park three Web terminals and a bunch of staff to issue redemption coupons.


(Credit: Groupon Singapore)
What I think it does, though, is provide great branding for a company which isn't yet as well-known here than it is in the U.S., as well as offer a platform on which Groupon can increase awareness of the daily-deals concept, especially among consumers who may still be unfamiliar it.

Would be interesting to see what else the company plans to do with the space when it's ready to launch it, officially.

[UPDATE on Jun. 21: Groupon Singapore just sent out media invites announcing Jul. 4 as the official launch of the company's "first and only concept shop" worldwide.]

Topics: Social Enterprise, Singapore

About

Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Agreed, some real world presence can do wonders for the brand.

    And they need some help going forward because they are still not pleasing shareholders, share value has slipped a lot. But apparently they are starting to make more money out of overseas markets. Good news for them.

    The jury is still out on whether these guys will continue to dominate for decades to come. Did I say "decades"? Now that seems too long to talk about any new business doesn't it?
    eapete-59bf6